A November Weekend In My Garden

donegan gardens

Last weekend, the garden radio show that I do needed, we felt, a little bit of a break from the extremes of botanical latin and over horticulturalisation – ie. the overuse of big words. We had pondered what might soften this and the idea that I record myself in my garden, in my spare time pottering about over a period of one weekend turned out to be a pretty good idea.

Listening back, I’m surprised at just how much I actually got done with no agenda and wee 2 year old Ella by my side. More than that, the feedback that has come in since this aired has been nothing short of phenomenol. I have so very many emails from people letting me know they are now doing a 15 minute stint, no matter the weather, in their little patch in their great outdoors, just once per day.

No matter the end result – I guarantee you will feel better for it. Your space outside will look better because of it. That will make others smile beacuse they have seen that. That smiling gig is pretty infectous. And then you’ll smile because they have smiled…..

You don’t need to follow my list, you can make your own, or don’t make one at all. Take a listen, see what you think and should you become a little stuck… I’m right here for you. 😉

Garden Maintenance: Coryllus avellana ‘Contorta’ – Reversion

I think the video explains it better than text ever could the coryllus avellana ‘Contorta’ or commonly known Corkscrew hazel and the maintenance steps I need to take to bring it back to its glory days for the coming season.

For those who might like to know, I thought these the most helpful of definitions:

Reversion: 3. Genetics A return to the normal phenotype, usually by a second mutation


Reversion: n 1 return to an earlier condition, practice, or belief 2. Biol the return of individuals or organs to a more primitive condition or type

In all of the gardens I have ever owned [2] I have always had one of these plants. I don’t entirely know why. Part of me always wondered if it knew it were an oddball alone in the plant world and/ or just what it was thinking when it began returning to normal.

More than that I always loved how when everything else was going to sleep for the winter like some sort of Cinderella, this fellow took the stage and became so amazingly beautiful –  only for it to return to contorted just as everything else was waking up.

How the plant kingdom will never cease to amaze me and why I love it so much.

catkins coryllus avellana contorta

November In The Garden



It is that time of year… some say it’s bloody depressing. But I like it. I don’t know why particularly… maybe it’s that I get home [a little] earlier… maybe it’s that I get to burn the timber that I have mamaged to amalgamate over the last eight months or so… I don’t know. 😉

To the garden… mine and yours, this is probably the most important month/ season, for me, in the entire calender. It is what I do here that will pay most dividends come next season. So once again, this is what will I be doing in my garden this month and what I recommend you do in yours…

new plant trees trees ireland trees dublin

Top of my list is my trees. I’m now in a position where they can be cut back without all of that foliage in the way and so some crown raising will take place [removing of the lower branches…]. I’ve also got a batch that served a purpose until the others surrounding them matured and so I’ve got to move some and relocate others… if I don’t do it this year I am literally up the creek and next year it will become an impossible task. Stakes and straps at the ready….

berry fruits birds fruit cotoneaster-1

With the trees in mind and leave fall in place… it is time once again for the bird feeders to go back out. That and I need to get some other types of berrying plants into the garden to help those birds who don’t go to sunnier spots for their winter hols. Looks like a trip to farm supplies shop is looming….. or do I still have some in the shed…

In other news…. 😯 The apples on my trees had started to drop. It is at this point that the apples are about as ready as you will get…. I’ve picked them all now – except for the smaller fruits [about the size of a plum as they won’t taste so good – best leave them to nature]. Once again when the leaves fall off some select pruning will be required, removing dead and diseased wood and then the branches that over cross each other. If you planted yours in the last two years  make sure the straps and buckles aren’t too tight.

winter-colour colourful pots cyclamen 

If you are looking for some instant colour you’ll find there’s tonnes of it to be found – don’t those pots just cheer you right up 🙂 Some instant colour – from the plant department can however be bought in the form of ornamental cabbages and cyclamens. Add them to existing beds that need a little sprucing or redo those hanging baskets you took down last month…. g’wan you deserve to treat yourself!!

hedges lavender creative

Outside of that you [and I] still have to get those hedges cut… the plants still need to be trimmed back… and with that done… the mulch has to go down. This will leave the garden pretty much with its groove back on so it doesn’t look like a brand spanking new hair cut… more a well maintained garden, come Nanny & Poppa calling around for turkey and mulled wine for the celebrations December 25th 😉

Finally, trees and bulbs!! and finally [finally 😆 ]… herbs. Crop them and what you can’t dry store… pop them in ice cube trays… pour water on top and freeze. You’ll need them for cooking that big bird in a months time and believe me there once you move from dry herbs to fresh…. you’ll never go back. 

Have I forgotten anything…. leave me a note and I’ll add it to the list.


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top posts for december



the top posts for November were getting back to a more horticultural nature and December a little moreso again – but – I still don’t understand why a post on taxi ranks has rated in the top 10 since it was written….? Maybe someone can tell me?

That said, I still have to publish the top posts for the year of 2008…

For the moment…. from 1-10 here are the top 10 posts that you liked to read the most for last month. Once again, enjoy and thank you for visiting and reading.

Of course you can also have my posts sent direct to your e-mailbox – click here or follow me on twitter – click here


the taxi regulator and the rank…
Rick… thursday garden guest #6
Small Gardens – good design
budget car hire….. ?
trees – crown raising, topping or traini
Cedrus Atlantica Glauca Pendula
phil… thursday garden guest #7
south africa, 2008, gardens & the ni
khayelitsha, south africa 2008 – part 1
electric pinknic… picnic

top posts for november

what did you you read...?

what did you you read...?

the results for octobers top 10 posts as read by you were a little more appropriate to the season – ish… And it seems apart from the odd curveball, trends are becoming as trendy as they should be.

And so from 1-10 here are the top 10 posts that you liked to read the most for last month. Once again, enjoy and thank you for visiting and reading.

Of course you can also have my posts sent direct to your e-mailbox – click here or follow me on twitter – click here


south africa, 2008, gardens & the niall mellon township
the taxi regulator and the rank…
Small Gardens – good design
the meaning of life…
trees – crown raising, topping or training
budget car hire….. ?
Damien… Thursday garden guest #4
marie… thursday garden guest #3
hedges – formal or informal
growing pumpkins from seed