Green Fingers: Frosty grip of spring not ready to let go

James Vaughan


James Vaughan

Green Fingers: Frosty grip of spring not ready to let go

James’ lovely oak tree has suffered from the recent frosty nights

OUR garden at the moment continues to surprise - though not always pleasant surprises. As mentioned last week, frost is still about and is possible until the end of the month.

We have had young shoots of trees and shrubs ‘burned’ by frosts over last weekend. A really lovely Oak tree (Quercus robur) sustained some damage. The young shoots are tender and are susceptible to either frost or strong wind. Curiously, the same thing happened to several wild growing ash trees. Other shrubs that were frost damaged were Camellias. These were newly planted so seeing damage was not a surprise as they have not became acclimatised to the site yet. All the trees and shrubs should have no lasting damage and should make a full recovery. I suspect that, as some hedges have not become mature in our garden yet, we are still exposed and thus more likely to receive frost damage. Gardens situated in housing estates are less likely to suffer frost damage.

Some progress I have seen is with our apple trees. As mentioned previously, we had flowers and were hopeful of flowers being pollinated by bees. They must have arrived because I can see the beginning of apples forming.

The seeds I sowed several weeks ago are now ready to be pricked-out. This simply means that they are ready to be potted on. The only time to prick-out seedlings is when four leaves are visible on the seedling. These four leaves consist of a pair of ‘seed leaves’ and a pair of ‘true leaves’. The ‘seed leaves’ are the first to emerge. Their job is to bring in the first bit of energy from the sun. These first pair of leaves may not look anything like the adult plant. The next pair of leaves to emerge are the ‘true leaves’. They emerge at right angles to the seed leaves. These leaves look more like the adult plant. All future leaves will look like the ‘true leaves’.

Visiting Gardens

It is always a good idea to visit other people’s gardens, especially during the summer months. It is a great way to get inspiration and ideas for our own gardens. One event that I am very much looking forward to is the Rare and Special Plant Fair being held in Glin Castle on Sunday, May 12. The event runs from 10am until 5pm. This promises to be a special treat with over 40 stalls of rare and unusual plants. In addition, there are tours of the castle and grounds. I have been to several of these plant fairs around the country and they have always proved to be rewarding

Limerick Flower and Garden Club

Limerick Flower and Garden Club is holding its next meeting on Tuesday May 14 at 7.55pm.

The venue is the Greenhills Hotel, Ennis Road, Limerick. There will be a Floral Art Demonstration by Lorraine O’Brien. There will also be a table of plants for sale. Members go free and for non-members the fee is €10.

All arrangements made on the night will be raffled off. New members are always welcome.

Contact James