“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.” ~ Albert Camus I love this quote. I can’t deny a sense of sadness when summer is over, the swallows have left and the garden is feeling a bit like Cinderella at five to midnight, but there is so much still to be celebrated. […]
“She wore flowers in her hair and carried magic secrets in her eyes. She spoke to no one. She spent hours on the riverbank. She smoked cigarettes and had midnight swims…” ― Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things Wearing flowers in your hair has been in and out of fashion since ancient times, think of […]
This time of the year, the garden takes on a slightly frantic air (OK, maybe I’m projecting there, you’re right, it’s me that’s frantic). There’s just so much to be done and not enough time to do it, plus the midges are biting already, my back is giving out and dammit, I’m tired! But, but, […]
A new departure for The Secret Garden…. The Secret Garden is relaunching in February offering an exciting new range of products and services: Flowers from The Secret Garden –flowers and arrangements, grown locally, with love and without the use of chemicals, offering exceptional range and quality. We are looking forward to sharing life’s key events […]
Bigger and more beautiful cut flowers will be available this year. Flowers for weddings, funerals, special occasions or just because can be made to order.
New intensive gardening workshops will be commencing in 2016 with workshops on propagation, pruning and vegetable growing.
What a summer for sweet peas it’s been – who’d have thought that the late start due to the cold spring would lead to a summer packed with sweet pea blooms, the scent filling the garden. There’s something so irresistable about sweet peas – colours, scent and sheer flower power. This particular beauty is ‘Matucana’ […]
Autumn has definitely arrived and with it comes the gorgeous autumnal shades of reds, oranges and amber. One of my favourite sights is that of a house or smallbuilding covered in the vibrant tones of the climbing plant Parthenocissus. Parthenocissus henryana (Chinese Virginia Creeper) with it five fingered leaf which is dark green in spring […]
While Sarah is off galavanting at the Ballymaloe Garden Festival I have the responsibility of selecting our Plant of the Week. With cooler nights it clearly is a sign that autumn is on the way and for that reason there is no better choice than the the Sedum which has the aptly named ‘Autumn Joy. […]
The outstanding award of ‘Plant of the week’ goes to the very elegant Cryptomeria japonica ‘Elegans’ (Japanese Plume Cedar) Once winter kicks in there will be many gaps left in the garden once the deciduous trees have finally shed their leaves. I always believe, it is essential then to include elegant evergreen specimens in your […]
Since being handed Sarah’s old digital camera I have a new found hobby of flower photography. I love the creativity that getting up close and personal with the flowers allows and have even bought a macro lens so I can really see the intricate beauty of nature. To see more of the images check out […]
Last night saw the long awaited finalists list for the Blog Awards Ireland 2013 released. We are delighted to have made it as a finalist in the Great Outdoors category which is sponsored by Agriland. I wanted an image which summed up the great outdoors rather than just the finalists logo, and for me at […]
Not this autumn/winter anyway. Where our winter hours previously would have meant closing at 5pm from November to February we have decided to alter them quite significantly this year. Instead we shall be closing at 5pm from October to February and will be open from Thursday to Sunday. This has been a decision we made […]
This may appear to be an unusual choice for the plant of the week as Berberis is often associated as being hardy, thorny and is often overlooked. However at this time of year there are some varieties of the humble berberis that bring the garden to life with their autumn colours. Berberis thunbergii Starburst A […]
While watering in the tunnel this evening, this little beauty caught my eye and Dahlia’s provide a regular treat throughout the whole summer. Grown from a bulb it has provided flowers all through the summer months and still has more to come.
Nominated in 3 categories and surprisingly shortlisted in all 3 categories. Well the plan of Secret Garden celebration Vino is still a possibility, although the wasps have decimated the grapes here, so I may have to buy a bottle and make a Secret Garden label. In the meantime I took a picture of three rather […]
Thursdays Treat is going to be best enjoyed this Sunday (15th September 2-5pm) where we are delighted to offer you the chance to enjoy tasting and testing the gorgeous new range of innovative seasonal Artisan Foods and Preserves from multiple award winning ‘Wild About’ who are based in Co Wexford. Wild About was born out […]
Given the weekend it is, the Potentilla is a good old reliable choice for this week. Flowers comes in red and white (Cork colours) and even gold/orange (half of Clare colours) blue has yet to be developed but in time I am sure they will be. This reliable hardy shrub is a mainstay in most […]
Courtesy of lots of these small fellas, at long last a great Irish summer, the abundant flora and the care of Alan there will be a glut of honey this year as the two onsite hives were filled to the brim. Earlier this week Alan and his partner prepared the hives to remove the ‘supers’ […]
This year saw the introduction of a number of different hops planted around the garden centre to allow us to propagate them and offer a wider range and better value for customers in the future. With the good weather this summer the hop flowers have done particularly well. So with some home brew knowledge there […]
I pondered this week about what would make our plant of the week and nearly succumbed to the gorgeous blue flowers and red autumn foliage of Ceratostigma willmottianum Forest Blue but on looking around all this week all I seem to have noticed was the thriving buddleia bush. Given that the common name of this […]
Helenium ‘Ruby Tuesday’ doesn’t offer just a visual treat with its beautiful ruby-red daisy flowers with dark brown eyes it also offers a nectar treat encouraging butterflies and other wildlife into the garden. Perfect for pots with its bushy and compact size this is most certainly a treat for any garden.
Photo credit: Knot If you answered Amsterdam please press play below. Indeed it is the obvious answer and any QI fans will understand the Klaxon, however the correct answer is from ‘West Cork’. We have just received a delivery of Tulips, Daffodils and Alliums from West Cork Daffodils We are delighted to have been approached […]
Sometimes bigger is not better!!!!! This is often the case when showing the rather lovely Physocarpus ‘Diablo’ et al, as they can grow up to 1.5 – 2.5m in height and spread. I certainly do not object to it in my own garden however there are some people who perceive this as gigantic. So the […]
No need to buy imported shop flowers when at this time of the year you can make your own floral arrangements from the spoils of your cut flower garden. Not only saving you a few euros it also saves on the air miles. This is an arrangement that Sarah made using Dahlia, Lavender, Eucalyptus, Verbena […]
Ireland is definitely a land of bloggers with over 3500 blogs nominated in this years Blog Awards 2013. Tonight there may well be dancing and celebrating amongst nominated bloggers, for now I shall say a humble thank you on receiving nominations in the following categories. The Best Blog of a SME business sponsored by Sage […]
Our plant of the week is one of the easiest to grow as it is relatively low maintenance and hardy of the cold and is one of the most popular shrub for gardeners. It is no wonder as you get both very attractive foliage display as well as nice, full vibrant flower heads that last […]
I overheard a child asking his mother “Why do they grow weeds mummy?” while having their tea and cake yesterday, and was rather surprised as well as delighted to hear her explanation. The mum explained although it might look like a weed it actually is a very beautiful plant that feeds the wildlife. The plant […]
Fancy a ‘Cherry Cola’ and ‘Southern Comfort’ then our plant of the week is just for you. The wonderful and very versatile Heuchera which makes the most stunning container plants which can even bring vibrancy on a dull winters day either in the ground or used in a hanging basket. The stunning foliage comes in […]
SATURDAY 31 AUGUST AND SUNDAY 1 SEPTEMBER More than Thirty Events For Seasoned Experts, Late Bloomers, Families and Foodies East Cork will be a bloom as the first-ever Ballymaloe Garden Festival unfurls on Saturday 31 August and Sunday 1 September. A packed programme of workshops, talks and garden walks is planned with most events taking […]