Work for the week

TREES: As we enter National Tree Week please consider a tree for your garden — even a large specimen if you don’t have the years to see a small one grow tall and stately.!

A mature silver Birch at €175 or thereabouts is good value 20ft tall and nearly fully grown. Its branch structure will have a handsome candle-flame shape, and its trunk will be gleaming white. An evergreen Magnolia grandiflora starting at a similar price (moving up of course depending on size), will have a dense, broadly conical shape with leathery, glossy, dark green leaves all of eight inches long. At €60 to €100 it is possible to invest in an established Japanese maple to grace your lawn or act as a focal point.

A mature specimen of tree or large shrub can also be used to mark an occasion. Your choice will delight in the ornamental garden. You must however go to a reputable supplier who will give you a guarantee with your purchase. They will also advise on how well-suited it is to the growing conditions you are able to provide. Although it is often easy and inexpensive to take risks with small plants it’s not a good idea when buying expensive specimens. In the Munster area, Nangle and Niesen, Cork, hold a very large variety or semi-mature and mature ornamental trees and shrubs that are worth viewing at their Aherla complex.

LAVENDER: Lightly shear over lavender hedges, aiming for an even shape, but avoid cutting back into old wood. This is also a good time to plant out new lavender but do remember that it needs a sunny position and free-draining soil. Ensure new plants receive regular watering until established. Lavender’s fibrous roots can find it difficult to make the transition from the nursery’s peaty potting compost into ordinary garden soil.


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