The Gardens in Summer
With the arrival of summer the centre of our attention is drawn away from the main garden to the main drive where the azaleas and rhododendrons provide an amazing and dazzling display of colour in late May and early June. It is the highlight of any visit to Coolcarrigan at this time of year . Many visitors plan the timing of their return trips to catch the display. The creation of a new lake with further planting behind it on the main drive will only improve the impact in years to come.
As the display on the front avenue fades we are drawn back to the main garden as the herbaceous border , rockery and lawns around the main house and greenhouse come into their own . The herbaceous border is at its peak when most of the shrubs have finished flowering.
Although there are many spectacular shrubs that may be the highlight at springtime there are many individuals that should not be ignored during the summer. Crinodendron Hookeranum, Berberis Valdiviana, Hyrdrangea Hillieri , and Viburnum Plicatum Mariesii. There is also the contrast in leaf shape, colour and tree form to be enjoyed. Fagus sylvatica pendula aurea must be one of the most unusual examples.
Meanwhile we have been harvesting the fruits from the greenhouse, peaches and nectarines are well established. Grapes ripen later in the summer. Apricots, lime, mangoes and satsumas have recently been added to the greenhouse. A walled in garden has a collection of raspberries , strawberries, apples , pears and plums.
As the herbaceous border begins to fade the dahlia bed beside the house starts to flower and sees us into the first winter frosts.