贵族宝贝MC

first_imgWhip Field in Oakfield Park in Raphoe.I remember a few years ago I was doing a Gardeners Q&A in the North West Garden Show and I was presented with a stem in a plastic bags and asked “How do I kill this?”This to me was a great example of a Horticultural version of “One mans rubbish is another mans treasure”You see Purple Loosestrife isn’t only a gorgeous old-world style wildflower but given the right conditions it can be a bully and if you’ve used soil from an area that’s been growing Loosestrife then be prepared for years of wee shoots of growth popping up amongst your new veg garden or border. Loosestrife is a wonderful flowering plant, providing spikes of small purple/pink/red flowers from June to September on wet and marshy soil. The flowers provide wonderful food source for scores of bees and other beneficial insects in the garden.This plant is successful in wet soil due to its shallow, very fleshy rhizomatic root system, allowing the plant to spread easily on the surface layer of soil and send up new shoots when and where desired, these shoots quickly form dense clumps of spectacular flowers.This fleshy root system is immensely desirable where you wish Loosestrife to spread and colonise, but an absolute disaster if you wish to remove the plant. Its best removed by small targeted applications of systemic weedkiller, or by digging up the root runs as best you can with a fork….it’ll be tedious work, but well worth persisting with.Learning from a master! Mr Graham Snr in actionHowever I’d embrace the persistence and the tenacity of Loosestrife and use this plant in wet areas of the garden, in damp corners, in troublesome areas and best of all….if you want to create a meadow effect. This is where Loosestrife comes into its own, planted (or sown) en-masse and allowed to naturalise it’s just wonderful. You can see great example of this approach in Salthill Gardens at Mountcharles and Oakfield Park in Raphoe. Both these gardens have extensive wildflower meadows which contains oodles of Loosestrife, Salthill you’ll have to put on your bucket list for next year as when I was down the other day the meadow has just been cut, but the Whip Field in Oakfield Park is still holding onto colour with the purple loosestrife used through the yellow chrysanthemum meadow.This past week my student group have been looking at commercial fruit and vegetable growing, and to help the guys understand the processes involved in growing great veg in Donegal I took the group to visit Ballyholey Farm in Raphoe, John Graham operates a 120 acre farm growing a wide range of field vegetables for supply into his Farm Shop and for his weekly stall at the Letterkenny Artisan Market.Your truly posing amongst Savoy cabbage galore in BallyholeyDuring the day the group participated in harvesting, grading and packing carrots, benefiting from an afternoon with Johns father, who’s hands moved faster than hummingbird when he’s grading carrots….I honestly felt he was able to telepathically grade carrots, he was able to look at a dirty unwashed carrot and tell it there was any rot or splitting before he touching them…no substitute for experience!We also spent some time harvesting some enormous savoy cabbage, onions and other vegetables. These kinds of days are great opportunities for students to gain valuable experience and to put theoretically knowledge into practice. John was also able to chat about his involvement with the Donegal Food Coast initiative which he’s involved with.The Ballyholey Farm Shop is open Tuesday, Friday & Saturday, and John can be found at the Letterkenny Artisan Market every Saturday. (all can be found on Facebook)Next Week….Tales from Bruckless House & dividing Aloe Vera Gareth AustinGareth Austin is resident Horticulturist with BBC Radio Foyle, a member of the Chartered Institute of Horticulturists and Horticultural Lecturer with the National Learning Network. For more see www.garethaustin.com or join Gareth on Twitter @GardenerGareth .GARDENING WITH GARETH: PURPLE LOOSESTRIFE AND TELEPATHIC CARROT READING was last modified: September 6th, 2015 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:donegalGardening with Garethlast_img read more