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RTÉ One, Friday, 8.30pm

Programme 10

Gardener: Peter Dowdall

Its amazing that in such a small garden there was still a patch of ground that I had left untouched. I love rockeries and Alpine plants so I decided that this was the place for my rockery.

How to create a rockery:

  • Put the rocks in position. – Do this first before bringing in soil as you don't want the rocks sitting on top of the soil you want the effect of the rocks been half hidden so they look naturally occurring.
  • Bring in the soil and spread it over the area including the rocks, make sure it is well drained soil and incorporate some grit or washed sand if necessary to help drainage
  • Plant the rockery plants between the rocks.
  • Mulch the area with an ornamental gravel if desired. This will help with weed prevention and prevent water remaining at the base of the plant.

Plants used in the rockery
Gentiana
Gypsohila rosea
Astilbe
Carex

I love the arboretum in Fota as I grew up only down the road from it and I was delighted to have the opportunity to explore some of the more unusual trees and plants in the garden with Cormac Foley of the OPW. We were looking at one area of the garden where all the continents were represented within one small area. We admired the biggest trees in the estate the Redwoods and finally we looked at a very rare Cryptomeria which is near the pond area and creates a fantastic puffball effect.

Last week I fed the lawn, this week it was time to scarify it and mow it after. I would advise scarifying at least once a year as good maintenance along with regular mowing. Bear in mind the lawn will look worse after scarifying before it will look better, but believe me it will be worth it in the long run.

The Gardeners