To chit or not to chit

Well regardless of your opinion on this statement I hope you all have your spuds in and are eagerly awaiting that first new potato of the year.

For a wonderful insight into the potato follow this link to another blogsite http://allotmentheaven.blogspot.ie/2012/01/potato-solanum-tuberosum.html

At Woodville we got distracted with one thing and another and so even though we got the First Earlies (Colleen and Maris Piper) in on time we only managed to get the main crop (Cara)  in last week.

I had the bed covered for the winter, so it was weed free and warm, a perfect start. Or maybe not!  Jim Cronin gave a talk on soil at the Clare Garden Festival and advocated not covering soil with plastic or any other mulch. Instead he suggested sowing a green manure and he made sense. Apparently covering the bed results in giving slugs and snails a wonderful place to hide up for the winter, lay their eggs and generally increase the population. Whereas by first mulching with compost and then sowing an over wintering green manure a healthy enriched soil will result. I will say that when we pulled back the plastic we did find lots of fat juicy slugs. More about green manures next blog.

In Woodville  we plant potatoes using the dibber method. This means making a hole with the dibber and dropping the chitted potato (yes we do chit them) into the hole and covering it over. This is easier on the back and the soul. We mark the line with string and dib and drop. We leave enough soil between rows to earth up the soil as the season goes on. Last year we used grass cuttings as suggested by Bob Flowerdew however  may be its our wet Irish weather but we found that the slugs and snails loved it.

I have successfully tried seaweed (no need to wash the seaweed) and lazybed methods both used in this bloglink https://www.quickcrop.ie/blog/2014/02/growing-potatoes-in-seaweed/ and for those with a green field the lazybed gets you started on creating a new bed, potatoes are great for leaving behind a lovely crumbly soil.

What ever method you choose its all a waiting game now, with a little bit of earthing up.

So what is your favorite potato and have you any tips on what works for you? Let me know.

Garden Gnome


Blog- Delphiniums

Welcome to Woodville Walled Gardens  first blog of 2014.

Spring is definitely here, in the last 10 days the garden has changed colour completely with rapid growth in all areas.

As the garden wakes up so too do the gardeners nemesis. Look out for Delphiniums, make sure they are not munched by slugs and snails as they emerge. How you deal with these critters is between you and your maker. Rest assured they have an eye on your Delphiniums.

Slug and snail activity is really bad at the moment with no frost to keep them in check. Tidy your beds making sure they have nothing to hide under. This article by Kate Rogers Gessert will give you a well rounded insight into the life and possible deaths  (if that be your philosophy) of slugs.


During my tidy up I could not resist taking some basal cuttings from one big plant, which have taken already. (If you want to try taking your own basal cuttings here is a link to show you how.)


Put in plant supports and mulch well and they will reward you with those magnificent spires.


As soon as they finish flowering cut back to the ground, give them another feed and you will get a second flowering in September.

If however you find yourself worn down in defense of your Delphiniums and decide enough, never again why not try Monkshood- Actonitum, sometimes referred to as poor-mans Delphinium. We have a few varieties at Woodville, one of which is ready to flower in April, one mid-summer and best of all Bressingham Spires, which has fabulous  foliage all summer and then flowers though August, September and October. 

Happy gardening.

The Gardening Gnome.

Woodville W.G.

Mothers Day gift

Why not give your mother the gift of flowers all year long with a membership to Woodville Walled Garden. Only twenty euro for a single membership or fifty euro for a family membership. A gift that lasts not just for a day but all the way through to next years Mothers Day!

Mothers Day afternoon tea

On Mothers Day 30th March we are offering free afternoon tea for all mothers who visit Woodville Walled Garden on the day (4 euro for everyone else).

Looking for ideas for Mothers Day gifts? Why not get the gift of Membership for the Year to Woodville Walled Garden, 20 euro for a one person or 50 euro for a Family membership. A gift that could last all year!

Tulip Day

On 26th of April we will be  celebrating Tulips. Starting at 11am the day will include ; presentation by  Damien McHugh from Beechill bulbs on tulips. Marie (Head gardener at Woodville) will be giving tours of the garden. There will be light refreshments. All included for 8 euro. On the day there will be stalls selling plants and bulbs.

Contact Margarita on 087 906 9191 to book a place.

Cancer Care West Coffee Morning at Woodville

Coffee morning at Woodville Walled Garden for Cancer Care West on Friday 28th of March from 10am-12pm. Come join us for tea/coffee and cake and a tour of the walled garden. Bring your friends and make it a morning out for a good cause. All for 5 euro, all proceeds going to Cancer Care West.


Gifts are not just for Christmas.

Imagine my delight when last week, I arrived to Woodville, and found waiting for me not one but two gifts of Snowdrops. One gift of three large pots, unnamed, not yet identified from Nenagh, thank you Moira. Gift two a little pot of the much coveted ‘Castlegar’ thank you Dorothy. Originally from the Mahon Estate discovered by Keith Lamb. This delicate beauty can flower early, mid December, which makes it all the more welcome in this bleak time of year. I would like to thank everybody for their donations of snowdrops in the last year, I eagerly await my little treasures.

Lets talk spuds! What are you growing this year? (first and second earlies should be chitted now in a sunny and frost free place).

Hope its a great year.

The garden gnome

Woodville W. G.


Snowdrops at Woodville

Snowdrop Day at Woodville Walled Garden on the 8th of February 2014. “A welcome to Spring” with a snowdrop talk by Paddy Tobin, renowned Irish Expert on snowdrops followed by a tour of the walled garden by head gardener Marie. Visit to Killinane Graveyard burial ground of Lady Augusta Gregory’s family with a talk by historian Gerry Kearney. Tickets € 10, Lunch extra. Registration at 10.30 am. Booking is essential as places are limited

Open Day at Woodville Walled Garden

Open Day at Woodville Walled Garden

with talks by Klaus Latinberger organic guru extraordinaire

and acclaimed plants man Karl Wright

Sunday 22nd September 2013

11am to 5.30pm

Admission€10 includes garden talks, tour and refreshments.GardenEventSeptember

Woodville Volunteers 2013

Have you some spare time and would like to develop your gardening skills.
Why not volunteer at Woodville Walled Garden.
This magical place will inspire you to new success in your own garden.
Meet like minded people and have fun!!!!


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