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20/09/2021

Gardening: Making the most of the garden in the summer weather

With Jo McGarry of Caragh Nurseries

Gardening: Making the most of the garden in the summer weather

As I sit down to write this, it is 28 degrees and I’m sat in the garden with a large bottle of water (yes, it should be something better but I might not get this completed if I did that).

I am delighted to be back working on my own patch, surrounded by my recently redesigned garden, and all is good with the world. I do hope that when you are reading this that the break in the weather is short, and we still have some nice days ahead - although the humidity the last week has been unreal.

I am planning dinner in the garden this evening. I just love making these dinners special. You never know when this weather will fade back to damp, dark evenings back in the house so I’m making the very most of each and every day.

My birthday present recently from himself was a dinner set just for the garden, with plates that resemble leaves and green glasses and beautiful cotton napkins to match, I just love it. I add a few tea lights to the table setting, along with my much talked of small vases and glasses of flowers from the garden, especially, this week, the beautiful sweet peas and hydrangea heads.

The food isn’t necessarily fancy. This evening, it's a simple bacon and broad bean pasta with tomato and mascarpone, but I’ve made a tiramisu for desert and we’ll open bottle of rosé and we could be in Tuscany.

In this weather it is absolutely imperative that you water your plants and trees. I've said it before and I’m sure I will again - you wouldn’t leave you dog, cat or horse without water or without making sure that they are properly hydrated in this weather. So why, why, why do I keep getting pictures of plants and trees from people saying they are not doing well, can I tell them what to do?

The answer, of course, is to water them well. Lots of trees are going into early dormancy and that’s just because they’re too dry. They’re protecting themselves. If you want a lovely, lush garden, you have to water it.

I know, however, that water is a resource that we are over using; so if you prefer there is a whole heap of drought resistant plants out there - and if it's still as warm next week I might give you an idea of some of those options.

As for now, I am going to get back to my autumn preparations in the garden. It is now that’s the best time to plant for the autumn and winter, ensuring that the garden has plenty of interest year round and still has some colour throughout that darker periods of the year.

It really isn’t difficult to make a garden that has something for every season and I’m going to tackle the next two for you so that you have a garden that is perhaps not quite as colourful as it is in the summer, but it will definitely take you through to the end of the year.

For now - enjoy the weather and talk to you next week, and now back to my dinner prep.

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