Stratford on Slaney is Buzzing with Bees!

The participants of my Baltinglass ‘Gardening for Biodiversity’ classes decided to join forces on Earth Day, April 22nd and plant for the local bees and butterflies. All around the country positive action of pollinators are happening and this one will add to the network.

A choice of perennial herbaceous plants, herbs and a few ground cover shrubs were chosen based on the flowering season, and colours bees and butterflies like. Lavender, sedum, aubrietia, ceanothus, salvia to name a few. Blues, whites, yellows and mauve pinks won the day! prep planting 4

What was particularly nice about this end result was it wasn’t just members of the Stratford community. Joining us on the day were a couple from nearby Donard, a lady from Baltinglass and some kids. And the few plants that were surplus went to Donard to help the pollinators in that area. Communities doing their bit for pollinators and biodiversity!

Gardening for Biodiversity lands at Raheen, Clonroche Co Wexford

So glad to be continuing this successful project with the help of Wexford County Council’s Local Agenda 21 grant and the support of Raheen Family Resource Centre.

At a time when gardeners and community groups are gearing up for another year of planting, weeding and composting, I hope to add a few layers of advice and guidance to their gardening ways. I’m repeating the same topics covering Trees for Wildlife (this one took place during National Tree Week), Gardening for Pollinators, Creating and Managing Wildflower Meadows, Gardening and Water Conservation. And the final one Peat free gardening.

At the same time I see the All Ireland Pollinator Strategy has added another wonderful addition to this national initiative – Actions for Pollinators – a way to map positive actions for our much needed pollinators. I’ll be pleased I can add a red dot to Raheen!Bio Feb 2017

Biodiversity Gardening at Colclough Walled Garden, Tintern Abbey

I am very please to announce this latest event in my themed ‘Gardening for Biodiversity’ talks and workshops. I had the pleasure of being invited by Colclough Walled Garden management to give a guided walk & talk using Colclough Walled Garden and Tintern Abbey’s very special natural environment as an outdoor classroom. (June 25th 2pm in Colclough Walled Garden, near Saltmills, Sth Wexford).

What can we as gardeners and horticulturists learn from nature and then translate what we learn into our own gardens and green spaces in order to support our local biodiversity?

Study the flower shapes that bees, butterflies and hoverflies are drawn to. Look at the woodland floor and see over time the rotting leaves and dead wood return to the soil, enriching and allowing soil organisms to do their work. See how wildflower rich grasslands around the Abbey attract more insects than the more manicured urban garden lawns. These are just some of the things that will be part of my outdoor classroom – Biodiversity Gardening at Colclough Walled Garden.

The old head gardener’s cottage (Mr Rose) will provide an ideal setting for part of the walk and talk. Let’s hope he can join us on Saturday!

Mr RoseColclough Walled Garden is part of the Wexford Garden Trail and was originally owned by the Colclough family who lived in Tintern Abbey between the 1600’s and mid 1900’s and last vacated in 1959. It is only since 2010 that the garden is being back to its former glory.