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Runner
Rank attained: Hazel Tree
Rank attained: Hazel Tree


Joined: 31 Jan 2013
Posts: 3
Location: Cork, Ireland

PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 11:10 pm    Post subject: Another newbie!? Reply with quote

Hi All,

My name is Tom. My wife and I have recently purchased a house on about 3.5 acres on the Sheep's Head in County Cork (near Durrus and Bantry for those of you who don't know the locality). The house is a fairly plain and simple "no frills" bungalow, but we fell in love with the spectacular sea views from the house and gardens across Bantry Bay, along with the fantastic Sheep's Head walks. The house needs some TLC, but that's easily solved with a good scrubbing and a lick of paint. Finances dictate that the house style will be rustic with what my wife terms "pared-back, simple and tasteful elegance".

The garden is sloped, faces in a northerly direction and is fairly wet in places - and we hope to create an idyllic garden!. There are already some relatively mature trees on the site - several Monterey Pine trees that grow well locally, a Eucalyptus tree that I think needs to be moved, Sorbus, and loads of Sally trees.

It also has wonderful wild roses, montbretia daffodils, a couple of hydrangeas, a butterfly bush and a camellia - all of which have been eaten to death by the sheep that wandered freely into the garden from the commons that surround the site until our arrival late last year. The garden also has some black currant bushes.

We spent last autumn fencing the sheep out and are now certified "sheep-proof" , but I want to plant hedging inside the sheep wire. I was thinking of hawthorn as it is native and would encourage wildlife. I'm hoping to surround the entire 3.5 acres with it - is this feasible or a pipe dream?

Also - any advice on what to do with the black currant bushes?

Looking forward to receiving your advice,

Many thanks,

Tom

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kindredspirit
Rank attained: Chlorophyll for blood


Joined: 10 Nov 2008
Posts: 2026
Location: Mid-west.

PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2013 7:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome Tom.

There's a few stunning gardens on the Sheeps' Head. There might be another one joining them now. Smile Smile You're blessed with a mild climate anyway.

You can get bare root hawthorn for 40 cent each, buying in bulk. Personally, I'd use gorse instead. That's sheep proof and wind proof and thrives on a bank. it flowers better when trimmed. And best of all, the local farmers will allow you to take theirs for free. Very Happy Very Happy

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A little garden in Co. Limerick.Some non-gardening photographs.
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Sive
Rank attained: Chlorophyll for blood


Joined: 18 Apr 2008
Posts: 1731
Location: Co.Wexford

PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2013 8:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome Tom, what an idyllic spot you have moved to....Sheep's Head is a little bit of paradise and the views must be spectacular in this current spell of settled weather. Do post the occasional photo for us all to enjoy !
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michael brenock
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Joined: 12 Aug 2008
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Location: cork

PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2013 11:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tom
am familiar with Sheeps head and its problems as regards shelter..You have two problems the poor drainage and strong winds. On trials carried out in that area about 40years ago the best survivor was Olearia traversii which was better than macrodonta however it does require good rooting soil as it is not always windfirm. Whitethorn is good but very bare in Winter but good as a primary shelter to give shelter to less hardy species. new Zealand Flax is worth considering but takes a while to become established. Escallonias did well but now no longer any use. Cotoneaster salicifolia is worth considering as a hedge or at spacings of 2-3 metres.
michael brenock horticultural advisor (retired)

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Greengage
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Joined: 09 Nov 2011
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Location: Kildare

PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2013 5:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One of my favourite places for walking, I posted some photos here once of the polytunnel near the lighthouse impressive, call up to the Heron Gallery for a cup of coffee or the one near the light house really nice people.
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davidk
Rank attained: Rowan Tree
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Joined: 09 Jan 2013
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Location: Midlands

PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2013 9:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome,
Sounds like a nice place, I would love about 3 acres, all in time I hope.
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Runner
Rank attained: Hazel Tree
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Joined: 31 Jan 2013
Posts: 3
Location: Cork, Ireland

PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2013 10:38 pm    Post subject: Thanks for the welcome Reply with quote

Thanks kindredspirit, Sive, Michael, Greengage and davidk for your replies.

In relation to kindredspiritís recommendation on gorse, I had never thought of it as a hedging plant that could be trimmed or shaped as it is generally only to be seen growing wild and untamed and a bit ragged. I Googled some images of it and it certainly looks well when in bloom. In relation to Michaelís suggestion, the soil isnít wonderful on the site and I donít think that the Olearia would take, but I was considering that the Whitethorn, although bare, would provide good primary shelter as you suggest. As I mentioned, there are some mature trees on site, so it isnít a complete wasteland.

I know the Heron Gallery well Greengage Ė Iím a short distance from there and we have spent far too much time sampling the produce there. Iíll try to member to post some photos as time goes on.

PS Ė is it too late to prune blackcurrant bushes or will I be OK for a while yet. I see where some recommend pruning in late January.

Tom

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Greengage
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 6:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It still ok to prune we are still at it and will be so for another few weeks
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Runner
Rank attained: Hazel Tree
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Location: Cork, Ireland

PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 9:30 pm    Post subject: Thanks Reply with quote

Thank you Greengage
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