This is the journal of my endeavours to grow a range of fruit, veg and flowers from seed, grow organically, and my attempts to create a personal paradise with 1/2 acre of maintained gardens and 1/2 acre wild meadows. Northern Ireland's average daily high temperatures are 18 °C (64 °F) in July and 6 °C (43 °F) in January. Soil type: Clay

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Update on Community Gardening Project

Every once in awhile I do an update on the community gardening project I'm involved in, at Antrim Castle Gardens. Through a very dedicated team of volunteers we look after various areas of the garden. Currently we're working on projects coming into the Summer, as well as keeping the areas tidy and looking good for the prestigious Garden Show Ireland which is taking place over three days 8-10 May. (Click on the photos below to enlarge.)
Above: We've been sowing seed from March and are growing plants for new projects we're developing in the gardens - a cut flower bed and a cottage-style garden. We also grow veg and herbs. We're getting a polytunnel this month, which will help us manage the pricking out and growing-on process.
Above: This is our fruit growing area, where we have apple and pear trees, gooseberry bushes, rhubarb, strawberries,etc. Some of our members are keen scarecrow makers and, of course, visitors and children to the gardens love seeing scarecrows!
Above: A Cut Flower Bed (under development) - the tripods have been planted with sweetpea; paths have been made out of wood/willow and 'volunteer labour' and will be filled with stone. A range of flowers from dahlia to cosmos will be planted in this new area.
Above: This view shows some of the areas that we maintain as volunteers in the Gardens. Many of the plants are donated by the Council as the garden is located on Council owned grounds and is open daily to the public. It is a beautiful location to volunteer and we enjoy the interaction with the public (who always have very positive comments).
Above: A view of other areas we look after. The main flower beds don't look particularly interesting at this time of year (something we are looking into). However, the beds are mainly for Summer interest, and many of the plants are still to emerge from their Winter slumber. Come Summer, there will be some wonderful plants on display such as eye-catching Verbena and Astilbe Purple Majesty, which will attract wildlife such as bees and butterflies to the gardens. 

Copyright: All words and photos are property of Kelli's Northern Ireland Garden.


  1. It has really taken shape and it has been interesting to see it rose out of the ground. I tend to,rely on spring bulbs for early colour in summer perennial beds.

  2. I love the "orderliness" of this garden! It looks properly managed, which appeals to me.

  3. Something I have learnt about you is not really going with the crowd but with a number of dedicated volunteers who carry the vision you have together just to make things look good and better come the show day. Interesting enough, I love you decide to keep things organic and who doesn't like that? You steps are just to be adored.

    Norberto @ Thorburn Landscapes