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 31 July 2015

July Cottage Style Plants

Lots of colour in my cottage-style garden this Summer. I tend to mix perennials, annuals, veg, herbs and fruit together around the garden, using pots and planting them together in the flower beds/borders. It tends to work well. Here's a little snapshot of what's looking bright and cheerful this month... 

L-R: Shasta Daisy, Achillea 'Terracotta', Hydrangea, Astrantia major 'Primadonna'.

L-R: Astilbe Fanal, Begonia, Self-fertilizing Apple Tree, Dianthus.

L-R: Nemesia, unknown (can't remember) perennial, Hebe shrub, unknown (can't remember) perennial.

L-R: Echinacea (I think), Calendula, hoverfly on Lavender, Asiatic Lily Red Joy.

A window-box planted up with annuals (fuschia, dianthus, lobelia, etc) and hung on a painted fence-panel to brighten up a seating area.

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

Sunday 26 July 2015

Courgette Zucchini Cake

When I returned from holiday (vacation) I was greeted in the garden by a 450 gram courgette (zucchini), a small marrow. I wasn't sure what I was going to do with it until a came across a recipe for Chocolate Courgette Cake (pictured). 

This is an extremely tasty recipe that's moist and delicious. 

I made three slight alterations to the recipe: (1) I baked two round cakes rather than using a large brownie type pan, (2) I put raspberry jam in between the two layers, and, (3) I made Betty Crocker butter cream chocolate frosting for the top and middle of the cake. Absolutely gorgeous! For a  link to the recipe click here
This year I grew a prolific, unusual Italian heirloom variety of Courgette called Coucourzelle. It has lovely stripes and the seed pack describes it as producing "heavy crops of slim, straight fruits with excellent flavour and an excellent source of vitamin C." This is the variety I used in the cake. Gold star!

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

Wednesday 8 July 2015

On holiday...

On vacation / summer holiday - be back soon!

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

Friday 3 July 2015

Bloom Garden Show Dublin

'Goal Global' garden (Gold) designed by Joan Mallon.
Recently I attended Ireland's largest garden show 'Bloom' in Dublin. I think the show is in its 9th year however this is the first time I attended.

It was a fab show and I was very impressed. There were lots of design gardens, lots of stalls from food to crafts, and lots of entertainment. I think this is now my favourite show. In my view, it was just as good as Chelsea with added benefit of feeling fun and family oriented. Here are a few features from my visit.... 
A show garden called 'Water in the Air; featured copper wire fish sculptures hanging from trees. It was awarded a Silver Medal.

This garden had a cottage feel and a romantic flair, sponsored by Irish Country Garden and designed by Fiann O'Nuallain and Lisa Kelly. It was Gold standard in every aspect, and had many practical features that could be incorporated into any garden. One of my favourite gardens in the show.

This garden, designed by Fiann O'Nuallain, is a 'healing' garden with herbs that could be used for medicinal purposes. It achieved a Silver Medal in the small garden category.

This Gold Medal garden, by Alan Rudden, was lovely but expensive. Suppose that's to be expected in the Premium Garden Category.
I opted for a two-day pass and really enjoyed all the festivities of the show. Think this will become an annual trip! More info the Dublin garden show can be viewed by clicking here.

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