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Starting from Ground Zero…

From a warm If relentlessly damp November – the last of the sweetcorn, nerines, and yellow cherry tomatoes – early December plunged the Atlantic North West into a coating of black ice.

When its grip loosened, after over a week, two metre tree peonies & flowering pheasantberry were reduced to brown rags. Many long-lived herbaceous perennials look unlikely to recover.

Local nurseries who grow on their own stock were hard-hit, and one local vegetable producer who lost Winter root stores has decided to quit in consequence.

A post on climate instability and its effects on garden ecosystems is overdue.)

From this starting-point is not possible to make a long-term plan or calendar for the season. Frogswell’s visiting days and plant sales for 2023 will be on ad hoc basis, and flagged via Twitter. @frogswell_ie

Spring – when it arrives – is too rapid and brief for frequent blogging!

Growth buds burst through the litter of dead leaves and seedpods on a hybrid tree peony – Paeonia delavayii x lutea.


Bigger & Bolder – the Tasmanian Elizabethtown Hybrids

Raised at Frogswell by my predecessor Jane and myself, from seed sourced from the collection of John Bradley, the Tasmanian breeder. These dramatic plants are no longer in commercial propagation.

Meanwhile, outside the gate…

A reason not to be out and about

Orchard Path, February 23rd

The last of the orchard hellebore areas to be planted, focussing mainly on lighter colours – pale pinks, cream-yellows and picotee-edged whites. Most plants are now five or six years old, and producing dozens of blooms

Dodging Storm Ellen – and her successors

Sunday 23rd looks like being is the only calmish day in the coming week. On the other hand, there is another centimetre a day of rain to come between now and then, paths are already under standing water, and likely there is flooding on local roads as well.

So, alternatives to a live open afternoon on February 23rd:

  • Virtual visit – a gallery post or two for Sunday.
  • Wait for the heritage daffodils in March.
  • For anyone with wellingtons and determination to make the trip over during the week 23rd – 28th, email a day ahead to
Lough Cullin N. Shore Feb 17th

Delayed Hellebore Day

The weekend of the 15th to 16th February is now looking like 50 mile an hour gales and snow. (Again.) While the hellebores will survive such conditions gracefully, humans outdoors may not.

Fallback date is Sunday, February 23

The only likely casualties will be the small frilly double snowdrops, as these are already in full flower, and quite delicate.

Fully open double snowdrops – always the earliest

Confirmation and directions Monday 17th

Potted hybrid hellebore and snowdrop plants for sale. Also some surplus bare-root stock for re-homing – charity donation appreciated.

Early Spring Flowering

Coming out of Hibernation – a Garden – & a Blog

Crocus Whitwell Purple – an early-flowerng Tomasinianus hybrid