Irish Garden Truths


Irish Garden Truths

May 2014

May is a fabulous month. We feel spring is definitely here and summer must surely be on the way.

Our deciduous trees are nearly all in leaf;

We have the Oak, so not “a soak.”

We are still waiting for the Ash, so we all hope it will be just “a splash.”

It is nearly always this time of year we are filled with such optimism and great expectations of the possibilities which lie ahead of us for our new gardening year. Sure, we have all been busy until now, with our Winter pruning, spring mulching, seed sowing, transplanting, spring cleaning, tidying, dividing, potting on and on and on, yes that never ending list of jobs we gardeners do. It is now, in May, we finally see some results for our efforts.

It is no longer just the odd wild blossom, such as our native Prunus spinosa, that catch our eye and make us smile, but also all those blossoms and blooms we, as gardeners, feel we have contributed to. All those lovely tulips, which brought us colour, now that we expect more than the monotone winter bulbs we were grateful for earlier. The Camissia, the Aquilegia, the Laburnum, the Viburnums, the first Azaleas and now, at last, even in the West of Ireland, were we can be a bit slow of the mark, we are expecting, any day, our Rhododendrons and the mighty Wisteria.

Yes it is a truly stupendous time of year. I think especially so for us in Ireland as we have to wait so long for it to truly FEEL like spring, maybe due to the reluctant nature of the weather to join in more spring like behaviour.

But now we have arrived, we have been in our short sleeves, our light jackets and I even rolled up my trouser legs one day. Our grass has started growing like crazy, unless you have done the wise thing like Helen Dillon and husband Val, that is, get rid of the lawn. The weeds are also progressing well and accelerating faster than you can say “hoe down.” 

And of course our other friend in the West of Ireland has arrived, the Midge, as I am sure my fellow gardeners in Connemara, at Kylemore Abbey, are well aware.

So how do we feel when our optimism and feelings of great things to come are dashed by a week of cold and miserable weather? Howling winds and freezing showers which follow a series of unexpectedly cold mornings?

Well, we say it won’t last and it least it keeps the midgies down.

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