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The Sodcast – Episode 11

sodshow, garden podcast

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

Listen to The Sodcast in MP3 – or subscribe/ listen to the podcast in iTunes. Alternatively, subscribe to the blog and listen to them right here. Missed Episode 10 of the garden podcast ?

First Up:

Visit the Repak recycle Week 2010 blog – sponsors of the sodcast for October

Of course in my real job…. I do make gardens look better and you can of course contact me on:

This Week On The Blog:

Images For The Podcast:


Links For The Podcast:

Well… they are just for Pat Fitzgerald this week:

if you need anything else or are unsure of anything else – just send me an email, my address is above 😉

This Weeks Oddities:

On sale in amsterdam Airport…. and courtesy of Cork man John Peavoy

Courtesy Piaras Kelly:

To celebrate Science Week 2010, Discover Science and Engineering and the Tyndall National Institute, Cork are running a national photographic competition entitled ‘Science Snaps’. The theme for this year’s competition is “The Wonder of Small Science”, which is inspired by the revolutionary science of nanotechnology. The theme should be widely interpreted, inviting submissions that illustrate how small science can have a huge influence on our world, from scientific breakthroughs, action pictures to everyday events, as long as it triggers the imagination and answers the theme of this year’s competition.

Entries can be submitted online at Pix.ie/group/sciencesnaps.  The closing date for entries is Friday, October 15th 2010.

And Finally:

I was teaching 5 month old Ella about the trees in our garden this week…. but of course I hear you say. But Dad has many talents…. 😉

The Sodcast Guests – Pat Fitzgerald

sodshow, garden podcast

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


Listen to this Sodcast episode in MP3 – or – 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 10 of the garden podcast ?

Introducing Pat Fitzgerald

I’ve known the nursery man that is Pat Fitzgerald for sometime now and I’ve worked with him on many projects.

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To be honest, work aside, we get on well. You might even say I admire what he has achieved and from where it started. More than that, he’s a gentleman, a good friend and for podcast reasons, like myself, he’s a gardener by trade and hobby.

Last bank holiday weekend 2009 I spent in Kilkenny and some of that time in Pats company. I did this video in his the myplant nursery.

I also interviewed Pat in June 2010 when he brought 12 new plants to the Irish market. That is some achievement.

Pat had previously worked with me one of my show gardens in Smithfield.

Pat is the third guest for the sodcast, the garden podcast.

Pat will be a regular contributor on the Podcast and you can tune in this Thursday to hear my first conversation with him. Details of how to are at the top of this weblog post. You can also visit the sodcast – podcast page on iTunes

My Links For Pat:

You can of course contact me on:

12 New Plants To The Market – From Ireland

I have interviewed my good friend Pat Fitzgerald before. Twice actually.

But when a Kilkenny man brings 12 new plants to the market, already employs 35 people and exports [some as far as Japan] over 85% of all of his plants grown…. I think it’s more than news worthy. An Irish man selling Japanese style plants in Japan….? Add to that the fact that he’d be considered quite young in an Irish nursery business to have achieved what he has.

To horticulture, some of the plants have just come online, most have never been seen before and others have already award winning. For those not in the plant breeding business and for want of a better definition, put simply, somebody has invented these plants. More details on that below.

From a plant enthusiasts perspective, a picture is one thing. A video is another. Take a look and see what you think.

Pictures and descriptions are below.

  1. Carex oshimensis Evergreen is similar to the species form of the Oshima sedge from Japan with wonderful simple brown tipped abundances of flower in Spring. Almost 1 million Carex plants will be produced by Pat in 2010. Evergreen provides a simple natural and relaxing under planting or feature plant in containers and this from was selected for its more compact growth and depth of colour.
  2. Libertia ixiodes Goldfinger bred at Naturally Native Nurseries in New Zealand and marketed in Europe by Plantipp Netherlands on behalf of New Zealand’s Lyndale Nurseries Kiwi Gold native New Zealand plant collection. Ideal for containers in the colder regions and mass planting in coastal and milder parts. Goldfinger will tolerate temperatures of -5 C to -7 C but below these temperatures will need protection with heavy fleece covering. This fantastic plant has white flowers in May and the foliage colour changes from butter yellow to old gold as temperatures decrease through Autumn and Winter.
  3. Carex trifida Rekohu Sunrise Another representative from New Zealand’s native flora. This is the first introduction from the trifida species of Carex and in New Zealand is commonly known as Muttonbird Sedge due to the flowers resembling the feet of the native Muttonbird. Rekohu Sunrise was bred by Mr Terry Hatch of Joy Nurseries in New Zealand. Rekohu Sunrise can be cut right back to tidy it up in March /early April and will produce vigorous but compact shoots of wonderful bright foliage.
  4. Ophiopogon nigrascens and its other mondo grass relatives are some of hardiest, functionally attractive and most versatile dwarf ground cover plants available. Slow growing ground hugging and with wonderful detail in flower and berry what more can one ask from a plant but there is more. Ophiopogon nigrascens is drought tolerant, will grow in shade semi shade and full sun and is hardy to at least -15 C. This Japanese native provides attractive ground cover in the garden and develops lilac coloured flower spikes which on mature plants set attractive black berries. There is also an improved variety of this wonderful plant and its called Blackbeard. Bred by Steve Yandell from Penzance it has faster growth, longer leaves and a greater clumping habit.
  5. Canna Tropicanna is a Tropical perennial plant introduced by Mr Keith Kirsten from South Africa named and marketed around the world by Anthony Tesselaar International. Tropicanna has led to two other varieties, Tropicanna Black and Tropicanna Gold. Canna Generally has a reputation for being difficult to grow by some people, but it can be a wonderful addition to the small garden and should not be ignored for those of us with foliage colour lust. Tropicanna also has amazing flowers.
  6. Royal Hawaiian Colocasia go on sale in Europe generally in Spring early Summer 2011 although some baby plants will be available a little earlier. The collection comes from an internationally acclaimed breeder Dr John J Cho who has achieved outstanding success with his new line of ornamental Colocasias.
  7. Cordyline australis Karo Kiri is a most unusual variety of the common Cordyline we see all over Ireland in our coastal towns and cites. Karo Kiri is an easily maintained dwarf form and is versatile in containers or small gardens. It comes from New Zealand breeder and selector Ross Baybliss
  8. Carex oshimensis Everest Pat has been growing Carex for 20 years now and having been bought stock of the well known Carex Evergold as a birthday present (another long story) the year he set up FitzGerald Nurseries. Now the biggest producer of Carex oshimensis possibly in the world. Carex oshimensis thrives in the Irish climate and is a versatile plant for the garden or containers. Sometimes misused it leads to unsightly clumps in exposed and sodden landscapes. It is ideally suited to sheltered urban gardens, will thrive in semi shade situations and in containers giving the most wonderful white margins seen on any plant. Everest was picked as an entrant in the recent American Idols plant competition in USA and won a Silver medal at Plantarium in Boskoop Netherlands.
  9. Carex oshimensis Everillo was first launched at the wonderful Hillsborough Show in Northern Ireland earlier in May and was only just discovered in 2008 and is set for a worldwide release in Spring 2012. This is how long it takes even a relatively fast to produce plant such as Everillo. A fantastic addition for shade and semi shade and is a Japanese native bred for its colour.
  10. Phormium cookianum Black Adder now sold to Japan, Australia, its native New Zealand USA and most European countries. Black Adder was selected over 6 years ago has been a wonderful success story adopted by many nurseries including leading New Zealand Nursery Lyndale Nurseries as the number one black / purple Phormium. Black Adder won best container plant award for FitzGerald Nurseries at the worlds largest professional Horticulture Show IPM Essen Germany in 2008.
  11. Yucca gloriosa Bright Star a winner at IPM Essen 2009 with first prize for best patio container plant. Bright Star was discovered at Walberton Nursery West Sussex England by Mr Tim Crowther, promoted by Plants For Europe and introduced into production in Europe by FitzGerald Nurseries. Bright Star is an outstanding colour selection of the hardy and drought tolerant Yucca gloriosa. It has pink colouring which comes during drought or cold weather conditions.
  12. Cordyline fruticosa Caruba Black is a tropical Cordyline from Anthony Tesselaar and produced exclusively in Europe by FitzGerald Nurseries. Unlike its more hardy cousin C. australis Caruba Black needs temperatures over 3 C to maintain its attractive appearance and colour so must only be used as a Summer dot plant to give a tropical exotic look to borders or containers. It can even be cut back in spring to encourage multiple stems.
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Carex Oshimensis ‘Evergold’

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The Carex or sedge plant [cyperaceae] is a genus of over 1,500 species. They are mostly evergreen, at least those that I am most familiar with, although there are some that are deciduous and they are grown mainly for their foliage.

The member of the Carex family that I am chosing to profile is the Carex oshimensis ‘Evergold’. It’s an amazing plant. The first time I grew these I had them in hanging baskets as I had bought them very young. When they grew a bit more I planted them straight into the garden and the following year I divided them andgave them them away.

To that point it is that ease of propagation that I love about them the most. They can of course be grown by seed. To divide…. wait until you have a decent sized clump; dig up; and split it apart either by teasing [like unravelling knotted hair….] or with two garden forks back to back. Drive them in and push in opposite directions.  

Carex oshimensis can often be confused with its relation, that of C. morrowii. A green/ gold and white[ish] striped leaves it an grow up to 12″ tall. The reason I like this plant so much…. it’s great in containers, as underplanting with other grasses, in borders or on its own….

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Ever Wondered What It Takes To Grow A Plant…?

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October Bank Holiday Weekend, I went to Kilkenny. I had so much to do….

On my agenda was to meet my good friend & plant inventor Pat Fitzgerald.

I had interviewed Pat for the blog before. I had also worked with Pat on so many of my projects and gardens… but I’d never seen his nursery. The place, his place to be more exact, the place where the plants I have designed into projects, designs and gardens are born, reared and looked after. This is where I started to get excited….

Excited ? About plants…? On a bank holiday weekend…? Have I nothing else better to be doing…? I wouldn’t swap what I love doing so much for anything else in the world 😆

Pat, in my opinion 😉 is a little bit special in the Irish context of horticulture in that 85-90% of his plants are exported to places like Japan & The USA.. thats a total of almost 3.5 million plants as a by the way…. not bad?!!


*disclaimer: I’ve never received money from Pat for anything I have ever done. I simply think he’s got a different and an interesting story. More than that… he’s one of lifes good guys. More importantly, he’s got a sense of humour and enjoys a pint on a Friday night. shame I have to put a disclaimer in at all being honest….

Heres’s the first video I did with Pat… nice story 😉

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