Posts

Dublins 98fm Dave – Spanish Garden Tours

Normally when friends and neighbours etc come back from their holidays… guaranteed there’s a few pictures/ holiday snaps of unusual plants or something for me to look at…. In this case I got a video.

I had originally titled this post An Irish Garden in Spain but when I saw Dopey the Dwarf at the end I changed my mind 😉

Yes folks last week good friend and 98fm Morning Crew DJ Dave Moore went to his Folks-in-law in Spain for a little resting and this is what he brought me back. Take a look and see what you think….  thanks Dave 🙂

kirstenbosch national botanical gardens

cape town, south africa

designer: Professor Harold Pearson
owner: South African National Biodiversity Institute
style: 20th century botanical garden in parkland
size: garden 89 acres; park 1,305 acres
climate: mediterranean
location: cape town, western cape
[source: 1001 gardens you must see before you die]

I was in Cape Town for very different reasons than to visit gardens of any sort, but, with a a little spare time available – this year I managed it.

To say I was blown away and left mesmerised is an understatement. This is the ultimate in relaxation, garden enthusiast or not. That said, I cheated-ish, well… An eight seater golf cart pulled into the front car park just as I was buying my ticket – and so I got the guided tour. I could have walked, but it was easier to sit and learn. As a by the way, it costs 32 Rand [approximately €2.50] to take the guided tour by cart 😉

The back drop is of course the amazing table mountains. The Camphor [Cinnamonum camphor] tree avenues are equally superb and stood out to me as they were the answer to a question in a recent pub quiz 😉 and outside of that the Strelitzia’s especially the much raved of ‘Mandelas Gold’ variety is there in abundance. The photographs will show some of these wrapped in chicken wire – this is to capture the seed by the way [I did listen… 🙂 ]

I did it in one hour – it’s all I had time for – I could have stayed there forever. I loved every second.

dicksonia antartica

cyatheaceae/ dicksoniaceae

cyatheaceae/ dicksoniaceae

also known as the man/ soft/ wooly tree fern; they remind me of big old cigars with grass groing out of the tops of them… but these guys are so amazing. A genus of semi/ evergreen ferns the trunks as they appear are really a rhizome [another days post] covered with roots of sorts.

They originate from the forests of Australia and ‘can’ grow as high as 20′ tall. They are usually sold by the metre height. I saw these in a nursery in Kildare recently and en mass, they look brilliant! It maybe that they become over popular [ie. the next decking/ bay laurel balls alternate] and more often used in the wrong context that could cause their unpopularity [?]. But to me and for ‘my favourite plants’ list, it was one that I couldn’t leave out. I love them dearly. Enjoy 🙂

especially for susan... :)

especially for susan... 🙂

Monte Palace Tropical Gardens, Madiera

m

  • designer: Jóse Berado, Eleuterio Soares
  • owner: Jóse Berado Foundation
  • garden style: Portuguese-Oriental
  • size: 21 aces [8.5 ha]
  • climate: mediterranean
  • location: funchal madiera

[source: 1001 gardens you must see before you die]

It is very unusual for me, possibly, to go on holidays and then – for a break of sorts – to visit gardens…? It’s not really.

The island of Madiera is quite an intriguing place when one sees what is happening to the land on this small island [i believe we in Ireland had a similar situation some time ago]; Planning aside, horticulturally this entire island is a dream-land for the plant lover, botanist and garden enthusiast.

But, my review is of The Monte Palace Gardens or The ‘Jardim Tropical da Quinta do Monte Palácio’ and aside from the slightly touristy, yet worth it, cable car journey up and the timber sleigh down, they are absolutely stunning, breathtakingly beautiful and so worthwhile visiting.

The gardens themselves date back to the 18th century but the works on turning the ‘land’ into gardens of merit actually only started in 1987. If you do visit, I would suggest going twice as every path splits into two or three different directions and so one doesn’t ‘really’ get to see everything.

For the plants person there are over 100,000 plant species; For the architect, the buildings are simply amazing; For the garden lover it is paradise and if you ever wanted an oriental themed garden – this is were you should look for inspiration. If you’re not an uber-garden lover then it is simply relaxation in it’s finest form. My pictures probably don’t do it justice enough.

I try to visit a garden in every county and country I visit. Not all of them appear here. These gardens however would be up there with the very best of them.

mustard – seed, grow, crop, eat

peter donegan garden advice growing mustard seeds

..

I found it really hard to find information of any substance or at all in any books on this plant.

But, if ever you wished to go green really quickly this is the plant for you. I chose white mustard. Instructions say it can be grown on tissue paper! it is that easy. I planted the seeds a different way [no particular reason, partly why there are so many books on gardening I suppose…] then planted outside.

Some say crop the plant just before flowering, the instructions say when its 2″ tall? I say whatever makes you happy. Why? Because, again, the varying schools of thought suggest that the taller the plant the stronger the taste…

Now it is all cropped? Chop it. Eat it. Next time I can grow it to my own specific taste. My tip. Sow a little [about ten seeds] every two weeks and keep the crop turning over.

mustard white seed plant crop peter donegan

...

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]