Allow some mess for winter wildlife

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Posted on: 6th December, 2016

Category: Home, Garden & Environment

Contributor: Ruby Harte

Ruby Harte (a.k.a Mags Riordan) has been a professional florist for over 12 years. Ruby runs a family owned nursery, Bumble Bee Farm in Castledonovan, Drimoleague and is deeply concerned about the protection and cultivation of nature and its habitats.

‘It’s the most wonderful time of the year’. I must confess we love Christmas here at Bumblebee farm. We don’t really do glitter here. For us it’s all about the natural beauty of Mother Nature’s bounty, lovingly put together by our team. Because it’s a busy season for us, we are into the swing of it earlier than most and by now are decorated and fully festive. The smell of pine cones, seasonal foliage, orange and cinnamon have been getting us in the Christmas spirit for weeks. Almost all the prep is done, crates of wired cones, bunched twigs and cinnamon, dehydrated orange and apple slices and divine hydrangeas all ready to be assembled.

Hypericum cream at the ready – it’s the only thing that keeps my hands working, holly looks amazing but boy does it hurt!

Continuing our expansion mission, this sees two more tunnels up and almost ready to go, we won’t know ourselves with a tunnel dedicated to roses, imagine the scent that will greet us every morning.

We took advantage of the machine we had to clear the ground ready for the new tunnels and filled in drains, which has given us another half an acre of space this will be one of my more enjoyable winter tasks, planning it’s planting.

Strimming over the snowdrops and early spring bulbs still has to be done, but a must to really be able to enjoy these winter beauties. I do love seeing the bare bones of the garden in winter it shows the bits of wisteria I missed with summer pruning but the nicer bits are the contorted willows and hazel that really come into their own at this time of year. The paper whites are glorious, the explosion of scent really packs a punch it’s such a pity they won’t grow outside but you can’t have everything.

This will be the last outside work for this year unless we have a storm disaster. I must compartmentalise the workload for now and concentrate on indoor festive work.

It is a great time to take stock and plan all the changes and improvements you want to implement. It’s so much easier when things are dormant. I’m a disaster when it comes to removing something that doesn’t earn its keep if it’s in flower. It is so much easier to be ruthless now.

Please do let some ‘mess’, as it can be a lifeline to small mammals and invertebrates, seed heads and gone over flowers can look very striking in winter sunshine, cobwebs are like living sculptures in early mornings with frost still on them, there is still so much beauty in the garden at this time of the year, you just need to look at it a little differently, you’ll be surprised with what you may find.

We have almost finished our re-branding and delighted with the results. Our new website is www.bumblebeeflowerfarm.ie please pop over and have a look, it’s only the first stage with lots more still to come. For now, we would like to wish you all a wonderful Christmas and a very Happy New Year.

Find us on facebook – bumblebee flower farm Ireland. Mobile 086 0823318.

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