Posts

Int. Plant Propagators Society World Conference

Depending on your level of interest in horticulture you may have been lead to believe, via the title, that post is of zero interest to you….. But what if I told you that for the first time in the organisations history….

Ireland is hosting the International Plant Propagators World conference AND that this conference will not return to Ireland within the next 30 years?

...

Many prestigious plant propagators and growers from all over the globe.  Visitors from New Zealand, Australia, USA, South Africa, UK, Scandanavia and a number of other countries will be converging on Kilkenny from the 15th of September to 18th of September at Lyrath Estate Hotel convention centre.

On Wednesday 16th approximately 100 delegates will visit FitzGerald Nurseries and trials field where the official tree planting ceremony will take place beside our 2000 year old Celtic ring fort where the first farmers in this area would have settled.  Its fitting that this planting takes place adjacent to where the first Celtic agricultural activities occurred in this immediate vicinity. Visits to local nurseries in Kilkenny, Waterford and Tipperary are planned and full schedule of events can be found here. http://www.ipps.org.uk/conference.html

The International Plant Propagators Society was founded in 1951 and is now organised into eight Regions world wide. Each Region is run by its own local committee chaired by its own President, Bernard Brennan is the President of the GB&I region for 2009. Each IPPS region manages its own finances

The IPPS Region of Great Britain and Ireland, includes members not only from the UK and the Republic of Ireland but from most other member states of the European Union as well as many countries in Eastern Europe. In fact more than 20% of the 450-strong membership is based in ‘continental’ Europe.

The Region organises a series of area meetings on an annual basis where leading nurseries, research locations, outstanding gardens and centres of horticultural excellence are visited and ideas and expertise are openly shared. Workshops are offered to help transfer and share current best practice within the plant production industry.

Annual Conference brings together leading experts from the industry who share their well researched and accumulated wisdom with members. This technical expertise and knowledge is shared with the industry at large through the IPPS Proceedings.

See blog for updates  http://fitzgeraldnurseries.blogspot.com/

tulips…

garden bulbs tulips

simply stunning

or ‘Tulipa’ – at this moment you can really only consider them now for next year or if they are in pots and you wish them to be put outside wait until they have died back and plant them then.

The Tulipa of the Liliaceae family has about 100 species in it genus [family]. I’ll vere away from the horticultural technical knowledge and to the general… they are one of my all time favourites.

Brillant for flowers around the house, extremely attractive and if you were looking to give a gift on a budget [time it for the bithdays next year…] 5 bulbs in a pot and a little compost and Grandad will absolutely love you for it.

If you don’t have any in your garden – put a note on your calender to consider these for the end of this season… and enjoy 🙂

how to grow seeds…

i had written about a way in which i grow seeds last year – click here. But sometimes, for which I apologise, I forget my head 🙄 so to speak and advance to a next level assuming everyone is on my planet, horticulturally speaking….

I’m gonna do this seed planting piece – easy styleee. This is the groovy way, the Jamie Oliver bish, bash, bosh way of gardening. On a balcony, on a window sill – you have no complaints now. You’ll have to have a ‘grow’after this… [such bad humour] 😆

plastic tray to grow seedsseedssown seeds in tray

the three photographs above are how I grow my ‘easy’ seeds. The two types I picked were mustard and cress. Reason I did it this way [for these seeds] is because they are to be cropped when they reach about 1″ in height for salads. How do you do it?

  • first get your container. ‘Her indoors’ had this plastic one hidden ‘somewhere’.
  • fill with compost a little below the rim and press slightly to even it all out
  • water the compost carefully and gently and let the water settle
  • scatter the seeds on top as evenly as possible and label
  • done 🙂

I also put some wil rocket and lettuce seeds in the jam jars and an old ice bucket I found hidden in the shed. In the bottom of the ice bucket I threw in some old broken tiles – to get rid of them and to aid drainage.

seeds sown in ice bucketseeds sown in jam jarseeds sown from packet

For the larger leafed lettuce and some turnips [the salad bowl type] I grew them in the plug trays – click here. I wanted the plants to be a little stronger and the fact is whilst they are in the glasshouse for the moment they will go into the window boxes in a few weeks time. This can of course be done on your window ledge very easily. Here, the same rules apply.

  • fill the container [plug tray with compost
  • water first so as the seeds don’t get dispersed everywhere
  • flick one or two seedling into each plug
  • done!

plug trays for seedscompost in plug traysseeds sown in plug trays

Now all you need to do is make sure they don’t dry out and wait for nature to take it’s course 😆

time to wake up…

I was out and about in the garden and it seems nature is actually waking up all around me… It is a little the storm before the calm. The vernalisation period that we [in Ireland] had last week and now are tipping over the ten degrees…

But whilst temperatures may fluctuate – it is essentially the plants choice – when, exactly it is the right time for them to wake up. That aside, I love this time of year. It is so inspirational and for those who put in the little extra graft over the winter period, extremely rewarding.

If you haven’t dabbled in your green pastures yet… now is really time for you to really get started.

herbaceous plants

herbaceous adj designating plants that are soft stemmed rather than woody
herbaceous border n a flower bed that contains perennials rather than annuals
[source collins paperback dictionary]

...

In ordinary lingo, a herbaceous plant is one that although is more like a shrub rather than a bedding plant; it will come up year after year [ie. it is a perennial/ completes its life cycle over several seasons] and it does not need to be replaced as your ‘summer bedding plants would. [if you don’t understand still, thats ok – leave a comment and i’ll go into more detail]

A garden without herbaceous plants is generally quite dull. People tend to have their reasons as to why they should not have them. The main one is that they usually look like a lump of pulp come their off season. That said they do look spectacular when in flower.

The problem in my opinion is that times have changed. On one hand market seems to suggest a lot more ‘low maintenance’ style planting is in order – on the other – people are going back to living ‘the good life’ and the days of plant division and sharing/ swapping with your neighbours may not be so far away again. Thank God!

...

The reason in my opinion, I even turned off them for a little, is because the ‘ye olde’ days of gardening was and still is considered for those only of stately home type and sized grounds – it is also the audience to whom most of our writers still preach. The ‘I’m-excited-about-this-plant-you’ll-never-be-able-to-pronounce-the-name-of-but-i’m-ecstatic-about-it-so-so-should-you-be’ type. This I still find can generally come across as extremely boring – and generally speaking it is. No offence. But the fact that those who write so botanically speaking eloquently are still employed; the fact that they speak only of a fashion that appeals to a select demograph – is not the fault of the plant. I have four sisters and three brothers and not one of get turned on by the mention of ligustrum ovalifolium aurea variegata [variegated golden privot by the way].So I dont mention it – like that.

I generally compare this to a boring english teacher, in the case of this analagy, poetry. It is not poetry’s fault. It is not the authors fault. I love poetry. But – sometimes the person giving the sermon is more the destructor than the pupil who is not paying attention. It is why I always do not assume that everyone has the same passion or qualifications as I do. But also that they may wish to – even a little. It is also to eliminate any arrogance that may be sounding.

That aside ‘herbaceous considered’ plants are cool. I like to plant them in clusters and also to hide them behind other clusters of evergreen so that when they do die down, something else is hiding the gap. It may require a good planting plan but – no ‘garden’ is complete without them.

...