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Spring swings in the air

Dear Gardener friends,

Spring is almost here. It is wonderful to see all the new green shoots and growth. The bulbs we planted last autumn bring a splash of early colour to the garden. The large quantity of rhubarb that we propagated from seed, planted last summer and covered for the winter is looking very well. The chefs can’t wait to get their hands on it! Our tree planting projects of the winter months are now completed. We planted a huge variety of flowering and fruiting hedges, fruiting trees and shrubs, all with an end product for the kitchen in mind. We also have been sent, from a wine growing friend in France, some vine cuttings of Cabernet Franc which should be suitable to our climate in the West of Ireland. Early days yet, but Chateau Mount Falcon sounds nice, doesn’t it?

We have also been busy with our landscaping projects; Paul O’Driscoll, our local willow artist, completed some wonderful structures within the Kitchen Garden, which are already budding and taking on their green mantle. We are looking forward to seeing them going from something that looks fairly sculptural to a living green structure. The new field, which dramatically increases our growing area, has been ploughed revealing some great soil. We dug a test hole to discover we have approximately 20cm of topsoil followed by 60cm of subsoil on top of sand, so drainage will be very good. It will be rotovated and put into drills at the end of the month. We are now busy sowing seeds in our already packed propagation area. The heated table is very busy!

We have also begun preparation of our beds in the Kitchen Garden for some early direct sowings. Our Pink Garlic and Onions have survived the winter well and our Broad Beans are growing nicely. We are still getting a very good harvest from our Purple Sprouting Broccoli, Kales and Burdock. We also harvest plenty of healthy leaves and herbs for our salad mix from our tunnels. We are looking forward to a very busy month ahead. Our gardening  classes, which are becoming very popular, continue this month with Outdoor Growing for Spring on April 24th, costing €15 per person including tea, coffee and biscuits and a tour of our Garden. Also this month, we have a Foraging Day with Will from Walk on the Wild Side in Westport, on April 11th, costing €40 per person, including a walk around the estate and a light lunch. Pre booking is recommended as places are limited.

The bees survived the winter too and have started flying around and bringing pollen as well as nectar when the sun is out! If you are interested in either Paul’s work or any of the classes, please contact Alex at Finally, a new addition to the Garden, is our Scarecrow, hopefully he won’t have much to do!

 To you fork and Enjoy!

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