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27 minutes
First broadcast:
Saturday 01 September 2012

Cherrie McIlwaine presents the weekly programme for keen gardeners with the latest advice, news and visits to gardens large and small around the province.

  • Cherrie with BBC Gardener of the Year 2001 Adrian Walsh

    Cherrie with BBC Gardener of the Year 2001 Adrian Walsh

  • Adrian's Garden

    Adrian's Garden

  • Official Opening of the NI Children's Hospice Garden

    Official Opening of the NI Children's Hospice Garden

  • Late Summer Thoughts

    There’s something lovely about the ease of the garden in late summer, isn’t there? The urgency of spring is over and even though everything is sprawling and tumbling and needing tidied, the sheer relaxation of it all is a tonic.
    I know there is work ahead with lots to tidy and trim, but for the moment I’m happy just to let it rest and to enjoy the bright stabs of colour which late flowering plants bring. I’m grateful for the lofty, wafting spears of the Verbena Bonariensis with their little purple hats and the cerise and plum whorls of the Monarda, which the bees love too. There’s a pale yellow rose about to break bud and a delicate Clematis which I thought I had lost and whose name escapes me, which is snaking it’s delicate way back up the rose arch, and elsewhere the vivid flowers of Crocosmia make the garden glow.
    Talking of gratitude (and bees) even though it seeds itself all over the place, there is nothing like Oregano for flowering it’s head off whatever the weather, and if more reward was needed there’s the fact that it turns the garden into a bee-loud glade as the bees nose and swoop in search of nectar.
    Purples and golds were jumping out at us too when we went to visit Adrian Walsh’s garden during the week where Verbena B (which self-seeds like mad) and Helenium daisies were happily responsible. Adrian loves grasses and plants with interesting seed heads, so his garden always looks plant-packed, painterly and interesting. With the cool stems of the silver birch and the bright berries from a neighbouring Rowan Tree the garden looked lovely and full of energy and interest even on a wet and blustery day.
    It was bordering on the torrential when I went to Enniskillen recently for the official opening of the new garden at Horizon West which is home to The Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice at Killadeas.
    But the black-cloud downpours were tempered with the bright sunshine so we were able to enjoy the opening speeches in the open air and at the second attempt (having been soaked the first time) to record an interview for this week’s programme. John Adkins and John Little from the gardening charity Greenfingers who specialise in creating hospice gardens, had travelled from England for the occasion and it was lovely to meet them and Ellen and Aisling from the Children’s Hospice and to hear about the great on-going work which has been carried out by the local fundraising committee. The garden which is full of light, sits on a hilltop site in Killadeas surrounded by rolling fields and they are always on the lookout for keen gardeners to lend a hand so if you live locally and would like to help, they’d love to hear from you.


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