Mary; How Does the Garden Grow? 24th July 2014

Hello readers!  We hope you are all well and enjoyed last weeks blog entry where we looked at our apples.  If you haven’t seen it you can click here and check it out.

It’s incredibly warm here in Kilkenny these past few days and very humid, I dont know the exact temperature but I do know its ‘hot’, very hot in fact, hotter than we are used to or in fact comfortable with.  Never the less, one should not complain and although the thought of leaving the cool, fresh office and step out into the blazing heat and sunshine wasn’t appealing to me, out I went never the less, in search to Mary to find out what was happening in the garden this week.

The garden is indeed basking in the heat and sunshine and the visitors love it; casually stroking around, shades on, cameras at the ready and plenty of seats to sit on and relax!  However, the garden itself, or, more so the plants, aren’t really enjoying it and a lot of Mary’s time these past number of days has been taken up with watering potted plants or those in containers.

Just one of many plants that need to be watered, in this instance an old granite trough.

Just one of many plants that need to be watered, in this instance an old granite trough.

 

 

The first of the apples have been picked, most of these are windfall apples that aren’t far off being ripe, a number of them too being ones which have to be plucked slightly prematurely in order to save the boughs of the trees as some are laden down with fruit!  The apples, according to Mary, are very ‘tart’, meaning they are quite bitter.  These will ripen somewhat if left in a window but they wont last long, fresh apples will rot very quick!

A bough laden down with apples.

A bough laden down with apples.

 

Mary thinning out some of the apples.  Its unfortunate to lose some good fruit, but it has to be done to maintain the trees integrity.

Mary thinning out some of the apples. Its unfortunate to lose some good fruit, but it has to be done to maintain the trees integrity.

Blackberries are in season now and providing a real sweat treat to those whom try them, which, apparently is a lot as those full, quite dark, berries don’t seem to last too long! 😉  But, how could you blame anyone, whether staff or visitor from trying them! What a reward they are in for too!!

The blackberries are a variety known as Bedford Giant and there are a number of these plants in the orchard section of the garden, in the borders.  The plants are grown on hazel frames, a traditional method, to try and maintain their shape and keep them confined to a particular area as these plants have a tendency to grow wild very quick!

The fruit they produce would have been used, back in John Rothes time, to produce deserts and for making jam with honey being added as a sweetener in place of sugar.

Bedford Giant blackberry plant with hazel frame.

Bedford Giant blackberry plant with hazel frame.

 

Blackberry wrapped around hazel frame to keep growth confined.

Blackberry wrapped around hazel frame to keep growth confined.

 

Just been picked!

Just been picked!

Unfortunately, while most of the fruit trees are coming to life and bearing fruit and color, our once beautiful wild flower meadow has almost completely died away and next week will be cut down for another year.   Beforehand however Mary intends to collect seeds from the variety of plants and save them so that we might have as spectuacular a wild flower meadow next year! Here’s hoping…..

Wildflowers dying off while Mary collects some seeds for next year.

Wildflowers dying off while Mary collects some seeds for next year.

 

An example of some seeds.

An example of some seeds.

We should have lots more to report on next week! It’s a really exciting time of year with all the fruit coming into season, so, plenty of color, smells and tastes to experience, but, all that shall be covered in due course! 🙂

Until next time……

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your e-mail address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.