Wednesday, June 08, 2022

Melanie Dool’s gardening column in association with Orchardstown Garden Centre


THERE are an abundance of flowers out during the months of May and June and if you become distracted you might miss some outstanding displays. That is one of the reasons why garden shows are staged in late spring as the choice is huge and that is the problem of what to choose for your garden.


Common link

Some people turn their noses up at the thought of planting a common well-known plant into their garden and, yet, many of them give so much value that it is daft to exclude them for that reason. I will list some of those plants now and will add some information in brackets so you can decide for yourself – Ceanothus (E*= Evergreen – mostly planted as a wall shrub with blue flowers), Cotoneaster (white flowers followed by red berries, E as in Franchettii type), Choisya (E. Fragrant Mexican orange blossom – Aztec Pearl & Sundance), Crataegus (Small hawthorn tree), Buddleia (Butterfly bush attractive for butterflies – Globosa has scented orange ball flowers), Broom (Cytisus), Laburnum (Golden rain flowers on small tree), Kerria (double yellow flowers), Philadelphus (Mock Orange – scented white flowers), Syringa (lilac – cottage garden shrub), Sorbus (rowan or mountain ash – small tree with white flowers followed by red or other coloured berries) and Weigela (shade of pink flowers – florida variegata – Silver variegated leaves, and Alexandra – Copper purple leaves).


Fancy pants  

Some plants are quite outstanding and still not that common so, in our mild climate in this corner of Ireland they are worth considering and include – Azara (E. Fragrant vanilla flowers), Davidia (handkerchief tree with conspicuous white drooping flowers), Cornus kousa or florida (White or pink flowers and good autumn colours), Crinodendron (E. Chinese lantern, a small tree with red, pink or white flowers), Cytisus battandieri (E. golden yellow pineapple scented flowers and grey velvety leaves), Exochorda macrantha (pure white flowers in profusion), Magnolia (Small tree like shrub with shades of pink or white flowers) and Rhododendron including Azalea (E. in a wide range of colours).



Instead of planting the one season flowering annuals why not include perennials which flower each year and die down in the winter only to reappear the following spring to start the growing process again. There are many favourites and the early flowering types include – Lily of the Valley (white scented flowers), Dicentra (Bleeding heart – locket shaped pink flowers), Euphorbia wulfenii Ascot Rainbow (green yellow flowers on attractive foliage), Primula (candelabra types in many colours for moist conditions), Nepeta (Blue flowering catmint especially Cats Pajamas type).


Instant impact

I always advocate including a wide mixture of plants in your garden that will give you something of interest at any time of the year. If you depend on one section of plants to the exclusion of others you will inevitability have times where there is no colour. In addition, for many reasons I do not plant a large range of summer flowers but I do concentrate these around the house near the entrance leading to the front door and again in the patio area where I have some window boxes and containers scattered around. These I fill with plants close together using a wide range of varieties and colours so they look already established after planting.



It is a busy time for planting flowers and vegetables and when finished we water them in so they have contact with the surrounding soil.  This is especially important during warm and sunny weather as otherwise plants will just burn up. Give a final mound up to potatoes and be ready to give a protective spray against blight but the early varieties might not need this as they are almost ready to harvest. Water strawberries at least once a week to help swell the fruit and do protect from birds at the first sign of a ripening berry.

If you have any queries or comments you are welcome to share them with me on 051-384273 or [email protected] and if of general interest I will include it in a future article.

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By Melanie Dool
Contact Newsdesk: 051 874951

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