My Garden by Philippa Thomas

Our light is softer and kinder in this September month and our heat is generally bone warming with obviously, a little nip in the air first thing in the a.m., when we do a whistle stop trip to our Oxigen bin or the likes.  …For some, we still have two months of flowers, however because of our recent drought, lots of plants are stressed so keep an eye for pest attack.  Trees suffering from drought can die from the top down.  …But, my God, what a Summer we have had.

“The Art Of A Photographer Is To Capture The ‘Wow’ Moments, The Challenge For Gardeners Is To Create Them”.

 “In The Sweetness Of Friendship, Let There Be Laughter And Sharing Of Pleasures.  For In The Dew Of Little Things, The Heart Finds Its Mornings And Is Refreshed”.   Khalil Gibran.

Indeed, many people seek total peace in their gardens.  Remember, you can really enhance life and the way you live it through literally, getting outside…, take inspiration from our local Dalkey landscape and Love Your Plot.

September is a transitional time of the year when we enjoy the last of the Summer flowers and the season’s fruit and vegetables, while planning ahead for our following year.  Does anything really not scream of late Summer Autumn, more than seeing juicy berry fruits ripening in the garden and nothing beats the taste of picking them straight from the plant and popping them in your mouth!  Maybe try a red variety of tangy gooseberries with the sweetness of strawberries, a sprig of mint and you’ll enjoy an altogether new flavour.  Did you know that strawberries are part of the Rosacea family – ‘Rose’ family are native to Europe and South America.  They have been gathered from the forests since the Roman times, though records state that in the 14th century, the French began bringing plants from the forests into their gardens.  Although technically not a fruit (as the seeds are on the outside), strawberries are just as nutrient rich as other berries and full of vitamins C and K, Manganese and Potassium.


Bulbs are one of the earliest plants to grow in a garden.  Presently, garden centres will have their best stock of Spring bulbs.  …So, you can take your pick of some amazing varieties, plant them as soon as possible so that they can start growing – daffodils in particular, prefer early planting.

Best Dwarf Narcissus.

  1. Tete Rosette – long flowering.
  2. Tete Boucle – masses of colour.
  3. Jetfire – strong display.
  4. Howera – elegant flowers.
  5. Pipit – unusual flowers.
  6. Scarlet Gem – daffodil, beautiful fragrance.

Don’t we have an incredible abundance and variety of herbs to choose from in this 2018 – ? Remember too, herbs are incredibly popular with butterflies as herbs are an abundant source of nectar and pollen and provide us all with fresh cooking ingredients.  Try Rosemary, Mint, Sage, Chives, Lavender, Borage, Angelica, Thyme and Fennel.  …I have a friend and her kitchen is filled to the brim with all kinds of herbs, healing tonics and tinctures.  Wherever she is, she seems to find the beautiful essence of what surrounds her and creates from this place.  You can’t but get the feeling she is deeply connected with this Earth and its cycles.

Maybe ?  Leave A Section Of Your Garden Messy And Neglected.

This is one of the easiest and most effective ways to entice wildlife into your backyard.  A patch of stinging nettles provides a safe haven for wildlife to breed and can support more than 40 species of insects, wild and natural as nature intended.

Or Maybe Consider:

Deadwood is an important habitat for many.  Stack logs in a pile away from your main planting area and you will soon have new neighbours, insects, fungi, lichen and moss will emerge, as will spiders, beetles, earthworms and woodlice.  Add leaf litter to accommodate hedgehogs, toads, mice and more.  …Be wary at this time of year as ‘such a stack’ can look ready for a ‘Bonfire’ – , and can be a magnet for these innocent little creatures.

Might Do Maybe, September Jobs.

  1. Take cuttings of bedding geraniums, fuchsias, marguerites etc. Use a gritty compost and they’ll root really quickly.  By Autumn, they’ll be stocky young plants ready for over-wintering indoors and flowering next Summer.
  2. After Lilies have finished flowering, cut off the old blooms and feed the plants once a week for a few weeks. Hopefully, bulbs will bulk up and give an even better display next year
  3. If The Mood Swings You?   Make floral egg pasta by incorporating edible flowers and herbs in between layers of pasta.
  4. Preventing weeds reaching flowering stage is one of the best ways to reduce future weeds.
  5. Sweetcorn.   When the silks have turned brown, a good tip is to gently pierce one of the kernels with your thumb nail, if it is ripe it will release a milky liquid.
  6. Maybe, leave flower-heads of ornamental grasses unpruned for Autumn and Winter interest.
  7. Pick the last tomatoes, any green ones can be popped in a paper bag with an apple to help them to ripen.
  8. Planting Containers To Last Until Spring.   Violas are more reliable Winter flowers than Winter pansies and getting them established early avoids too much botrytis.
  9. Steep bulbs in tonic water overnight before planting. Little creatures apparently, don’t like the taste of quinine – it seems to work magic!
  10. Put a clove of garlic next to your Rose shrubs – , no greenfly but Best Of All attracting birds into your garden is a win win situation. They are natural predators, thinning our pests and then, what a diversity of visiting species we can welcome.
  11. It’s not too late yet, to try making your very own delightful fragrant Rose Petal Jam.

Look closely at wild Rose petals and you will notice something quite incredible.  Each petal surprisingly, is shaped like a heart.


Falling Fruit Ireland is a community based project established ( which harvests the seasonal glut of fruit (apples, pears, plums etc.) and vegetables and distributes it to local charities.  See

Dublin Parking Day Festival returns to the streets on September 15th 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., highlighting the importance of greening up our shared urban spaces in creative, innovative ways.  To get involved, email

“Gardening is the art that uses the flowers and plants as paint, and the soil and sky as canvas.”   Elizabeth Murray

So, ‘Hello, September’.