Gardening with Nature on the Edge of the Atlantic

The Deluge

The remnants of a hydrangea flower still providing interest in what should be Spring. Maybe we will just jump to Summer.

Two hooded crows on one of the only sunny days this year. Actually, I mean sunny morning, as it was pouring with rain by mid-afternoon. Like all the other birds they are usually waiting for me when I go out to fill the feeders and I feel rather guilty now that I am gradually phasing out the food.

Most of the small plants have been ignoring the weather thank goodness. These daffodils are growing in deep shade and are looking very perky. The common euphorbia has taken over much of the surrounding area and sadly has wiped out the Euphorbia martini growing nearby. The former are so attractive with their deep red eye that I will try to plant them in another area where they won’t be overpowered.

These daffodils are flowering later than usual this year, but are well worth the wait.

The Drimys aromatica is now in full flower and is doing well in a shady, sheltered spot under some old willow trees that are well past their sell by date but hang on each Winter for another season.

Magnolias made a lasting impression on me in my childhood, as our neighbours had some old and very beautiful specimens. I have killed more than I care to count by trying to grow them in this garden. There are two exceptions, Magnolia stellata being one. I planted this in the one sheltered corner that was available when I moved here and it has flowered profusely ever since.

Magnolia stellata in full flower.

The Magnolia grandiflora is my second success, with buds that look like bronze satin and are as attractive as the flowers. I must admit I usually expect it to be dead when I check each Spring, but so far so good.

The Cornus controversa or ‘Wedding Cake Tree’ replaced a number of badly pruned sycamore trees which had to be removed after Storm Darwin and has survived here to my surprise.

This is a young Camellia japonica ‘Principessa baciocchi’. It is one of the last to flower in the garden and makes a nice counterpoint to the primroses in the background. These are self-seeding throughout the upper garden and unlike the Euphorbia I have no wish to restrict them.

I rarely have time to plant bulbs but have embraced ‘instant’ gardening with enthusiasm. The ‘Gladiolus Nursery’ provides various selections of Spring flowers at the markets in Bantry and Skibbereen. They last for weeks as well as giving you a selection of bulbs for the garden for next year.

How to brighten up a dull day.

The number of birds in the garden has reduced and some days you can hear the goldfinches which have been drowned out by the noisy sparrows (a feat in itself). It will take a while for me to get a rough estimate of how many birds remain in the garden all year but I have at least a dozen goldfinches. I am impressed by birdwatchers who can spend hours observing these lovely creatures regardless of the weather. Sadi I am literally a ‘fair weather’ observer. Roll on warm, sunny days.

2 responses to “The Deluge”

  1. I’m a frustrated gardener living in South Kerry. Trying to garden in a bog. Interesting selection of Plants . Thank you for sharing.

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