Green Fingers: Tricks and treats for your garden

James Vaughan

Reporter:

James Vaughan

Green Fingers: Tricks and treats for your garden

A cobnut is a cultivated variety of hazelnut, just as a Cox is a cultivated variety of apple

THERE are several plants in the garden that can be used to achieve the Halloween effect. These range from the components of a witch’s broom to harvesting hazel nuts.

Contorted Hazel/Willow.

You may see a shrub that looks like it is actually affected by some sort of disease. The stems and leaves may look twisted and distorted.

The shrub or small tree is most likely going to be a contorted hazel or contorted willow. It is contorted as a result of a virus. This virus is not detrimental to the plant. It is just a response that the plant has to the virus.

Another example of a wished-for virus is in the two-tone Tulip flowers.

This virus in tulip flowers is desired and very much welcomed. It is usually most visible in tulips with yellow and red flowers. I have planted several contorted willow but the search goes on for a contorted hazel for my own garden. If you are aware of anywhere they are for sale please let me know.

Witches Broom

The first time I saw a real-life besom (or witches) broom was when I was in college in the National Botanic Gardens in Glasnevin in Dublin. They were used there to great effect by the gardeners to quickly and effectively clear footpaths. These were the days before petrol powered leaf blowers. Apparently, the brooms were made by a lady living in Kildare. They were constructed from broom handles with trimmed birch twigs tightly wound around them.

Hazelnut trees

Last winter I planted a Cobnut tree in the garden. This is a type of Hazelnut tree which will provide a good crop of fruit. I already have some regular, native hazelnut trees planted. These are essential for pollination if I am to get any harvest from my cobnut. I would not expect to harvest any amount of nuts for several years so this is an investment in time as well as money.

Limerick Grow It Yourself

Limerick Grow It Yourself is a local branch of GIY International and was founded to encourage and support people to grow food. The group is also registered with Limerick Public Partnership Network. It is a group that I have been involved with for several years and so am happy to share the piece below with you.

Have you ever thought of growing your own herbs, vegetables or fruits but feel it is too much of a challenge? Fear not. Drop into a meeting of Limerick Grow It Yourself and meet like-minded people who are likewise learning how to grow and who are happy to share their experiences.

Limerick GIY is a local group of Grow It Yourself International which is a not-for-profit social enterprise organisation which supports sustainable and healthy eating. This month’s meeting occurs on Thursday, October 24. The venue is: Central Buildings,51 O'Connell Street, Limerick with the meeting running from 6pm until 7:30pm Please check online and social media for future meeting times. Tea/coffee will be available.

Contact James

james.vaughan1020@gmail.com