Strokestown Park House & Famine Museum, Roscommon, Ireland

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Items filtered by date: December 2015

Lots Going on in the Veg Garden

Friday, 27 April 2012 13:05 Published in Garden Blog

Lots going on in the Veg Garden



Thank goodness the potatoes are in, we have planted lots of home Guard and Arran Victory in the walled garden. We also have some Lumper potatoes in too, very important for the Famine Museum.

All of the seedlings are well germinated in the glasshouse if only the weather would warm up a bit it’s fairly cold at the moment so no planting out yet. Great to see our trees in and being well watered. A lady came into the cafe here yesterday and said that she saw two red squirrels in the woodlands always great to hear this.

Growth has slowed down quite a bit recently no need for lawn mowing really. Had a look and I see that the American Skunk Cabbage (Lysichiton americanus) is settled in well in the woodlands no flower this year, lets just hope its spreading it roots in its new home for many years to come. The Shuttlecock Ferns (Matteuccia struthiopteris) are looking their best at the moment to those upright light green fronds just cannot be outdone.

Colour in the Walled Garden

Friday, 20 April 2012 12:16 Published in Garden Blog

Colour beginning in the Walled Garden


Even though it is a little cold at the moment some plants in the herbaceous border have begun to flower. Euphorbia grifithii Great Dixter is in full bloom giving big splashes of orange wonderful for this time of year. The almost tropical Tree Peony are in full bloom also, these are exotic plants native to China, where they have been cultivated for thousands of years. The are very hardy and suitable for our climate. When I think that our tree peonys have survived through some extremely cold periods in the last few years I am very impressed. Hope you like the photo. The tree planting is just about complete in the woodlands, we have to put tubes on now to stop the bunnies from feasting. Our potato planting is a little behind this year but it should not matter too much ( I hope). Drills are ready and the first crop going in is Home guard.

Toothworth in Woodlands

Friday, 13 April 2012 12:39 Published in Garden Blog




I am delighted to say that the Toothworth is in flower in the woodlands Toothworth, (Lathraea squamaria), is a parasitic plant that grows on the roots of Hazel, alder and occasionally on beech. It grows in shady conditions and has no chlorophyll. It is one of those great oddities of the woodland floor and really is a plant you should see. It can usually be seen for a couple of weeks in flower then it disappears underground again.

We had a great time in the Walled Gardens for Easter Sunday thanks to all who came along. Still getting frost, so no tender seedlings going out yet. Ground is ready for planting now. Our Tree planting continues and these heavy showers are really no harm for this, the ground was surprisingly dry (but please do think that I am hoping for rain). Staking of the Herbaceous border is next. If you are visiting the woodlands please keep an eye out for toothwort and have a go at the woodland walk trail just ask at the reception in the shop for details.

Frost Again

Friday, 06 April 2012 12:08 Published in Garden Blog


Frost Again

Well the weather has changed quite a bit since last week and week before. About a fortnight ago we were hitting 20 degrees during the day then this week we were down to 5 to 8 degrees during the day and freezing at night. A little bit of frost damage can be seen in the herbaceous border in particular Macleaya cordata (plume Poppy) is looking sad. I am sure it will recover. Quite a lot of the fruit trees are in flower in particular the plums hopefully this frost won't knock all of the blossom off and prevent pollination. Other than that the weather has not been too bad, not much rain. Tree planting is well under way about 100 oak and beech in now 300 more to go. The woodlands are really greening up at the moment with a lot of trees breaking bud. In the Glasshouses we have really nice little peaches forming and the grape vines have started to come into leaf. The Fig has a great crop of fruit set on it also. Seedlings are up too. A lot of time was spent on the border dividing and trying to get the Asters back in place they really want to take over the whole border. All set for the Family Fun Day and Egg Hunt this Easter Sunday- Puppets, Music, Crafts, Bouncing , Egg Hunt and Chocolate what more could anyone want? Have lovely Easter.

Lots happening in Gardens

Friday, 30 March 2012 16:21 Published in Garden Blog


Work continues with our tree planting area ground work finished planting start next week. The Marquees are up for The Easter Sunday Family Fun Day and Easter Egg Hunt also. Getting in another mowing before the dreaded rain comes. All veg beds have been ploughed and potato drills are now ready for planting. It’s really great seeing small peaches forming in the peach house. Rabbits still enjoying the gardens and estate. The Cherry Blossom is magnificent in the walled Gardens the sunshine has helped.

I planted 3 plants of American Skunk Cabbage (Lysichiton americanus) in the woodlands, one of my favourite bog plants, let’s hope it s successful competing with celandines at the edge of a stream. The first bluebell has opened on the woodland walk also.

The Growing Season Has Started

Friday, 23 March 2012 18:23 Published in Garden Blog

The Growing Season Has Started


There is a great flush of growth here in the walled gardens and in the woodlands. A major cleanup has started on the herbaceous border, digging out those hooligan perennial weeds that always find their way into the border. This will be followed by staking. Some seeds are sown in the glasshouses and germination has begun. In the woods Celandines are in flower and some trees are breaking bud.

Also in the walled gardens preparations are taking place for the Family Fun day and Easter Egg Hunt which is taking place on Easter Sunday 8th April., marquees have to go up. Our ground preparations for tree planting are almost complete tree planting next week. Delighted to say that our red Squirrels are very active at the moment, tried to get a picture but they are way more difficult than rabbits.

Great Weather for Gardening

Friday, 16 March 2012 10:37 Published in Garden Blog

Great Weather for Gardening.


It has been a really great week weather wise here lots of tidying going on in the Walled Garden. The first lawn mowing began. I always feel that Spring is here when I get that wonderful scent of a freshly mown lawn at this time of year. We really only gave all a light trim to tidy up the straggly bits. Too early for serious mowing. I feel that we are going to have a serious problem with rabbits this year, yesterday as I walked through the garden at least eight rabbits ran ahead of me. What to do???? They can do an awful lot of damage but they are so damn cute. Ground preparation has begun for our tree planting – loosening up of soil in area and removing some rock. We are putting in 400 oak and beech this year. Have a Happy St Patricks Day (They say you should have you apple trees pruned by now, I ask who are they) and a very Happy Mothers Day.

Plants Make a Comeback in Walled Gardens

Friday, 09 March 2012 12:09 Published in Garden Blog


Lots happening in the Walled Garden this week, in the Peach House the peaches are in full blossom, we have a really great old variety of peach called Peregrine. It is a white fleshed peach and definitely one of the nicest peaches you could taste. To help with pollination it’s a good idea to open a few windows there may be a few early bees, but make sure to close windows again in the afternoon. It is best to aid pollination with a soft brush taking pollen from flower to flower this will give you a good crop in mid Summer. Hope the red-spider mite stays away. Christmas 2010 caused a lot of damage in the Garden we were minus 17 Celsius at one point our Tracycarpus fortunei (Chusan Palms) were killed well the good news is that two of them have begun to sprout back into life hooray welcome back. In the next few days tree planting is starting here we are planning on putting in 400 beech and Oak. Lets all hope for nice dry weather.

The Walled gardens

Monday, 05 March 2012 16:59 Published in Garden Blog


The Walled Gardens

Well it was a really nice weekend and it’s great to see the Herbaceous border spring into life. The first plants to put in an appearance, apart from Spring Bulbs, are the Aconitums ( Monkshood) and the Camassia it won’t be long now before we see their lovely blue flowers. The Spring clean up has started on the border. It is also a good time to get some of the vegetable beds ready as long as the ground is dry enough. Orders for vegetable and hardy annual seeds have gone in. Mowers are also being taken out for servicing. It’s all go in the Walled Gardens.

Gardens in Spring

Friday, 02 March 2012 10:23 Published in Garden Blog


Welcome to the Strokestown Park Gardeners Blog. Here you will get to keep up with what is going on in the Walled Gardens, The Woodlands and the Grounds of Strokestown Park. Spring is in the air with the Daffodils coming into bloom and of course our Hellebores are still well in flower. It has been a mild Winter so hopefully no plants lost this year. There is great activity on the Woodland Walk, bird feeders being well used and bluebells & celandines starting to appear above ground.

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