The National Learning Network horticulture crew, working towards their Level 5 in Horticulture with Donegal ETB have been working of finishing off their new beds in the Barrack Hill Community Garden. These beds continue on the design created by Diarmuid Gavin for the Carndonah park, and are planted using plants all propagated by the Horticulture students.
The National Learning Network Horticulture crew, working towards their Level 5 in Horticulture are helping renowned organic gardener Paddy McCartney re-open his acclaimed garden to the public.
Paddy is a well respected figure in organic horticulture in Inishowen, being involved in organic farming and gardening for a lifetime. Paddys garden was for many years an inspirational venue for school and community groups to learn about biodiversity, food production and nature, but due to illness in Paddys family the garden had taken a back-seat. So the NLN crew, offered Paddy some help to get his garden back open to the public. This offer came about after a fantastic visit the students had to the garden, where Paddy gave the group so many ideas on fruit and vegetable growing that the guys felt they needed to repay Paddy!
This week we tackled the wildlife pond, relaid a gravel path, and planted some gravel loving plants around the house!
As part of their Level 5 Major Award in Horticulture myself and the students from Donegal ETB & National Learning Network visited the Skipton Estate in County Derry, now called the Beech Hill, and home to the multi award winning Beech Hill Country House Hotel
My thanks to Ashbrook House for accommodating our visit recently with Donegal ETB Horticulture students, working towards their Level 5 Major award in Horticulture. The visit was part of their Plant Use module, so it was wonderful to visit such a historic gardens and showcase how careful use of plants and trees, chosen to match the soil, can enhance a property for many many years.
As part of the Donegal ETB Horticulture program we undertook a session on plant division and our 'victim' was some large clumps of Chives, freshly removed from a garden bed. Normal process undertaken, cutting back, splitting into desired sizes, roots dusted with Mycorrhizal fungii and then potting up to let them form a nice root system, then they'll be planted back into the garden.
After only a few short weeks after sowing them (sown 5th March) we took the first harvest from our pea plants with the Donegal ETB Level 5 students. The first harvest of any edible pea is always when you pinch them back, the bits you pinch off make wonderful salad additions, or like what we did, just ate as we pinched :-)
Pinching back Peas (both ornamental and edible) encourages more growth and more flowers/fruit so its really an essential task. Just pinch out the leader and the plants will recover and go on to be better plants.
As part of the Horticulture course, the Donegal ETB Horticulture students set about splitting and dividing some various ornamental grasses in the Barrack Hill Garden. Most grasses enjoy being split, like a vast majority of perennials they do get congested, so if you have a big clump of Festuca of the likes in your garden think about giving it a haircut and then splitting it, not only will you get more plants for free (always good) but the same plant will be reinvigorated and more colourful...a win win!
Our starter plants were pot bound grasses purchased from a local garden centre, we gave them a haircut, carved 'em up (ensuring we have some foliage and root), dusted the roots with Symbio mycorrhizal fungii and then potted into a mix of compost and perlite.
Gardening on Radio Foyle
A summary of each weeks gardening on Mark Patterson Show and beyond