The Sodcast – Episode 3

sodshow, garden podcast

The Sodshow Garden Podcast – every Friday – in iTunes, all good podcast stores.

Listen to The Sodcast in MP3 – or – as always you can subscribe or/ and listen to the podcast via iTunes.

Alternatively you can subscribe to the blog and listen to them right here. Missed Episode 2 of the garden podcast ?

On The Garden Blog This Week:

Photographs For The Podcast:

This Weeks Oddities:

Ever Been To:

This is the view from where I have been working all week. What you actually see is Irelands Eye…. Stunning! If you were to look to the left you would see Howth Marina. Go there. Worth it!



Whats On:

National Heritage Week – August 21st – 29th

heritage week @ sonairte in Co. Meath

  • 1pm         Walk & Talk: Sonairte’s history & architecture with Luk van Doorslaer
  • 2pm         Walk & Talk: Heritage fruit’n’veg with Horticulturalist Laura Turner
  • 2.30         Nature Scavenger Hunt & kids activities with Botanist Emma Reeves
  • 3pm         Storytelling: Local Folklore &Tales of the Past with Margaret Downey
  • 4pm         Medieval Monastic Gardens, Digging up the Evidence with author & Archaeologist Geraldine Stout

With that in mind…. I got this email in from Dermot Quinn of the Howth Peninsula Heritage Society

In conjunction with the World Etchells Sailing Championships, being held in Howth Yacht Club, August 23-28, the Society is presenting a lecture for the visitors and other interested parties. This will take place on Tuesday August 24th, at 8 p.m. in the Howth Angling Centre (by kind permission). Diarmuid O Cathasaigh will speak on ‘Aspects of Howth’.
All are most welcome.
Dermot also passed this onto me:

We have pleasure in sending you details of our series of lunchtime lectures Mapping Urban Ireland which accompanies our exhibition of historical maps of Irish cities and towns, 3 August 2010 until 20 May 2011.

These free lectures take place on Tuesdays in the Meeting Room, Academy House, 19 Dawson Street, Dublin 2.  Lectures commence at 1.05 p.m. No booking is required. Further details available on

  • 24 AugustComparing urban Ireland with maps:  the Irish Historic Towns Atlas Sarah Gearty (RIA, Irish Historic Towns Atlas Project)
  • 7 SeptemberMapping towns in the Ulster Plantation Annaleigh Margey (University of Aberdeen / Trinity College Dublin)
  • 21 SeptemberJohn Rocque’s Irish city maps:  Dublin, Cork, Kilkenny and Armagh John Montague (RIA, Art and Architecture of Ireland Project)
  • 5 October: “Thirty-four minutes, twenty seconds west of London”, Limerick:  provincial city of maps Jennifer Moore (RIA, Irish Historic Towns Atlas Project / University of Limerick)

Garden Hygiene

garden hygiene...

garden hygiene...

I remember when I was about 14 years old I’d been given this summer project of my parents front and back garden. Lopping shears, shears and my secateurs in hand I went for it.

The place had become quite overgrown. Of course when filled with plants like the Fuchsia, Forsythia, Eleagnus, Senecio, Spirea Ligustrums and the like… the types guaranteed to grow and what also would have been so popular and reticent of the 1980’s. I took them right down from about 10/12′ tall to about 2-3′. The place hadn’t been touched in ages. Within no time at all, Mom was out and I was being labelled a butcher!

One must appreciate that at this stage I had been working and reading up on my plants since I was about 5 years old and whilst I had done and been paid to do this for others…. Mom wasn’t impressed, at all! I think she liked things nice and very neatly trimmed… but never cut back for the benefit of the plant long term wise….

it left an unsightly appearance…  

The plants had become very woody. Extremely woody in fact. But as I said they are that genre. That is what this group of plants do.

The plants had grown into each other so much so that the bases of some had begun to rot. The flower quality wasn’t the greatest either and minor problems, albeit nothing that the more mature plant couldn’t cope with, had begun to appear on the foliage. Again, whilst not wasn’t such a problem for the bigger boys, the smaller more delicate plants nearby were getting a battering from insects, disease vectors and wind/ rain transferable diseases.

Garden hygiene as it is known is of great importance…



Assuming you have trees growing in your garden that will not grow to 60′ tall…. and assuming you live in a garden where that is not the case… one should prune upwards of the stem rather than ‘top’ the tree. Crown raise as it is known.

The more vigorous ‘shrubs’ should then be cut back and hard. This allows the regeneration of the new growth, the removal of dead and diseased wood from the plant and equaly as important the removal of a season long of debris falling to the base of the plant where micro climates may build up increasing the possibility of pest  and diseases.

The ideal scenario to create is that there is wind movement through the plants and this in itself will help prevent pests and diseases from harbouring within an extremely sheltered space that is your garden.  

This then also allows for the removal of any weeds or plants growing where they really shouldn’t be….



Once this is done… a good layer of bark down and you’re pretty much good to go. The key now is to remember how big the plants actually grew… so as you don’t end up putting plants into a gap where it won’t be seen in 6 months time or/and where overcrowding may once more occur. I guess a lot of this comes back to good planning and good design.

Do remember that it is a garden and it is supposed to be for enjoyment rather than endurance 😉 Also most plants are on the verge of dormancy and now is not such a bad time to get at this laborious chore. If the next question is ‘is now the righ time….?’ The answer is, if your garden requires some tending to and it will save the plant, even though it may not flower, then it is…

If you are unsure of what and not to do… don’t be afraid to pay for some advice and guidance and whatever you do make sure and get someone who really knows what they are talking about. Yes… someone as intelligent and as good looking [if that is possible…] as me 😆

Of course you can also leave a comment below…

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