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

Friday, 4 October 2013

Community Garden Update

Our volunteer group at Antrim Castle Gardens has had a busy Summer. From June we've planted and planted, both annuals and perennials. We didn't think we would ever get the areas planted. As a group, who didn't know each other, we've worked well together and we have some very committed volunteers who keep the areas looking respectable. This is a snapshot of our planting and our first three months in the garden (the first bed we planted was 29 June 2013). Here's a little update on our progress... 
Above and Below: Two of our beds planted with annuals and perennials. We had drawn up a planting scheme/design, however, we had difficulties with our plant order and in the end we had to improvise. Our beds were supposed to look like rays/swirls from the sun in blocks of colour (orange, blues, yellows, etc).
Above and Below: We have had a few gaps in our planting. This is because we were waiting for other plants to arrive which never did so we ended up with gaps waiting to be filled. We all just adore working in the garden (so we no longer see the gaps)!
As we potter about weeding or deadheading at the weekend or evenings, we always hear positive comments from people passing. We often get asked what the tall purple plants are (verbena and salvia purple majesty).
It has been very rewarding being a volunteer in the gardens.
Above: This was the first bed we planted as a group. It was planted on 29 June and the Perilla (tall purple plant) is the second most popular plant in the garden in relation to the public enquiring about the plant name.
Now we move on to our next stage of gardening - growing fruit and vegetables. This month we've built veg boxes for growing veg, and we have planted fruit trees. We will be busy next year! We're hoping to recruit some new volunteers to help maintain all these areas.
We have also decided to designate an area to growing heritage vegetables, which is really exciting. And we're getting a polytunnel.  Wow, are we going to be busy!

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


  1. You have done a great job, though in my opinion the best is probably still to come - i.e. the fruit and veg! It's sad to hear that some of your plants never arrived. Presumably your supplier(s) let you down?

  2. I love, love, love seeing tidy gardens, it all looks so pretty.
    Good luck with the veggie growing and your going to be amazed at the difference a PT is going to make for you. :)

  3. The gardens look great and I love the color bands. It will be fun to grow fruit and veggies, too.

  4. I can understand you always get positive comments from passing people, these gardens look just wonderful!

  5. It is amazing what you have achieved in just a few months - no wonder visitors love the gardens. Hope your new projects are just as successful.

  6. It looks great - what is going to happen to your crops? Are you selling them?

    1. We haven't decided what we'll do with the crops (hopefully we'll have good growing success). We will probably look at selling them as a way to generate some income for the group.

  7. Wow it looks wonderful so far and more to come. Good luck with your fruit and veggie growing.
    Julie :o)

  8. It looks fabulous, and now I can see the link about Purple Majesty that you left in a comment on my blog. You've come such a long way this year and there's yet more to come, how exciting to be creating a veg garden, especially growing heritage vegetables, and a polytunnel too.

  9. Great looking garden! Jeannine