Yet another summer of unpredictable weather, but at least this year we have had some good spells to enjoy – let’s hope for more to come! We have lots of news to get through with this newsletter, so to make it as easy to read as possible we have listed major items below. There’s news on our new building, kitchen garden, summer evening and market, so read on!
Sarah & Brian
- Sadly this will be the last newsletter in paper form. Whilst we appreciate that many of you are still without computers, the factors of paper waste, environmental cost and time mean we will only be sending newsletters in email form in future. If you do have email and wish to continue receiving the letters, then email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. This way you will also receive more regular news of events and special offers. You’ll also find information on upcoming events on the web-site http://www.thesecretgardener.com/.
- Summer Sale Until the end of August – 25% off all perennials and 20% off all trees and shrubs. 10% off all sundries.
- The Harvest Farmer’s Market will be held on Sunday 13th September
Between 1 – 5pm. There will be a mix of food stalls including vegetables, chocolate, cakes, preserves, smoked foods and much more.
- At last our new building has gone up! Thanks to funding from IRD Duhallow
we have been able to invest in a new building which is a classroom, farm shop and tea room. We will be fully operation by September, so whatever the weather you can pop up for a cup of proper coffee and a slice of Kirstie’s delicious cake. You’ll be able to browse carefully sourced produce, look through our book collection and just generally relax! We will be offering an extensive range of courses and events, both in-house and with external speakers and teachers, so if you don’t have email and want to find out more, drop by the garden centre nearer the end of August, when we will have an events calendar for autumn and winter.
- Our kitchen garden is also nearly complete, along with a small polytunnel, which means that we can also do some more practical hands on teaching. Again, details of upcoming courses will be sent by email and listed on our web-site.Recent visitors will also have noticed that our car-park is vastly improved – a death-defying move of the griselinia hedge (for the griselinia that is) and an improved gateway has made it much easier to
park. We will be adding lighting to make it easier in the winter months also.
- If there is anyone living in the Boherbue area interested in joining a new Flower & Garden Club, please contact us at The Secret Garden. Membership is just €25 per year which will include 8 events over the year.
- The Season
As space is short, we’re going to keep this to the essentials:
Prune back spring-flowering shrubs such as lilac and forsythia. You can also cut back hedges – to make tidying up easier, lay a large sheet of plastic alongside the hedge to catch all the clippings
If you have gaps in the borders, fill them with late summer-flowering perennials such as Echinacea and rudbeckia. Dahlias are great gap fillers and will continue flowering until first frosts.
Many trees and shrubs will have struggled after the wet & cold of last winter. If they still look shook, give them a boost with some Fish, Blood & Bone. It’s also your last chance to feed rhododendrons, azaleas & camellias with a specific ericaceous feed. If we get a dry spell late in the summer it is essential to keep camellias well watered as they are forming next year’s flower buds.
Plan ahead for next year. Now is the time to look at your garden – it should be bursting with colour. Make note of areas that need a lift and then you can work on them before next spring. If you’re stuck for ideas, take a photo and bring it in – we’ll try and help!
- Kitchen Garden
There’s still plenty of time to sow crops such as chard, mixed salad leaves, lettuce, pak choi, spinach, Black Kale, rocket, perpetual spinach & radishes. Most of these will carry on through the winter with no protection. Keep picking crops such as French beans, tomatoes & courgettes. It will actually increase productivity.
It’s been a bumper year so far for cabbage white butterflies on cabbages, cauliflower, broccoli & sprouts. You can rub off eggs, or pick off the caterpillars. If you are setting fresh plants net them straight away to prevent the butterflies laying their eggs.
Make sure you feed ‘hungry’ plants in the garden as regularly as you can (tomato feed, seaweed, home-made nettle or comfrey feed). This includes beans, courgettes, squash, cucumbers and tomatoes.
Remember your birds – water and feed all through the year.
If you grow teasels, sunflowers or other perennials with large seed heads, leave the seed heads for the birds to eat.
If you do use sprays in the garden, always use early morning or at night when there are less beneficial insects around.
Visitors in the spring will have noticed the monitor in the shop showing the action in the nest box on the front of the shop. We’re delighted and just a little bit proud to let you know that seven blue tit eggs hatched and seven birds fledged the nest. There were moist eyes all round the day they left home, but it was worth it – we were privileged to see the whole process from daddy building the nest on, it was a bit like Big Brother but more wholesome! Needless to say the cameras will be switched on again next spring.
After discovering that Roseclear is of high risk to bees we no longer stock it. If you have a blackspot problem you can use diluted basic copper fungicide, which has a number of uses, or diluted low-fat milk (50/50 water/milk) sprayed on to the leaves. This old organic gardener’s recipe isn’t as mad as it sounds – it forms an invisible fungus on the leaves which stops the blackspot fungus forming, Roses also seem to respond very well to regular feeds of diluted liquid seaweed, which is thought to boost the plants’ immunity to disease.
We have written a care sheet for roses, explaining the best way to grow them – happy healthy roses are far less likely to suffer from disease. If you’d like any advice on growing roses, please drop by and see us.
- We are delighted to be stockists of Chillington Hoes and Tools. A traditional range of hot-forged horticultural and agricultural tools, used around the world for over 100 years. See http://www.chillingtonhoes.com/ for information.
- The Secret GardenAghaneenagh, Newmarket, Co Cork
Tel: 029 60084 email@example.com www.thesecretgardener.com
Tues – Sat 10 – 6pm Sunday 1 – 6pm Closed Mondays except Bank Holidays.