The last open weekend of the season for Oakfield Park is this weekend! After this weekend the gardens are then closed for season :-(....so come along and see them in early Autumn glory with myself from 3pm this Saturday! full details can be found here
Another date for the diary for serious plants folks out there, the annual Northern Ireland Heritage Garden Conference, held on the 9th,10th and 11th October 2015 in Hillsborough Castle. A brochure can be seen below for this wonderful event, so many great speakers are lined up....booking is essential, and booking details can be found here
The Royal Horticultural Society of Ireland is holding a Dahlia Show. It will take place in the Teak House at the National Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin, Dublin 9 on Saturday 26th September 2.30pm - 5pm & Sunday 27th September 10am - 5pm. Presentation of prizes will be on the Saturday at 4pm. All are welcome. Admission free. Further details from 01 493 7154 or at www.rhsi.ie
Tickets have just been released for the Royal Horticultural Society of Ireland lecture being given by renowned plantsman James Wong, details can be found here on the RHSIreland website .
The special evening is Wednesday 25th November....so save the date!
This has been a great project I've been involved with. Ballyholey Farm is a small family-owned farm, located in Ballyholey Far, Raphoe, Donegal. This year has seen Ballyholey start to sell its own farm-reared Aberdeen Angus beef direct to the public.
John Graham is a well known vegetable farmer in the area, growing field scale cabbage, celery, leeks, onions, potatoes etc etc. Over the past few years John has been rearing his own Angus cattle and now these are come to fruition.
A few things to point out about Ballyholey Angus, its (a) mostly grass-fed - when cattle are young they get some supplemental feeding (oats grown on farm) but total lifetime about 90% is grass.
(b) the animals are kept outside as much as possible, and only housed during deepest darkest months of winter
(c) they're housed on straw (not slats)
(d) They're fed vegetables such as cabbage, carrots and the likes (e) after slaughter the animals are hung on the bone for 21 days - did you know that most meat is aged in the packs and not in this way? (f) applications of medicines is limited due to a strong animal health plan and use of grazing systems and natural remedies (g) its the colour meat should be...not bright red (h) it tastes great!
What I like is that you can call into the farm shop and actually see the cattle in the fields, you can see what they're eating...its not secretive....the farm chickens are actually kept in the field in front of the farm shop!
Ballyholey Angus is available exclusively through the BallyHoley Farm Shop (find them here on Ballyholey Farm Shop Facebook page), you can even order 1/2 a cow butchered if you really want to stock the freezer between a few families!!
I was part of a large crowd which trampled poor Maureens Cannon perfect lawn when we visited recently with a group of community gardeners from North Donegal organised by Joanne Butler (@OurganicG)
Maureens garden, in Donegal Town, is open via the Donegal Garden Trail
Maureens garden, although small, was bursting with colour. From gorgeous perennials through to splendid containers and baskets, there was very little space which wasn't a riot of colour and interest.
enjoy the side show below
Formartines is a super destination food venue in rural Aberdeenshire, specialising in locally sourced, high quality food, Formartines has turned into a must-stop for people sourcing high quality and speciality foods. We were lucky to be given a tour of the many enterprises that make up the Formartines experience by John Cooper, who's dedication and enthusiasm is infectious.
The experience of Formartines include a wonderful adventure walkway which takes in parts of the Haddo Estates designed landscape, laid out by the Marquess of Aberdeen (which at one time was some 65,000 acres)
For more on Formartines please visit the website of Formartines in Aberdeenshire
This spectacular Hydrangea paniculata grandiflora caught me eye on a recent walk around Brooke Hall in Derry. It stands around 10' tall and was full with bright white flowers, which were highlighted by the stands of evergreen trees in the garden.
The garden of Carmel & Martin McLaughlin in Kilcar, West Donegal is amazing! A big opening statement...but this place was just wonderful. Firstly where else would you go and find a feature in a garden made of whales jawbones??. The planting scheme that Martin has designed is lush, exotic, dramatic and suited to the seaside location.
A framework of shelter has been developed by Martin, which protect the garden from the west Donegal coastal winds, and behind this shelter Martin has developed the most spectacular of gardens.
Enjoy the slideshow below....but definitely get down to visit!!!!
Vital Veg is a certified organic growing operation located in rural Aberdeenshire, offering home/work place deliveries of organic vegetables grown here, and also a wide range of complimentary organic produce sourced from a network of organic growers in the area. I was delighted to have been part of a SRUC Aberdeen tour which recently visited the enterprise.
VitalVeg is certified organic by the Soil Association Scotland and operates on a 2 acre site, with 1 small and 1 multi span polytunnel.
Please visit the website of VitalVeg for more details on the enterprise and their full produce range.
Gardening on Radio Foyle
A summary of each weeks gardening on Mark Patterson Show and beyond