Weekly Blogs

Gardening Tips and Advice

Welcome to “Gardening Tips and Advice” on Boyletoday.com, the official Ardcarne Garden Centre gardening column. Every Wednesday, the experts in your local Ardcarne Garden Centre will provide relevant and topical items of interest exclusively here on Boyletoday.com to help you get the best from your garden.


Great to do now…

Job of the week: Remove male flowers on greenhouse cucumbers

Get to know the difference between male cucumber flowers, which have a simple stalk behind the petals, and females with tiny baby cucumber fruits forming. If you leave male flowers in place they’ll pollinate the females – leading to bitter fruits. So once a week, go round your plants removing the male flowers as they appear. This doesn’t apply to outdoor ‘ridge’ cucumbers, which need flowers to pollinate to set fruit.


  •  Plant tender salvias, pelargoniums and dahlias out in the open garden

  • Remove diseased leaves from roses and bin or burn them

  • Tie in climbers to supports using soft jute twine

Fruit & veg:

  • Keep fruit and vegetables watered in dry spells, especially leafy greens

  • Thin out carrot seedlings, leaving 5cm between plants

  • Earth up the soil around potatoes for a better crop


  • Shade plants from strong sunshine with shade paint or netting

  • Move cymbidium orchids outdoors in dappled shade

  • Remove old leaves from succulents such as aeoniums and Aloe vera

Around the garden:

  • Give tired lawns a liquid feed to green them up for summer

  • Water newly-planted perennials during dry periods



Focus on Roses …

Roses – The pick of the bunch

Make sure you make the most of these colourful and fragrant plants say the experts at Ardcarne Garden Centre

Sumptuous blooms, delicious fragrance, immensely versatile and steeped in history and nostalgia – the rose is without doubt the supreme summer flower. For those of us who like cottage-style gardens, roses are simply invaluable and capture all the glorious extravagance of the summer garden.


Delicious Fragrance

It’s one of summer’s great treats to nuzzle your nose deep into the velvety petals of a rose to discover its rich perfume. Some people say that roses don’t have such a strong scent any more, but it does depends on which variety you choose. Some of the best scented roses are old-fashioned types, and also David Austin Roses, a range of new varieties which are bred to look like old varieties, but flower for longer. If you want to be drenched in perfume from your roses then try ‘Gertrude Jekyll’, ‘Graham Thomas’ or ‘Munstead Wood’ – all old-fashioned type roses that look lovely among shrubs and perennials. For super-scented bedding-type roses, then make sure you plant the yellow ‘Arthur Bell’ or the white ‘Margaret Merrill’.  Among the most exquisitely scented hybrid tea roses – the group that provides perfect cut flowers – are ‘Fragrant Cloud’ and ‘Deep Secret’, both exquisite deep reds.


Apart from scent, most people want a reliable rose and some are definitely easier to grow than others. One of the best-selling roses at the Ardcarne Garden Centre is ‘Trumpeter’, a flame red bedding type rose that flowers all summer and is very disease resistant. Any of the roses which have been bred from Rosa rugosa, such as the double magenta ‘Roseriae de l’Hay’, are also very disease-resistant. These so-called rugosa roses are extremely reliable and will grow in very windy positions, even right beside the coast. They can also be planted as a flowering hedge.


Carpets of Colour

Flower Carpet roses were only introduced a few years ago and they too have proved very reliable garden plants, which flower all summer on spreading stems. Many different colours are now available in the Flower Carpet range, but the original pink variety is the best for its disease resistance and an amazing show of flowers. They are also very easy to prune and come with a recommendation of cutting all the stems down to about 15cm (6in) from the ground in the winter – even with your hedge clippers!


Climbing and rambler roses are perfect for covering a wall, arch or pergola with colour and scent. Climbing roses such as the red ‘Dublin Bay’ or pale pink ‘New Dawn’ have a fantastic long flowering period – usually from mid summer to autumn. Ramblers have a more lax growth habit than climbers and are ideal for training over an arch. Good varieties to look out for among the ramblers are the deep magenta ‘Excelsa’, pink ‘Dorothy Perkins’ and the very vigorous white ‘Rambling Rector’, which is lovely when planted to scramble into an old tree.


If you fancy the idea of planting some roses in your garden now is an ideal time as you can usually select them in flower – so you can see exactly what the flowers are like and whether they have a nice perfume. When it comes to planting, remember that roses respond extremely well to feeding, so mix in plenty of Westland Farmyard Manure and a handful or two of granular Rose Food. This should also be scattered around existing roses once or twice a year and your reward will be a display of sumptuous blooms for weeks in summer.


For more information contact:

Ardcarne Garden Centre

Boyle, Tel: 07196 67091

Roscommon Town: Tel: 09066 27700

Email: [email protected]


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