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Wildflowers In Irish Gardens open to the Public

 Wildflowers In Irish Gardens open to the Public


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Garden where DBN wildflowers have been sown:



Butterstream Gardens.

Battle of the Boyne Field. Duchas. Open to the public

Cabinteely Park. Wildflower meadows, 2 H.a. (open free to Public)

Airfield House, Dundrum, Co Dublin.

Larchill Arcadian Garden, Kilcock 

Lis Ard Gardens, Skibbereen, Co Cork

Glenveigh Gardens, Glenveagh Castle Gardens, National Park Donegal. A botanical collection of our flora was requested for botanical or conservation reasons.

Muckross House, Killarney National Park, Killarney, Co Kerry

Valclusa Garden, Waterfall Road, Enniskerry, Co. Wicklow

Mount Usher Gardens,  Co. Wicklow

Fota Wildlife Park and Golf Course, Fota island, Cork

Knockanrawley Resource Centre, Co Tip.

Knocksink Wood. Environmental Centre.

Lucan Demesne, large wildflower park in the Liffey Valley.  

Strokestown House (Back Meadow).

Abbeyfeale Riverside Park  Designed by DBN and local community 1996.  

Visit our largest park landscape to-date at Abbeyfeale.  Co. Limerick.


Moat of Ardscull - Wildflower park, Athy. Co Kildare. On Route N78, north of Athy. (open free to Public) 0.3 H.A.


Irish hunger Memorial Garden, Battery City Park. lower Manhattan. USA



Other gardens with native and/or Design By Nature Wildflowers

Timoleague Castle Gardens
Lisselan Estate Gardens
The River House Garden
Glebe Gardens & Gallery
West Cork Herb Gardens
The Ewe Art Retreat
Carraig Abhainn Gardens
Durrus Tropical House
Kilrarock Garden
Cois Cuain
Bantry House & Gardens
Larchwood House Garden
Cashelane Gardens
Derreenagarig Garden
The Mills Inn Castle & Gardens
Powerscourt Gardens
Luttrelstown Castle
Kylemore Abbey
Moygownagh Community Council
Tullynally Castle Gardens
Lodge Park Walled Garden
The Talbot Botanic Gardens
Fairfield Lodge
National Botanic Gardens
Ram House Gardens
Primrose Hill
John F. Kennedy Arboretum
Kilfane Glen & Waterfall
Mount Juliet
Annes Grove
Ilnacullin Garinish Island
Glanleam Subtropical Gardens
Muckross Gardens
Hotel Dunloe Castle Gardens
Glin Castle Gardens
Hilton Park
Mount Stewart

Tearmann Si by Mary Reynolds RHS Chelsea 2002 Chelsea Irish Garden, Gold Medal, DBN supplied wildflowers for the Award winning Celtic garden at The Royal Horticultural Society's Chelsea Flower show 2002

Growing Wildflowers in Public Gardens:
Wildflowers can occur naturally in many old Irish Gardens, where they occur they are valued and add historical effect, attract wildlife and improve the landscape. 
The visitor generally supports the planting of native species, especially where they are explained with proper interpretation. 

In new gardens and public open spaces, wildflowers can add dramatic effect while other species are growing to maturity.

The site for of wildflowers can be in woodland, wetland or meadow ecologies or specified areas, such as under hedges, along driveways and around trees

The cost can be reduced if DBN are contacted by email early and before works commence.
Get advice before the design stage, carry out a flora survey, and specify to the design team that you wish to keep existing native flora, thus reducing cost.

If wildflowers are to be introduced then sowing is cost effective. There is no need to till or turn the soil, just make level and kill off the existing vegetation. Then sow and roll the seed into the surface 

An ideal time to sow wildflowers is during improvements, where bare soil is exposed.
Do not delay, spray weed germination off, and sow as if seed can be sown before the weeds germinate the flora will get off to a great start.
Wild flowers are more difficult to establish in existing grass, however on regular cutting may help this process, seek our advice and specialist mixtures.

As mentioned many Gardens have existing flora, managing this should be the first consideration, Protect it. 
Survey and look for existing species, they may not be flowering at the time of the survey so keep a notebook handy to record all the wildlife on the course, after one year you will be surprised how many species can be recorded.
Check in 'out of the way places' and see what the local ecology is, are the existing species stable or in retreat? Such as in the shaded areas.
Can these areas be increased by raising awareness, training of staff, notices and if required, fencing off these areas, especially if they need help. Simple ideas like covering nearby ground with cut grass 'mulch' generated elsewhere can create areas for the spread of many species.  

3 simple questions: 

  1. Are existing places in danger of change, for example, are wetland species in danger of being drained? Are woodland soils sheltered and shaded? Are meadows with flora, cut at the right time and managed to protect the flora.
  2. Many old gardens have native orchids and other rare species, is there a management plan for these?
  3. Is there a plan for invasive weeds, as well as fertiliser and herbicide use, what safeguards are there to avoid chemical use in flora and fauna rich special areas? 

A meadow changes colour with the seasons.
A meadow should be green all summer (even in drought) until just before it finishes flowering in mid or late summer (depending on mixture). 
It will then become golden yellow in colour and need to be cut back and cleaned up after flowering. The seeds will fall out 3-6 weeks after flowers fade.
In autumn, a meadow will reflect the seasons change as it recovers from its final cut. 
In wintertime, your meadow should remain a grassy. 
In the first two years it will have some bare patches, where seeds will germinate. Give it time to improve, if you feel it is too bare you can over sow it with wild grass. Use bent but no ryegrass, if you like the blazing colours of the annuals that grew in the first year create island beds for them in the meadow and rotavate these every autumn. Use Annual Mix No EC07, (seek advice).

What does a meadow look like?

In the early years when you first sow your meadow it should grow to an even height with a blaze of colour, especially if you sow extra annuals. 

New meadows tend to flower in high summer for 12 weeks or more. Over time the meadow will have more species, flower for longer and at different heights but not in a single blaze. 

Older meadows are better viewed from close up. In older meadow the flora will be far more complex and interesting due to the diversity of species and range of colourful flowers.
Create a wildflower path through the meadow so you can see the flowers close up, cut the grass with a lawn mower and keep it very short. So there is work after all!

Wildflowers are functional plants, they can be used to benefit wildlife & stop erosion. Meadows are more than pretty they are ecosystems.

Growing Instruction: Natural succession
In the wild, meadows take years to evolve.  Wildflowers usually follow a clear succession in becoming a meadow.
The wildflower grower aims to regularly cut a meadow at least one or twice per year to halt the succession and spread of grasses, shrubs or even trees. 

The secret of growing a great meadow falls to halting its natural succession just before the taller tougher grasses take over and the 'meadow starts thinking it's a forest'.
In nature, Annual species grow first, then Biennials flower in the second year.
Perennial herbaceous plants and fine grasses then succeed these.
In time in an uncut meadow taller tougher grass species arrive & kill the flora.
We must cut to control the spread of these grasses, as they cannot survive regular cutting. Annuals and Biennials die off and do not reappear unless they are species suited to growing in grassland.
Where (grass dependent species) semi-parasitic annual species of old hay meadows occur such as Bartsia, Eyebright, Loosewort or Yellow Rattle.  Yellow Rattle reduces the growth of grass and is essential to most meadows, it can be over sown into existing grassland and needs low temperatures to germinate. All the above species are disappearing in the wild. (Such species are supplied in mixtures, often with a host grass at 0.5% of total seed quantity, and may also be included in pure 100% wildflower mixtures). 



Sandro's Famous Wildflower Seeds
Handing On Our Heritage
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Mr. Sandro Cafolla t/a   
Design By Nature (Ire) 
Monavea, Carlow, Ireland. 
R93 T289

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