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Gardeners Blog



The Inaugural Strokestown Park Plant fair takes place on Sunday

22nd May 10.30am to 4.30pm.


Hi folks, 


John O'Driscoll here, general manger of Strokestown Park.


I'm delighted that we are holding our very first plant fair on Sunday 22nd May 2016. Being a bit of a plant addict I cannot wait, as always there are a few gaps that need filling in my shade garden and even if there wasn’t I would fit more plants in. So far 12 suppliers are attending so it’s the perfect opportunity to find that special plant. I see that Rare Plants Ireland are going to be there as are Caherhurley Nursery, Knockvicar Organic Garden and more.  There will be information about the work The Irish Seed Savers are doing and The National Biodiversity Centre, it’s always great to hear what we can do in our gardens to benefit our environment. Its only €5 entry fee for adults, which includes entry into the 6 acre Walled Gardens. The Herbaceous border will be well into growth by then and visitor can have a look at the Rose Garden which is being totally replanted with Rugosa Roses dating from 1890 to the 1930’s. Hopefully the weather warms up and the salads and veg will be up, these are all from seeds supplied by the wonderful Irish Seed Savers.  All funds raised will go to The Irish Heritage Trust to help them protect Strokestown Park for all to enjoy into the future. Hope to see you there.


Friday, 17 May 2013 13:05

Slow Start To Growth

Published in Blog Written by Strokestown Park

What a strange year so far, warm, wet, cold, warm now again thank goodness. Growth seemed to start and then it was stopped in its tracks by a very cold spell. Really lucky here that there was not more frost damage done to some plants. Everything is behind in the garden by about 3 weeks, but I am sure all will catch up.


The herbaceous border has sprung into life colour starting to appear. Really beautiful Welsh Poppies (Meconopsis cambrica) in flower at the moment. The Vegetable garden is at last starting to warm up lots ready in cold-frames and glasshouses for planting out. Let’s hope the rabbits behave themselves. I feel that the rabbit population has decreased a bit this year maybe I am counting my chickens (or rabbits) too soon it’s early yet.


The pieces of sculpture are being placed, along the Woodland Walk, now for the Strokestown Park Schools sculpture competition, all will be in place for the June Bank Holiday Weekend. The Squirrels have really started to get used to us and are making great use of the feeders, thanks to Jim and Grace for this great photo.

Friday, 15 March 2013 12:21

A Cold Spell

Published in Blog Written by Strokestown Park

Well that has been a cold spell as low as minus 5 Celsius at night; the wind chill some days was so bad. Warming up a bit now again, thank goodness.

Some plants are showing the signs of the cold weather a few tips burned but nothing too serious I think.

Lots happening in the glasshouses at the moment Peaches in flower, will need help with pollination soon. Seedlings emerging also. Even though it has been cold it has been dry and sunny too so the glasshouses built up some heat during the day.

Out in the vegetable garden some growth too. Rhubarb is looking good and mysteriously rows of parsnips have emerged, we thought the slugs had eaten these last year (imagine false accusations against slugs).

Herbaceous border staying quiet at the moment very small bit of growth. Birds and squirrel are really feeding continuously from feeders these days hard to keep them filled.

Happy Saint Patricks Day.

Monday, 04 March 2013 12:39

Scent in the Garden

Published in Blog Written by Strokestown Park

Lots of Spring bulbs are beginning to show their colour now in the Walled garden I would say in a few weeks time they should be in full bloom. The Hellebores are still in full flower also.

However I feel that any plant that provides scent at this time of year is worth its weight in gold. One such plant in full flower at the moment is Daphne mezereum a truly wonderful shrub, beautiful lilac flowers along the stems and the sweetest most delicate scent.

Work is ongoing in all areas of the Walled Garden; rotavating is starting in the vegetable garden, ground lovely and dry at the moment and still a bit of frost at night to help break up any clumps.

The Glasshouses have received a disinfecting and sowing has begun. We have begun a programme of sowing concentrating on perennials should help fill out any bare patches in the Herbaceous Border.

Out in the woods birds and Red squirrels are emptying the feeders continuously great to see this. Getting ready for The Strokestown Park Easter Egg Hunt and Family Fun Day in the Walled Gardens on Easter Sunday should be a great day like last year.

Friday, 18 January 2013 12:06

Spring is on its way????

Published in Blog Written by Strokestown Park

Happy new year to all. Well it has been a fairly mild Winter so far no really serious frost. Although saying that it has now started to snow I hope I am not speaking too soon. Lots of work going on in the walled garden, fruit bushes have been pruned, now pruning all wall trained apple trees. Good time of year to give glass-houses a thorough clean getting into all the corners to get rid of overwintering pests.

Really great to see Spring bulbs peeping above the ground and hooray the Hellebores have begun to flower I am always in awe of these flowers, remember you really have to get down and look into these flowers to appreciate them. The woodlands are doing fine we are keeping the bird and squirrel feeders well stocked, the red squirrels have continued to visit feeding boxes throughout the Winter.

The Strokestown Park Schools Sculpture Competition is on again this year first of the schools have visited. This year the competition is open to secondary schools in Roscommon, Leitrim, Longford and Mayo – The theme is The Gathering.

Let’s hope for a great Gardening year.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012 12:32

Best Autumn Colour

Published in Blog Written by Strokestown Park

Autumn at last, the garden and woodlands can have a rest but not the gardeners. Work has begun on the herbaceous border, Alchemilla mollis (ladys mantle) is being cut back and generally tidied up. Lots of decisions to be made re dividing etc and where new plants are needed. Did a lot of work recently on drainage just making sure that the exits of culverts are fee of leaves and branched.

In the vegetable garden digging has started and general clearing of beds. Plan on making use of cardboard for mulching next year. Time to plant garlic and to sow sweet pea. In the woodlands leaves are coming down fast but have to say that in general this has been the best Autumn colour in a very long time. Congrats to CBS Roscommon their piece of Sculpture entitled Blind Faith won the Roscommon Schools Sculpture Competition.

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Tel : 00 353 71 9633013
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