June in retrospect.

June was a month that seems to have passed very quickly this year. Maybe that is because we have been busy preparing for our open garden day on July 15th. There is still quite a lot to do in the garden, and we are baking every day and kind friends are letting us use their freezers for all the muffins, Swedish cinnamon buns and scones. We have had masses of ripe raspberries over the last couple of weeks and most of them have been used for vanilla and raspberry muffins for our guests on the open day.

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October summed up.

October saw a lot of sunshine and quite warm weather here in the West of Ireland. We have been busy finishing up work on our conservatory and have started to transform the space in front of it into a garden full of stones and colourful plants. We are blessed to have so many stones turning up in the soil whenever we dig a hole to plant a tree or shrub and our plan is to really show of their beauty in this space. There will be some paths snaking through the space, manly created from big flag stones with some gravel. Bigger stones and rocks will form built up areas in between the paths creating planting spaces for our many Japanese Acers and other plants that have lived in pots for the last few years.

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Mulch.

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There is one thing that above all else has helped us in the creation of our garden over the past few years. Mulch. It is the single most effective way to eliminate competition from grass and other unwanted plants when young trees and shrubs are developing. It also helps to keep the soil moist in dry spells and many types of mulch feed the soil as they break down.  Our aim is to create a forest garden, a place with many useful trees, shrubs, groundcovers and vines growing together, mimicking natural woodland. As the years progress the need for mulching will be less and less. The natural leaf litter and the shade cast by the growing plants will eliminate the need for most types of mulch. But for now it is essential.

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A soft spot for moss.

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Moss is not very popular. In many parts of the world moss is something people are trying to eradicate from their gardens and green spaces. There are countless chemical products designed to get rid of moss. We have a difficult time understanding this. Moss can bring so much to your green space. It grows very well in shady and damp places where other plants might struggle. It does not need cutting back; it suppresses other plants considered weeds. It comes in many different shades and shapes.

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