Seven Winter Wonderful Plants

This blog is in connection to the YouTube tutorial Seven Winter Wonderful Plants’. Attached below are  the pictures and names of the plants that were discussed during the video.

Carex buchananii

Skimmia japonica 

Calluna vulgaris

Heuchera ‘Fire Chief’

Cornus alba 

Viburnum tinus

Ilex alquifolium ‘Golden King’
Thanks once again for reading my blog and watching the tutorial. I hope you enjoyed and perhaps learnt something new, maybe even inspired you to do some garden.

Please feel free to leave some feedback or indeed suggestions on future blogs and tutorials. If you have any questions regarding the blog or the tutorial please feel free in contact.

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Seven Winter Wonderful Plants

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5 Tips to Maintain Roses

This time of year sees the spectacular return of the rose in flower. Nothing compares to this outstanding show that the rose  puts on and mostly definitely be a centre piece in any garden..

Here are five tips to get that spectacular show and to make it last so you get the most out of it.

With the unfavorable weather conditions over the last number of week’s roses need that little bit more attention.

1) Pruning

Summer pruning is important aspect not only to encourage a good growth habit or to restrict from getting to big but also to encourage a second flush of flowers.

So not only dead heading the roses but also pruning back after they have finished flowering will encourage repeat flowering.

It is important to note that only a light pruning is required and that winter pruning of roses is done for a different reason.

2) Dead Heading

If you check my two YouTube videos ‘Dead Heading Rhododendrons’ and ‘How to Maintain Window Boxes and Hanging Baskets’ will give you some idea on how to carry out the dead heading of roses as it is similar.

To ensure a longer lasting flowering time frame dead heading should be regularly carried out on the roses, if not the rose will put its time and energy into producing and developing seeds instead of flowers.

It is important to make sure that time and effort is put in and it is done right, that the seed capsules are removed and that you are not just pulling off the petals.

Finished flowers
Finished flowers

3) Disease Control

The two most common diseases associated with roses are black spot (Diplocarpon rosae) and powdery mildew (Podosphaera pannosa).

Rose black spot is a fungus disease and is easily recognised with black markings on the leaves. It can cause an unsightly appearance on the roses and become quite serious if not treated.

Powdery mildew is another fungus disease that occurs on roses. Like the black spot it needs favorably weather conditions (humid) for it to develop.

For the treatment of mildew and black spot there are many different treatments available both chemical and non-chemical and greatly depends on how seriously effected the roses are and your preferred method.

If you would like to share your remedies post a comment or send a message on my Facebook page (A Horticulturist’s View) and I could put together a list of all the different tricks and tips.

To maximise your roses it is important to minimise the amount of diseases impacting on it.

First signs of black spot
First signs of black spot

4) Pest Control

The most common of all pests to attack the roses are the aphids (greenfly). It is quite easily recognised as a bright green insect like and tend to gather in large colonies on the rose

The aphid can have devastating effect on the roses causing a number of afflictions. From viruses, appearance, sap damage, heavy infestations can lead to shoot damage and damage to the flower.

Again there is a number of treatments available to treating aphid attacks on roses both chemical and non-chemical.

Natural predators such as ladybirds should be encouraged into your garden as both at the larvae adult stage attack the aphid therefore reducing their impact.

Another remedy I recently found out about is the use of garlic spray to prevent and control aphids as well as many other garden pests such as slugs having an impact on your plants and roses.

5) Feeding

As you can imagine it takes a lot of energy to put on that show of flowers so it is important to give them a feed.

Not only whenever they are in flower but also when the roses are preparing to produce flowers.

A simply liquid feed will provide a quick boost to the roses but it is also important to provide a longer lasting fertiliser at least once a year if not twice.

Mulching will provide another source of feed and this should be carried out after flowering in autumn.

Keep an out for my YouTube tutorial on ‘Maintaining Roses’ in the next few days as well

Just about to flower
Just about to flower

As I mentioned above, I would love to hear about your different tips and tricks when it comes to controlling diseases and pests on the roses and all things roses.

I would appreciate some feedback and any ideas of blogs you would like to see me write in the future. Thanks once again for reading and I hope you enjoyed my latest piece.

Please feel free to like and share it as well.

Standard roses in flower
Standard roses in flower

5 Tips for Summer Bedding Plants

To get the most out of your summer bedding plants and long lasting flowering its important to look after your hanging baskets and window boxes.

With the ever changing weather conditions it is important to regularly check your summer bedding on a daily basis. Here’s what you should be keeping an eye out for:


Simple lift your hanging basket and weigh it in your hand, too light water, too hesvy don’t water.

Little and often is the key here. Watering first thing in the morning is important. There no point going out one day and giving them loads of water i.e. were they are basically swimming in it and then none for a couple of days. This can lead to two problems

A) It will cause all the nutrients to be washed down to the very bottom of the hanging thebasket or window box and more than likely out of reach of the shallow roots summer bedding.

B) Causes stress, where the plant either becomes waterlogged or suffering from the lack of water. This will cause the onset of stress and see the plant begin to suffer. A tell tale sign is seeing is the flowers shriveling up or the yellowing of the leaves. At this stage it could be too late though to revive the plant so don’t let them get this far!!



All that energy that the summer bedding plants put into producing a magnificent show of colour, they are bound to get hungry. It is important to regularly feed the summer bedding. A clear indication that they require feeding is that the either stop producing flowers or a discolourng in the leaves.

There is many options whenever it comes to suitable feeds and a lot of them are diluted with water. The reason for this is that it is quick acting and short lasting fertiliser, remember summer bedding=summer so they are not there for the year..

  • Tomato feed- one common problem with tomato feed I have heard is that it tends to be very high in nitrogen. This can cause the summer bedding to produce more shoots rather than flowers. Perhaps it would be better at the start to encourage the plants to establish in the hanging basket or window boxes.
  • Specalised hanging basket/window box feeds – From my own experiences I find these the most effective to encourage a good flowering habit.
  • Home grown feed – Comfrey is another one that has been suggested, were you steep it in a lot of water over a number of days and then pour on the solution.


It is important to regularly go along and pinch off growth along the tips of the plant. This will encourage a bushier habit and to fill out the hanging basket or window box more.

You don’t take all that much just the very tip of it unless it has gotten out of control and in this case cutting it back a little bit can be done to bring back under control once again.

It prevents the flowers getting out of control and becoming straggly. It will also encourage a better growing formation and leading to a less problems with the base of the plant becoming bare.


Dead Heading

This is one of the most important jobs you can do to ensure you have continuous long lasting window box or hanging basket.

When you are carrying out this it is important not to just pull of the flowers but to pinch behind the flowers and removing the seed as well. The flower will continue putting its energy into producing non viable seeds so don’t be thinking great seeds for next year. Not going to work!!!

Dead heading does a few things. It encourages the summer bedding to reflower again and therefore longer lasting a flowering period. Removes the ugly appearance of the hanging basket or window boxes. It also helps to prevent the occurrence of disease or pests being attracted to you summer bedding.


In days of particular bad weather (heavy rainfall) try to protect your summer bedding plants. Be it either taken down your hanging baskets or removing the window boxes from the wall and putting them in doors for the day.

This will help to prevent them from getting damaged from the weather. It also prevent too many of the flowers dying back due to rain or wind and having to start from almost scratch again.

If the care is put in the summer bedding is a true delight in any garden. It offer that essential bit of colour throughout the summer in places where they are no flowers are between different flowering periods.

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to get in contact and hope you enjoyed my latest blog.


First Shoots

So just for all of yous to get to know me a little better, I am gonna base this first blog around me. So my name is Conor Gallinagh, I’m from a small town in the middle of Donegal called Stranorlar.

So what I am up to at the moment, well I’m currently a third year undergraduate studying a Honors Bachelor Degree of Science in Horticulture, Landscape and Sports-turf Management.

Why this you might ask. Well its big part of my life from day one with the family business and farm.

This is where I have developed and grew my interest in horticulture and agriculture. The family business covers a wide variety of horticulture activity from the garden centre, to the tree nursery and landscaping along with forestry throwing into the mix as well.

A view of the garden centre.
A view of the garden centre.

The family farm comprises of a whole array of animal and very much depends on what day of the week you appear from cattle to goats and everything in between even a donkey called Dolly. Although its main enterprise is twenty suckler cows along with calves and fifty breeding ewes.

Dolly the Donkey
Dolly the Donkey

In 2010 I won a major farming competition the ‘Heifer & Hogget Competition’ run by the Irish Farmers Journal.

This involved completing a portfolio on the farm covering various questions associated with a working farm from the enterprises employed to health and safety.

The second stage took part at the Tullamore Show. At this interviews were held by selected representatives of the agriculture industry and a Q&A on the portfolio was completed. The overall judgement on the portfolios and the interviews were then judged.

The finalists were gathered and the the 12 winners of the heifers announced. I was the successful winner of a two year old Limousin heifer from Sligo.

Back in 2010 with the heifer I won. Also in the photo is the breeder from Sligo (left) and a Irish Farmer's Journal representative0.(Right)
Back in 2010 with the heifer I won. Also in the photo is the breeder from Sligo (Left) and a Irish Farmer’s Journal representative (Right)

So whats gonna be expected from my blogs? Well the main interest is gonna evolve around the family business and as well  other areas of horticulture here in Ireland and abroad .

I will also keep regular updates on the family farm and what is happening throughout the different seasons. I will also keep regular updates on my work  experience which I under take as part of my university studies and as well a look at my degree and how it progresses.

Any tips or feedback on my blogs would be more than welcome and greatly appreciated