30 Jun 2022

Gardening: Prepping our garden for sunny days ahead

With Jo McGarry of Caragh Nurseries

Gardening: Prepping our garden for sunny days ahead

Forno fire bowl pedestal

The good weather has taken me off course this week. As a family, we got to spend so much time outdoors and the barbecue came out. We have still some work to do in our garden, and this week was all about planning the details.

Anyone who has been tuning into the Caragh Nurseries social media will have seen lots of those details that we have been toying with. Our pizza oven is one of our most used items in the garden and we just love it. It’s definitely not just for pizzas, so that was always staying in our revamp.

We do need a new barbecue but that is probably going to wait until next year. Due to the high demand for these items at the moment, we can’t get the one we really want and the current one isn’t ready for the graveyard just yet, so that will be staying.

I did want a heat source in the garden for cooler nights, and to extend the hours that we get to use the outdoor space now we have spent so much time making it special.

We have decided to go with something simple - the wood fired Stig fireplace is just what we were looking for, and although we are having lots of Corten steel around the garden to add texture we decided that in the outdoor dining space we will go with a heat treated black painted finish.

The area is covered, so the flue goes up out of it nicely, and the space is mainly open with just one full back wall so it's inside but out. I am so looking forward to being able to work in that space in the spring and autumn - when you have a laptop you can work from anywhere.

I love water in a garden so we knew that we wanted a small but visible feature. At the end of the terrace we have built a bed that we are going to fill with ferns and pines and really tactile leafy foliage, and between those add Corten steel water bowls. We’ve decided on rounded bowls rather than the lower saucer options as we have dogs, and I’d rather they didn’t jump through them, although they will probably will use them as large drinking bowls!

I just can’t wait to start the last of the planting and get this finished. We’ve been working on the garden for over a year now and I’d love it completed - but as usual, so many other gardens come before our own, and the year has been such a busy one, but it will be fantastic when it's done.

Another feature I loved but didn’t have space or use for is the Corten steel steps. I just adore them but everything is on one level in our outdoor space, and as we did get rid of a sunken garden as it wasn’t working for us, I wasn’t going back to that. The steps are just amazing and ideal if you have split levels or an inclining garden. These are ordered to fit but don't take too long at all to arrive.


Although I’m loving all of these additional items in the garden, I really want the planting to do the talking as that is what I’m going to love the most. I’m really concentrating on ensuring that we are using height to create both privacy and architectural height. I was really clear that I didn’t want to lose any light or block any sun so we had to think really hard about this.

The last thing to consider is the outdoor furniture and we have some pieces already. I can’t wait to show you what I’ve chosen but I can’t do that until it is complete so you might have to wait another couple of weeks.

Ian has been working hard putting in the terrace and some other paving inside both the outdoor covered dining area and also - my dream - inside my glasshouse. I have given my orders for my new potting bench and it will be another favourite chilling space, so I do need it to look as good as it is practical.

My pizza oven is one of the Delivita ones that comes in six fabulous colours. One of the most important things for me was that it could be moved, especially as we knew we would be moving the garden around with these changes, but also be safe. Although the oven cooks pizzas in minutes you can still touch its outside without burning your hands, important when you have kids and teenagers.

The Corten steel items including the fireplaces, firebowls, water features, pots and steps are from our Adezz range for which we are the Irish supplier of their whole range, and all are available through our website.

Our in-house designers are busy designing lots of gardens so we only get to work on my own in small snippets but it is really taking shape.

Enjoy the good weather - I hope it is still as good when you’re reading this as it is when now when I am writing.

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