... A perennial question at this time of year as people wonder what a gardener can possibly get up to while the weather is still wet and unpredictable. In fact, Spring is the busiest time of the year in the garden.
Coming back after the January break, there are bits and pieces to repair after the winter weather did its best to disturb – torn nets, ripped mypex, fallen pots. And then straight into seed sowing! Decisions made now will fill the garden from early summer until well into the winter. This week alone I’ve sown cabbages, parsley, marjoram, oriental mustard greens and wild rocket. But most exciting of all – tomatoes! At Ballymaloe, the chefs enjoy the heritage varieties that may not be the most productive plants but win hands-down for flavour, shape and colour. ‘Burpee’s Delicious’, ‘Ruby Falls’ ‘Persimmon’….even the names are exciting!
Despite the wet weather, the mild temperatures and lengthening days mean that the sap is starting to flow in the apple trees in the orchard. This means the clock is ticking on getting through the 300 or more trees in the two acres. It’s a favourite job that can be undertaken in rain or shine.
Have you much more time? I have a list of jobs that I could tell you about but…back to the weeding!
Mags Coughlan - Head Gardener at Ballymaloe House
At Ballymaloe House our menus are written based on availability from our farm and walled garden onsite or from the glasshouses at the nearby Ballymaloe Cookery School and / or local suppliers.