Ruby Harte (a.k.a Mags Riordan) has been a professional florist for over 12 years and has completed a course in horticulture and worked in garden centres, wholesale nurseries, and private gardens. 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. Above: On the left is a small lily bulb ready for planting. On the right is how it will look in five years if planted at the correct depth and spacing!
The rain has finally come but what a glorious dry stretch we have just had. We have made the most of it here with new plastic on tunnel one, which is almost fully restocked. Tunnel two has a secure cover, allowing us to replant, and we will just have to pray that tunnel three will survive until the Autumn, when it will be replaced with a nice big tunnel housing mainly roses. I’m giving up trying to grow them outside — we are just too damp and being at the foot of a mountain we get too much low cloud and mist. Tunnel four is doing well, so fingers crossed.
Lavatera and Godetia are getting the same treatment due to the strong possibility of another dismal summer. It broke my heart last year to see them reduced to a mouldy soggy mess.
Having just passed the spring equinox, it is ‘Red Train’ time from now until the summer solstice — hardly time to catch your breath, head down and work. I’ll be glad of the extra light in the evenings too.
We have a new helper, Pat, and what a difference this has made; Steve, bless him, he thinks he is ‘Super Man’ and can do everything himself but the workload is just too much for the two of us. I’m so grateful for the extra pair of hands and I think Steve is too. We left so many jobs slide last year, we just couldn’t keep on top of everything, so it’s amazing now to start getting on top of them, (we might even have time for our own garden).
The new layout and improvements we had hoped to implement are finally beginning to take shape and with that in mind we will probably have our annual open day sometime in July.
We had our main delivery of 12,000 bulbs, planted inside and out, both edible and ornamental. Roll on ‘summer’. We are trialing some new and interesting lilies and Dahlias so I’ll keep you posted on their progress.
My moon-planting regime went out the window but ‘needs must’ — I had to take advantage of this fine spell and get them in the ground. Seed sowing for the new moon was a rip roaring success; we managed two sowing’s because of quick germinations. Now we are in a full moon phase, the last of our over wintered dahlias will be planted out, but under cloches until late May — these will be flowering by mid June.
The large lilies in the photo are ones that we planted five years ago; the small clean bulb is an example of the original size when planted. We recommend a planting depth of 20cm down and 20cm apart with good drainage and plenty of organic matter added at planting time and that’s it. We didn’t do anything else except a bit of weeding. I knew from the flowers that the bulbs were increasing but even I was pleasantly surprised. If you are concerned about winter neck rot then we suggest planting the bulb on their side, they will still grow straight.
Sadly we have had a few visits from the fox and lost a couple of hens but at least the feathers will provide five star nesting materials.
We have a few exciting new developments in our new edible range but I’ll save that until next month.
Keep up to date with all our other news on our blog at Ruby Harte.com
If you are starting your planting for summer we wish you all the best and just enjoy.