Bare Roots and Root Ball 2012

This seasons winter planting bare root and root balled list is in and listed below. Of course and like the image above one can have anything one wants, at any size one wishes – Higher, bigger or larger than the list below is usually deemed one off, special order or whatever name you wish to put on it and all you have to do is ask.

That said, should you be intending to plant a hedge, a row or just an avenue of beautiful trees, the following might just help in that regard.

The beauty as always in this case is that the trees and hedges are planted in their dormant state and therefore the maintenance to them is nigh on zero until they come they come into bud in Spring.

Take a leaf through [see what I did there…. I’ll get my coat] and see what you think.

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good gardens, good planning

garden planning and tree planting

garden planning and tree planting

If one is thinking of where to start in a garden… at the top is usually a good place! In good gardens, good planning is everything. One can have anything they want and at anytime, but, when it comes to working with the seasons this is where one gets the most from their budget.

As I have said so many times, its not what you have – it’s what you do with it.

To analagise, one does not decide to buy Christmas presents on Christmas day. With regard to tree planting and garden planning – if this is something you could consider – one should begin that process now. The tree season of better value is almost upon us. Approximately eight weeks away and the greatest gardens are always made with great planning.

As a rule of thumb of when to plant bare roots and root balls its when the trees lose their leaves and go into a wintering state. But first of course we’ve got beautiful autumn to come when all the leaves are brown…

9 useful… gifts for a gardener this christmas


Most of my articles are questions that are asked and where it has been asked more than once, assuming it can be of benefit to others I put it here. For any garden enthusiast you might know here are my suggestions that ARE 1000% better than socks and a CD.

If you prefer cooked turkey and a kiss under the mistletoe over a good scrap with the mother in law and some frozen sprouts..? Here’s my thinking cap – put it on this year for God’s sake… and your sake and my sake?!!

  1. The maximum & minimum thermometer. The left column tells you the lowest temperature, the right the highest. The benefits for those in horticulture are excellent. We don’t always understand why a plant looks a little down or too early this season a bit perky – this is usually part of the answer.
  2. The chemical store. Not so much to encouarge chemical use but – in every trade there are products that children shouldn’t put up their nose or drink. This also has a sump tray which doesn’t allow chemical spill and a good strong lock. For the gardener it’s usually the top shelf in a coke bottle!! Not a great photo but a super gift for anyone with a knapsack sprayer.
  3. If he still cuts the hedge with the electric trimmers, the extension lead goes through the kitchen window while you freeze your ass off and he can’t hear you shouting…? Just make sure and get a double socket. On the right is a tap! Like the electric cable, through the window soaking the floor and you can bath the kids after in the puddles in the kitchen. Go on splash out…. [hmmm]
  4. Compost bins are great because they are modular. You can buy to suit your budget and/ or simply add on as required to suit your lifestyle. Another article is probably required here but composting in the noughties is a definite must for any garden or garden enthusiast.
  5. For the techie gadget man this is brilliant. A miniature solar panel that allows any contraption with a car adaptor to be recharged…. for free.
  6. A great gardening book is always a great gift. When the elements are against you but you want to be outside, for a little, take your brandy coffee down to the potting shed and reinvigorate your imagination for the season to come.
  7. Trees…. Every garden should have at least one. If chosen correctly they are about as maintenance free as you will ever get. Unlike socks you cant lose one of these, they don’t get holes in them and it should last you a lifetime.
  8. The bird feeder is another easy one, but absolutely brilliant. Don’t forget to buy some seeds to go with… ah yes Grannny look what the kids got you this year something you can actually use.
  9. And finally….. Picking out womenms clothes was never your forté 😉 how about a tidy up, makeover or a new addition to the garden. Pull up the kitchen blinds on Christmas morning and be proud for thinking of something that Mary really wanted.

Beannachtaí na Nollaig agus na hAthbhliana


hedges – formal or informal



 If cutting nee maintaining fine lines of pristine planting isn’t for you then a formal hedge is not what you want. If however you like trimming or cutting from time to time and don’t mind ‘organised chaos’ then maybe you do! But a hedge as we [becoming elder] Irish know it, is something that requires looking after one sunny Saturday per year or so.

For the record and for clarity in this discussion please note the dictionary reference and definition: hedge n 1 a row of shrubs or bushes forming a boundary [source Collins English Dictionary]



If you do follow the dictionary (that I am so fond of reading) translation, then the logroll etched license interpretation that we inherited from the 1980’s becomes something delightfully and excitingly different. The science is that the internodal distance [distance between each set of buds] doesn’t really allow the plant to become ‘formal’ and so informality reigns though anti-symetric uneveness.

In theory if the correct horticultural decisions are made pre-planting then those hedge cutting fathers days can be spent on the golf course or playing croquet rather than bringing green waste to landfill. To clarify, all plants require some maintenance – just not as much, as often or as costly of your time or someone elses. In this day and age they can be bought in as established or mature plants. The two informal hedges above are one year old – to its new owners.

rootballs, bare roots & whips

tree planting

tree planting

All across Ireland on motorways, farmland and construction sites planting is taking place – but time waits for no man, to plant. Some say winter is the quite period for landscaping – I don’t really agree.

There are exceptions to every rule but in general, plants [bare roots/ whips] are dormant in winter. This allows, within reason the plant to be lifted out of the ground and planted without too many concerns apart from keeping the wind from the roots and/ or preventing them drying out. Because the plant it is lifted and sold [no potting] no added maintenance, costs can be reduced […there are exceptions].

There is one thing to remember – most bare roots and whips are native Irish so if you’ve been following my articles on design, you’ll know you pretty much need a large garden if you wish to buy in larger numbers – or else you’re a big bonsai fanatic! Native Irish [in my Moms language] meaning they’ll generally grow over 30′ tall. If you live near Griffith Avenue, you can have them but be sure you know what you’re buying – intelligent horticultural purchasing is required here.

If you dont fancy maintaining a matching hedge of beech [fagus sylvatica], a row mountain ash trees[fraxinus cvs] or a few specimen hollys [ilex cvs] then you can plant pretty much anytime you want, with anything. Now you must decide if you want formal or informal.

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