Photo taken May 2014. This is a fabulous palm tree that's incredibly slow growing (I would guess this one is at least 80 years old possibly more) it can take up to 50 years before they start making a trunk.
I believe this specimen was imported several years ago and is still getting itself established. The head of leaves are a fraction of what they should be but then it has just gone through one of the windiest winters on record. Its also in quite an exposed position on a raised bit of ground but if it gets away it will be the crowning glory of the garden.
One of the worst hit gardens in Ireland from last winters storm must be Kells Bay Gardens down in the south west. Huge fallen trees with giant roots have damaged paths and made a general mess of the garden. However it looks like someone handy with a chainsaw has come up with a good idea of dealing with the debris.
The fire bush (Proteaceae) is an evergreen shrub or small tree of suckering habit which when in flower gives the most brilliant display of colour. Its not particularly common in cultivation probably because its quite fussy in its requirements. Lime free moist soil in a sheltered position with abundant light. This is one of the finest examples I have seen for a show of flowers. Location, Furzey Garden in the heart of the New Forest at Minstead in Hampshire.
Ian Watt is a UK Based photographer and horticulturist specialising in garden photography, nature photography and landscapes.