The volunteers at Lismacloskey Garden at the Ulster Folk Museum near Belfast are busy getting the garden back into shape after a very wet but mild winter. The weather obviously suited the Irish Primroses introduced by the Fitzgerald Nursery in recent years as they are putting on a great show in the long bed leading down to the shady area where daffodils such as the historic Narcissus ‘Van Sion’ dating from about 1620 have been naturalised.
Primula ‘Avondale’ (the label in the photograph refers to a different plant not shown in the picture) looks jaunty with Penstemon ‘Evelyn’, a lovely Irish variety introduced by the former Slieve Donard Nursery, forming a green background while P. ‘Glengarriff’ tones perfectly with Pulmonaria ‘Blake’s Silver’.
Despite being only the end of March, Hypericum ‘Rowallane’ on the opposite side of the garden is in full bloom. Nearby Barbara Mayne is weeding carefully around P. ‘Guinevere’ which grows at the base of a willow support for Rosa ‘William Lobb’ while Lorna Goldstrom, the IGPS co-ordinator for the garden, tackles a bit of last minute pruning. The willow wigwam and the giant hedgehog which can be glimpsed behind the daffodils were specially constructed for the garden by Bob, the Museum’s resident willow weaver.
With thanks to Maeve Bell for text and photographs.