14 Aug 2022

In the Garden with Jo: A virtual tour of our nursery

With Jo McGarry of Caragh Nurseries

In the Garden with Jo: A virtual tour of our nursery

The glasshouses at Caragh Nurseries

As I sit down to write this, the sun is shining. We have had a nice drop of rain over the previous two days and the nursery is gleaming.

April and May are our busiest months at the nursery, and usually at this time we have a steady stream of visitors - but with our gates still closed it's a little sad that no one sees us at our very best.

All our plants and trees as well as the hedging stock, has super new growth which, as new growth does, is lighter and brighter.

The Photinia on our espaliered tree,s which line our entrance up to the start of the nursery, are not only alight with the new pinky-red new growth but are also just coming into flower.

Our shapes, balls and spirals have all had a clip and are looking really smart in rows of perfectly manicured forms.

Our glasshouses are brimming with new stock all just ready to start moving outside, and our tunnels of hedging and grasses, likewise, are all ready - so I’d like nothing more than to give you a tour of the nursery and an overview so you can see what we can see right now.

When you enter into the nursery through the temporarily closed gate you see what we call the Looking Good section. This houses what is in season, in flower or looking particularly well. At this time of year it includes some of the said shapes and spirals, as well as a range of Rhododendrons and lots of the earlier herbaceous plants that are ready to come into flower.

On the left-hand side are our larger, more mature shrubs. For instant impact and maturity, these are usually 30L and above; and here at the moment are some of our bamboos as well as our Magnolias and Camelias and some of the larger Viburnums. Behind those is, as I mentioned, where we have a row of espaliered Photinia Red Robin to demonstrate their usage for screening.

Opposite is our smallest glasshouse and in here is our lavender on benches as they don’t like too much water; and lots of our tropicals, a range of our Japanese Maples and some of our Olives too. All of these prefer slightly less water than lots of the other plants - not that they shouldn't be watered but they don’t like being too wet!

Then we move up to the mature hedging, and then onto our main glasshouses with all the new stocks that are growing or just becoming ready to go outside to ‘harden off’. This leads up to our ‘top yard’. This is where a lot of our most popular items are housed. Our espaliered trees come in a wide range of options, and we would always keep a good stock of all of these, usually 20-40 of each one.

Then it’s on to our more mature and screening trees. From here is the access to all our field production.

We have at the moment 30 acres that are just dedicated to growing trees and hedging and a further 20 acres that is this year resting and recovering, ready to be planted the coming winter.

Coming back into the containerised nursery, and along the back of the glasshouses are our tunnels. Eight of them contain plants at differing stages. Today I checked on how the Hydrangeas are coming along, as our current crops are going quickly, I was also checking on what items we had sold out of already, and that includes Lupins and box hedging - but I’m told that we should have both back ready again in the next week or two.

On from here is our containerised tree section, which starts with trees around 12ft tall. Then there are very mature trees and row after row of fresh new growth on the deciduous trees, and evergreen trees.

This leads us down to our pump house and back around to more shapes that includes the multi stemmed trees and parachutes as well as some of the more individual bonsai forms and cloud trees.

I hope you enjoyed your virtual tour of the nursery, and we so look forward to welcoming you again soon. For now as always, stay home, stay safe and keep gardening!

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