A Good Home, Cold weather dreams of gardening, Garden

Ciaran’s Irish Garden

It’s February and a gardener’s thoughts turn to spring.

Not because we expect it any time soon – this is Ontario, Canada, after all — but because it’s at least another two months before flowers start popping up from the soil.

So – courtesy of Twitter — I head to Ciaran de Buitlear’s garden in the south of Ireland where flowers are already blooming.

Blog Photo - Ciaran garden - Hellebores spotted

In fact, Ciaran’s first crocus bloomed weeks ago, while we in the frozen north were enjoying snowdrifts, and I got a serious case of garden envy. 

Blog Story - Ciaran first Crocus - Spring has officially sprung

Then came the daffodils and hellebores.

Blog Story - Ciaran Daffodils blooming

Ciaran says he loves gardening in part because it’s “very different to the day job of working with databases in the cloud for large insurance companies.  I think gardening is very Zen.   It is like a meditation but without the stillness, and also gets you fit (and there are flowers).”

Blog Story - Ciaran Early Spring flowers

His love of gardening began in childhood.

“I gardened as a small child with my mother.  I only recalled this recently when I saw episodes of BBC ‘Gardeners World’ nearly 50 years old.  I remembered watching them with my parents as a small child.”  

Ciaran is passing on his garden love to his own children. While his partner Fiona “does not have green fingers”, sons Zack and Sam love to help out in the garden. 

Blog Story - Ciaran's son Zack will grow sunflowers, carrots etc

“They do weeding, grow plants from seed, like to make things out of wood for the garden.  Zack can spend hours in the garden helping me. Sam is 11 now and can get more stuck into computer games than the garden sometimes but he still does help from time to time.”

Blog Story - Ciaran and Fiona sons reading 

The family’s garden is not huge, but it’s prolific. Last fall alone, Ciaran planted 500 bulbs around this tree.

Blog Story - Ciaran garden - just planted 500 bulbs

He grows many favourite plants.

Blog Story - Ciaran ferns

“I love ferns — freshness, greenness, kind of other worldliness, they are so magnificent in spring.

Blog Story - Ciaran Japanese maples

“Japanese maples – they look great from up close and far away.  The leaf detail, different colours and textures of foliage, the way they act as foils for other plants.”

Pots are also filled with spring flowers:

Blog Story - Ciaran Spring flowers in 3 pots

And there’s a greenhouse to help protect tender plants till it’s time to put them out in the garden.

Blog Story - Ciaran Greenhouse 2

As gardeners know, it all takes work, but a garden is a gift that keeps on giving.

Blog Story - Ciaran and garden supplies

The hellebores are blooming in different colours.

Blog Photo - Ciaran garden - Hellebores deep red

But in the weeks ahead,  hosta will unfurl, hardy geranium will bloom, flowering vines will put on a  show, as will the roses in the de Buitlears’ garden.

“You can never have enough roses, all kinds (but not the ones you have to spray).  I treat them well, feed the soil with well-rotted manure every year. If they do not thrive, I yank them out (this rarely happens).  Long flowering season, lovely blooms, use as cut flowers, colours!

“Then there are coneflowers, rudbeckia, agapanthus, allium… I could go on and on and on…   I guess I am a plantaholic.”

Aren’t we all? Thanks for sharing your garden, Ciaran. It brightens up a northern gardener’s soul. 



36 thoughts on “Ciaran’s Irish Garden”

  1. Phew, what a treat! I was especially drooling over that patch of vivid (pink? fuchsia?) cyclamen. Also enjoyed seeing pictures of the gardeners, young and old. Thanks, Ciaran and Cynthia!

  2. Yes, thank you Cynthia and Ciaran. I love seeing your beautiful garden and being reminded of the joy I had during my gardening years. Maybe one day again I’ll have a garden to tend again. Meanwhile, there are memories and other gardens to appreciate.

    1. I know you loved your garden, Brad. I go through a whole 6 months without a garden and I feel deprived, so though I tease Ciaran for having blooms when I only have snow, I enjoy visiting his and other gardens during the cold months. BTW: Are you acting on that suggestion? I am the worst nag, so don’t get me started!

    1. We will see in the next few weeks. I have a tweet where I have put up a lot of pictures of the “round bulb area”. The real excitement is ahead!

  3. Wow, it looks fab. Top job Ciaran! My daffs are just coming out too … and what I thought was bluebells when I moved in but turns out to be wild garlic. 🙂 Great for cooking.



      1. We are dandy. I’ve been a bit out of it myself, proofing audio books. It’s been fab, like seeing my characters in 3d! Even though it’s freezing it’s an early spring here … Go figure.

  4. And thank you, Cynthia, for sharing his garden with us here!😀 Gardening is truly Zen-like, meditative and I always return indoors feeling recuperated and well. Wow! the garden looks amazing and I’m in awe of the 500 bulbs planted. No wonder there is already so much colour! Hope Spring is soon there for you, Cynthia … we have a few flowers out but so much rain over winter I fear the bulbs have drowned!

  5. All those bulbs and Hellebores make me impatient for spring. So great that he has his boys helping! Not so easy to do, in my experience!

    1. It takes about twice as long with their help but is much more fun! Also I find I need to not sweat the small stuff, buy more seeds and everything else than I would think I need They have to learn somehow.

  6. While we really don’t have much of a winter here in Florida, there are so many flowers that I can’t grow anymore like I did in New England…too hot. Thank you for sharing another’s beautiful garden,

  7. Thank you for sharing their garden Cynthia, Here in the UK our daffs and crocus’s are also beginning to bloom… I have winter pansies too… And the hyacinths are pushing through along with tulips but they have a ways to go yet before they bloom… Many thanks for sharing Cynthia..
    Keep focused on Spring and it will soon arrive in your hemisphere..
    Love Sue ❤

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