Johnstown Garden Centre: A Peek at an Irish Garden Centre’s Treasures

Have you ever perused the online stores of garden centres far outside of your own regional boundaries?  I find it really interesting as, I think garden knowledge can be quite localized and trends, styles, products and ways of doing things can range widely in different regions even if their growing climates are similar.   For example, I grew up in Denver, the daughter of a fierce gardener, and so was pretty in tune with the seasons, cold winters, and the drastic change gardens go through every year so New England would not seem so different (more humid yes, but otherwise similar) – but what I have never been able to explain is the New England fascination with mums in the fall.  OK, beautiful, but no place else has such an obsession with mums in the fall like New England.  Why is that?  I have no idea.

Back to my point though, I am always curious about what I will discover about a place by visiting their garden centers.   Like this morning Patrick Fitzgerald tweeted about some products at the  Johnstown Garden Centre in Ireland and I followed along for a peruse.  Happily, I discovered some fun things.  I love these seed packets, and think they would be great travel gifts.  I have a meadow planted with New England wildflowers, wouldn’t it be fun to plant the Irish one nearby to compare side by side?

irish wildflower seeds and shamrock seeds

Johnstown also has a special area of their website that features rare ‘plant hunter’ plants.  I have seen the Blue Poppy (Meconopsis sheldonii) many times before.  When I lived in the UK, there seemed to be somewhat of an obsession with the plant.  Oddly, that obsession hasn’t quite translated to the US.  Maybe it is like most fashion that I noticed living in two countries, things that were hot in London, would generally not become a trend in the US until much later (sometimes years).   Maybe that means the blue poppy will take off soon?
meconopsis sheldonii via www.pithandvigor.com

Here are a few other interesting plants that I am now obsessed with.

The Handkerchief Tree (Davidia involucrata) is so beautiful. I can’t think of a garden where this wispy dreamy tree wouldn’t be a more interesting substitute for a more regular Dogwood.
handkerchief tree

The Wollemi Pine has been found in fossil remains dating from the Jurassic period. Forget deer, can you imagine — these trees survived dinosaur munching. The tree was recently discovered in Australia and is now available worldwide in an effort to save this rare specimen (only 100 trees exist in the wild). It’s shape and leaves are beautiful and I think it has proved it’s hardiness.

wollemi-pine

1. My Wollemi, 2. Wollemi Pine, 3. Wollemia nobilis 071226-1009, 4. Wollemi Pine, 5. Wollemi pine!, 6. Leaf_Ball

I am also loving two twists on old favorites.  The double decker Echinacea is much more eye catching (a little like Bee Balm) than the original and this  evergreen Clematis also blooms in the winter!
snow bells clematis double decker echinacea
Unless otherwise noted, all images from Johnstown Garden Center.

And finally — I saw these excellent little resources on their website.  Really, to me they are the clearest most easily read depictions of all that could ail you (or your plants) in the garden.  I think they would make any novice feel like they could effectively, and with some authority, go to a pro and describe their plant issue and get the right help.

what is wrong with your garden plant common garden pests

common problems with houseplants diagnose your houseplant bugs

common problems with tomatoes diagnose tomatoe insects and pests

Anyone know of another great garden center worth cruising on the internet?

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rochelle greayer

Hi, I'm Rochelle and for 18 years I have worked as a landscape designer, author/writer, and design teacher. I've designed residential and hospitality (for hotels, restaurants, and spas) gardens across the USA and in the UK, Europe and the Middle East. After many years of teaching garden design topics in person, I launched the PITH + VIGOR Boot Camp series in early 2018. Through my blog, social media, and online courses (Garden Design Bootcamp and Planting Design Boot Camp) I aim to help homeowners learn how to confidently design and create home gardens that reflect their own personal and unique style.
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6 Comments

  1. sara on July 2, 2009 at 2:34 pm

    HI…long story short – found your site months back searching for garden stuff – been “normally” obsessed with your blog – i go to most, if not all of the sites you mention – and now i am in horticulture science in college and changing my major! I LOVE THE GARDEN!!! You should try and browse Rogers Garden, Corona Del Mar CA http://www.rogersgardens.com/ – great stuff, you can just walk around it is set up like a garden and OOO so relaxing…AND look at the Christmas/holiday stuff! * Plant Depot is a great place too http://www.plantdepot.com/site/! Have fun searching!!

  2. jim clarke on July 3, 2009 at 10:47 am

    Thank you so much for the twitter plug

    jim

  3. Pat FitzGerald on January 20, 2010 at 8:19 pm

    Hello Rochelle,
    Great article glad you followed through on my tweet just goes to show people are listening out there. I just came across this article by pure accident from someone who logged onto our http://www.fitzgerald-nurseries.com website link from this article. Such a small world 🙂 and so good to see the diversity. Your blog and website are fantastic amaziing amount of work! Well done.

    Pat.

  4. Margaret Bohan on February 16, 2016 at 7:23 pm

    I have a garden in Ireland and I have trouble with my rose bushes, the leaves have large brown spots and fall off. What can I give the soil or what can I spray on the leaves?

  5. Gena on May 1, 2016 at 9:27 am

    I have a grafted weeping pussy willow which is only but a foot tall ,( it was indoor plant )all of a sudden the leaves all started dying and the stem turned black up to the grafted area , I can’t find a single thing on how to save my tiny enchantment tree?! Can you suggest anything ?

  6. Gena on June 18, 2016 at 11:29 pm

    I have a weeping pussy willow that need something I can’t tell what it is but hopefully you can help me …
    It’s brown and I have seen little red bugs before and some kind of reddish egg sac growing on the pansies that I put in the same spot ? Please help

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