leonie cornelius

LEONIE CORNELIUS & FRIENDS

Category Irish Mail on Sunday

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Mystery of Magical Gardens

Have you ever walked into a garden and felt yourself sigh in delight? Some gardens have that magical quality to them and yet are simply a few trees and shrubs, whilst others, designed to the millimetre, fail to inspire. The best gardens are the ones that leave us breathless, that have that little spark of magic that is hard to describe and almost impossible to define. Gardens that stop time

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Colour in the Garden | Be subtle…or break all the rules!

  Colour can have a profound effect on our psychological experience of a garden. It can make a space feel larger, smaller, longer and narrower. Combining colour in gardens is much like creating a careful artistic composition with no garden ever being the same as another. The exciting thing about colour in the garden as opposed to in interiors or fashion, is the ever changing nature of plants themselves. As

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Beautiful Balconies | plants for small spaces

The definition of a garden is ‘a piece of ground adjoining a house, used for growing flowers, fruit, or vegetables’.  Where in many cases this definition holds true, the rise in populations of cities has changed how we define gardens. Exciting urban allotments have created vibrant new community spaces that re-define the traditional garden idea-or rather, go back beyond that and return to an ancient form of growing for communities

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Chrysanthemum | The September Garden gem

Every year, when late Summer turns into early Autumn the passing of the seasons suddenly becomes so apparent. The cooler misty mornings and browning tips of leaves always remind me  of the transience of nature, the ever changing game of growth and decay that makes the cycle of the garden such an exciting spectacle. Autumn is a time where many plants are preparing for the dormant period of Winter, stocking

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A kitchen herb story |What would food be without herbs?

Can you imagine cooking without herbs? I for one find it almost impossible to imagine. What wouldRosemary lamb taste like without the Rosemary? Or one of my favourites-Tarragon Chicken without the Tarragon? Or god forbid- Beef Bourguignon without the ‘Bouquet garni’? The definition of a herb is this: ‘Any plant with leaves, seeds, or flowers used for flavouring, food, medicine, or perfume’ meaning so many plants known to us in

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Gorgeous Geraniums

My love of Geraniums has been a long standing one. I remember as a child that in late Summer and early Autumn the pretty mounds of colourful flowers spilled out over the borders of our garden beds and then later in the season scattered their light petals over pathways and lawns like a celebratory wedding procession. These are not many flowers as versatile as the Geranium. With their masses of

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Lavender pink summer | Scent and Flavour

I don’t think I have ever met anyone that doesn’t love Lavender. There are so many great things about these evergreen shrubs native to the Old world- from across Europe, particularly the Mediterranean and across the Cape Verde and Canary Islands to Northern and Eastern Africa as well as some parts of Asia. From its delicious scent and hence its benefits in the aroma and beauty trade to its uses

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Daylilies | the sensual flower that keeps on giving.

The Daylily is undoubtedly one of the stars of the summer garden. Planted within any scheme these pretty trumpet shaped perennials are incredibly eye catching. True to their name, the Day Lily blooms for 24 hours but each plant produces many flowers meaning their flowering time can last for weeks on end. Typically a flower is produced in the early morning which then withers during the following night. This flower

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Queen of the meadow | a powerful medicine

At this time of the year Irish meadows are an explosion of colour, scent and beauty. Every year, in the Winter months I forget how impressive the totally natural display of planting is and then every Summer I am reminded again how spectacular our natural surroundings can be. On a walk in the fields near my house recently I felt giddy with excitement. Purple thistles soared up against the blue

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Mysterious Aztec jewels

  Looking at Dahlias you simply cannot help but admire their floriferous display. One of my favourite flowers for the Summer border, the beautiful South American native has so many faces. There are about 57,000 RHS registered cultivars of Dahlia and it is generally the hybrids that are available as garden flowers. The RHS lists fourteen groups of Dahlia and these are grouped by their flower shape. From simple open

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