This time of year the grounds really start to come to life, with swathes of narcissi catching the eye, here and there anemones, crocus, primula and chionodoxa are vying for attention, tulips are coming on nicely.
The new Ballroom extension necessitated the transplanting of a lot of mature shrubs and 2 large trees, mostly with success, 2 choisya are still a bit sorry looking but hopefully will pull through, buddleia, hydrangea, spiraea, aucuba and a very large skimmia all seemed to have survived the move as have 2 red leafed maples .
Meanwhile in the tunnel results are a bit mixed, with the old reliables snapdragons and calendula, doing nicely but damping off disease got to my gypsophila, and the germination rate for some other plants are pretty embarrassing- statice, stocks and poppies are doing well but the likes of gaura, monarda and rosemary are only producing a few seedlings so far. Sowing will continue over the next week or so with another dozen or so annuals and perennials to be sown – the annuals as part of an ongoing experiment for cut flower production and the perennials to introduce plants of horticultural interest and increase the plant diversity around the hotel. Sweet William and sweet pea are ready to go as soon as the nights get a little warmer.
This time of year is the best time for planting, anew mixed shrubbery has been created at the end of the lakeside suites, with rhodes, camellia, magnolia, leucothoe, leptospermum, cistus, hydrangea, euonymus and buddleia planted with a view to give year round interest.
Rhodes , camellia, spring flowering heathers and a nandina were planted around the pond area to further enhance the plant interest in that area.
Plants for the window boxes and hanging baskets have been ordered and are scheduled for delivery for mid-April.
Some of the smaller lawns around the hotel are being treated for moss and given a weak feed to perk them up a bit after the wet winter; the focus now is to keep weeds under control in the beds and borders and to start potting on seedlings with a view to start planting out in May.
We have recently become hospitality providers to the Donegal Garden Trail so guests will be able to enjoy their stay at Harvey’s Point and visit some wonderful gardens nearby, the ultimate aim is to be included in the garden trail itself, so guests will note an increase in plant diversity and planting of significant horticultural interest over the next few years.