Fota Frameyard Blog

Gardening, Nature and Heritage from Fota House


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From the Canaries to Fota

Gabriella’s choice….Aeonium arboreum

In the first week of February I was travelling in the hilly northern part of Gran Canaria. There I saw a huge number of big plants with yellow flowers growing in the wild. It dawned on me that this was a plant I’d seen previously in the glasshouses in Fota. It was the Aeonium Arboreum, which had been presented to Fota’s Frameyard by Mrs Reiker.

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Azara microphilla 'Variegata'


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A wonderful addition to any garden…

Tina’s choice…Azara Microphylla ‘Variegata’

When you enter the green door into the Frameyard, you are  immediately met with a wonderful smell of vanilla. Straight in front of you is a fabulous shrub/small tree and it’s called Azara Microphylla ‘Variegata’. 

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3 great “Workhorses” for your garden

Ann’s choice – Euryops pectinatus, Erysimum “Bowles Mauve”, Coronilla valentina

If you are starting a new garden and need something to create impact quickly the following plants are wonderful. They make great fillers too for a newly planted shrub or mixed border.

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Local (gardening) Heroes

Sally’s choice…. William Baylor Hartland and Árd Cairn Russet apple trees 

I spent a very informative morning in the Fota Frameyard at a Pruning Workshop last week with the very knowledgeable Ian.  After which we all went into the Orchard to assist him in pruning the old Fota apple trees back into a manageable shape.   I went home inspired and determined to see if I couldn’t reinvigorate my own apple trees, one of which is an ‘Árd Cairn Russet’

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Arbutus - Strawberry Tree


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Strawberry Trees Forever…

Arbutus unedo – Edwina’s choice...

Many of the beds and borders in the Fota Frameyard are planted in alphabetical order with plants beginning with ‘A’ grouped together, followed by those beginning with ‘B’ etc.  The majority of the plants in our Frameyard come from warmer climes and far off places, with the exception of a few natives – Arbutus unedo being one of them.

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Fota Frameyard Sweet Pea


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Gabriella’s Choice -The Sweet Pea

Lots of Sweet Pea are grown in Fota every year. When the Frameyard is open to the public, some volunteers collect their flowers and make beautiful bunches of them. They don’t last long, as they are among the first items to be bought by our visitors. The scent reminds me of my Granny’s garden. It has the power to bring me right back to my early childhood.

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Edwina’s choice – Morina Longifolia – Himalayan whorlflower

On first glance you might be forgiven for thinking this plant is a weed, especially without its flower, as it does resemble a thistle.  But this plant has so much more to offer and has an intriguing story.

Morina longifolia (Himalayan whorlflower) is quite the elegant plant and comes from the Himalayas.  It originates from an altitude of about 3000m in an area from Kashmir to Bhutan.  The genus Morina is named in honour of a French nurseryman, René Morin who issued the first printed French plant catalogue in 1621.

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