Gardeners' Corner On The Road
The Parish Church of St Aidan’s at Kilmore just outside Richhill in County Armagh welcomed us warmly this week as the roadshow rolled into town, or perhaps that should be townland.
The townland in question has the delightful name of Kilmacanty and there has been a church there since the fifth century, making it one of the earliest places of Christian worship here.
It had been trying to snow softly when the team met up at a nearby restaurant before the recording, but thoughts of wintery weather quickly disappeared when we arrived at the church hall to be met by basketfuls of Bramley Apples all burnished and summery, on display in the porch to say welcome to the Orchard County.
And warmly welcomed we were, ahead of a lovely evening spent meeting local gardeners and plant-lovers and talking about plants.
Averil Milligan and Jim Bradley were our experts on the night.
They provided the know-how with their customary warmth and good humour and with an assortment of early spring plants which they had brought with them to talk about and to get everybody’s gardening mojo going on a chilly night in February.
Apples of course cropped up (excuse the pun) with one from the floor from Audrey Hampton, our friendly point of contact for the evening, who wanted to know how to guarantee the health and welfare of two young apple trees.
She was about to bring them with a trailer full of County Armagh soil, as a special present to a friend on the Ards Peninsula.
What a lovely gift we all thought and it wasn’t to be the last present of the night.
Questions about fruit, vegetables, shrubs, climbers and trees made up the rest of the recording and included suggestions please for what to plant under a new laurel hedge; how to avoid wire-worm when growing root vegetables in a raised bed; why has my lilac tree not flowered after twelve years?; when should I prune Pyracantha and Hydrangea; and why are my daffodils all leaf and no flower?
You’ll hear all the answers of course on this week’s programme and if by any chance you can’t listen live there’s always the repeat on Sunday, just after the one o’clock news or you can listen again over the next seven days via iPlayer Radio.
You can also avail of the “oh so handy” podcast and a huge thank you to the 12,628 people who did just that last month. We love you all.
A heart-felt thank you too to Audrey, for arranging and polishing the shiny Bramleys which festooned the porch of the church and which we were subsequently given to bring home with us. They filled the boot of Julie’s car and we look forward to sharing them with the Radio Ulster team back at BH.
It might be just a little bit harder to share the apple cake left over from the supper (which was delicious) or the six home-made apple tarts which we were sent home with too, but we’ll try Audrey, honest.
You can see some pictures of everybody at Kilmore and those burnished Bramley apples on the BBC Radio Ulster facebook site, but you’ll just have to imagine the apple tarts for yourself.
Till next time, good gardening...