I have high hopes that weather warnings are on hold ‘til winter and there will be enough sunshine to ripen and sweeten the garden’s bounty.
This time of year the main job in the garden is staying ahead of the weeds that are growing with the same vigor as the crops. Amongst the produce in season are courgettes, peas and mangetout beans, blackcurrants, raspberries and peaches. Yes! Peaches – growing in the warmest, most protected (and admired!) corner of the garden.
Peaches growing on the south-facing wall in the walled garden
It’s also been a busy time for taking softwood cuttings which fill the otherwise empty propagator. Winter lettuce and early spring flowers including Bellis Perennis, Wallflowers and Forget-Me-Not’s are sown and soon spring cabbages will be added to the list.
Ipomoea Lazy Luxe a beautiful shade of pink
The team is also busy getting the garden in shape for The Ballymaloe Garden Fete, the festival on the 22nd and 23rd August. There’s a fantastic lineup for the festival. I’m looking forward to welcoming back Alys Fowler who’s speaking on soil health and Madeline McKeever who’ll teach us how to save seed. Also on the programme is Fiann O’Nuallain to educate us on beauty treatments from the garden.
Linda, our DCU Ag Student, putting up the bean fence
Caroline Holmes will speak on both days of the festival and on Sunday will speak about herbs for the gourmet gardener. Also, on Sunday, Ireland’s leading plants-woman June Blake is sure to attract a large crowd after her recent coverage in Garden’s Illustrated. Geoff Stebbings and Susan Turner will cover the area of fruit from pruning fans and espaliers to growing fruit in a small garden.
So much to see and do! See you at the Garden Festival!
Growing a pear in a bottle! Gardener's having "the craic"!