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Wednesday, 08 November 2017 09:26

Winter in the Garden

Published in Garden Blog Written by Strokestown Park

So far the weather has been rather mild, which creates a wonderful working condition for this time of year.

As the flowers are coming very close to the end of their time, the garden changes in colour, you'd be forgiven for thinking that colour is absent. The large Beech hedges have turned lovely shades of red and orange. Luckily the Beech hedges are reluctant to depart with their leaves just yet.


The work now lends itself to preparation for the year to come. With ground being cleared of weeds, and turned over to allow the soil to 'breath', once this has been done Mypex sheets are crucial in ensuring that no weeds grow on the soil.

While the weather has been mild temperature wise, it has lived up to its Irish stereotype when it comes to rainfall. We were fortunate to find a respite from the wet to give the extensive grass areas their final cut of the year.

While working we were treated to seeing this late bloom brought on by the mild weather.


-Ross Chippendale, gardener

Monday, 13 February 2017 11:00

Spring Heralds

Published in Garden Blog Written by Strokestown Park


We have just had one of the mildest winters in a long time and you can see that plants are happy. Some plants are springing into life already in the garden. Our wonderful Snowdrops (Galanthus nivalis sp.) are now in full bloom, this has happened so quickly. One day I am saying to friends that they are only peeping up out of the ground and then a few days later I am braking suddenly on the avenue to get out and admire these old friends, they never let us down. Planted at least 100 years ago under one of the old lime avenue trees and under that magnificent old oak tree, on the meadow in front of the house. If you get a chance to go for a stroll be sure to keep an eye out for them, they are very easy to miss.

Then in the Walled Garden a little showier but still incredibly beautiful - the Hellabores (Hellaborus niger sp.) are coming into flower, sometimes called The Christmas Rose, these were planted in the fernery and in a few other discreet shady spots back in the late 1990’s and thank goodness they are still thriving. They make a really lovely display at this time of year.

John O'Driscoll - Strokestown Park Manager



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 Garden 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 Garden 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 Garden 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 Garden 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 Garden 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.

Tuesday, 18 September 2012 09:11


Published in Garden Blog Written by Strokestown Park

Really lovely Autumn weather these days. Sunny days and cool evenings, hoping for some really good Autumn colour. Garden is starting to go into its wind down mode. In the Herbaceous Border Asters are starting to give some colour and the Crinum lilies (Crinum powellii) are looking really well. The crinum lilies in the border are original to the garden we have some really big clumps of them that never let us down.

The veg garden is great at the moment lots of Apples coming into the Woodland Walk Cafe and spinach, chard, cabbage, beetroot and tomatoes. Ground prep will start now for next year. Want to try some green manures on some of the beds, will keep you posted. Will spend a good bit of time this Winter sealing the garden to try and get some control on the rabbit numbers.

Good time to give glass-houses a clean for heading into Winter.

On Sunday we had 16 volunteers from Investec Specialist Bank working in the woodlands. They put protective tubes on 400 trees and removed tubes that needed removing from about 300 trees. Thank you very much your help is really appreciated. Don’t forget you can still vote for the Roscommon Schools Sculpture competition.

It is the perfect time of year to get out and enjoy our woodlands.

Monday, 03 September 2012 12:52

Visitors to the Walled Garden

Published in Garden Blog Written by Strokestown Park




Visitors to the Walled Garden

We are in Autumn wow, how the Summer has passed so quickly. Many will ask what Summer??? It has been one of the most difficult gardening years in a long time, but like all gardeners we soldier on. Some success in the vegetable garden we had a great crop of potatoes and lots of spinach and chard. The apple crop seems very good too. Our newly planted trees did not dry out at any stage (ha).

Of course pests were a major problem, mainly slugs and our good old friend the Rabbit. All we can do really is get on with it. There will always be gardening challenges.

Bob Reilly the renowned horticulturalist from Athenry visited last Thursday with a group of horticulturalists from Galway, we had a really great time in the walled Garden and woodlands. Bob was delighted to get a chance to visit the Cotinus obovatus (American Smoke bush) that he so kindly donated to Strokestown Park Walled Gardens a few years ago, great to see it has grown so well. See pic.

Planting Spring bulbs in container these days also, have leeks planted out for Winter too. This coming weekend Strokestown Agricultural Show is on the grounds Saturday and Sunday 8th & 9th September  should be a great weekend.

Monday, 06 August 2012 11:10

A Sea of Blue

Published in Garden Blog Written by Strokestown Park


A Sea of Blue

Gardening continues at a fast pace these days. Grass growth and weed growth is amazing. The Herbaceous Border has at last really come into its own some great colour from Evening Primrose, Phlox, Inula etc. Great news wonderful potato crop this year we have Home Guard and Aran Victory from the walled garden being served in the woodland Walk Cafe these days truly delicious.

The Agapanthus is in full flower in-front of the main glasshouse a sea of blue, hope you like the photo. The woods are doing great lots of votes coming in for The Roscommon Schools Sculpture Competition. Hope you get a chance to visit soon.

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