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Spring Gardening With Eugene Higgins!

Tuesday, 28 March 2006


Spring is well and truly here and its time to get back out into that garden. Eugene is going to tell us all how to inject some colour and life back into our gardens after the long winter months.

Unusually low temperatures mean that the variety of plants and flowers we are seeing at the moment is limited, so Eugene will work with some of the more resilient varieties that have managed to make an appearance despite the chilly weather.
1. As the weather is not inviting us outside, lets pay attention to indoor plants for tip one. Spring is a good time to re-pot indoor plants.
2. As it was Mothers day on Sunday last, many Orchids will have been given as pressies, demo will show how to look after this increasingly popular plant.
3. Lets grow are own Tomatoes, home grown taste FAB nothing like the horrible ones in the supermarket.

Cymbidiums are very hard to keep happy in our centrally heated houses. They appreciate daytime temperatures of about  16C, and a mere 10C-12C at night, or even lower in the winter. They fare better in cool conservatiories of unheated porches, without too much direct sunshine. There are special orchid fertilisers, one for spring, summers, one for autumn and one for winter, but cymbidiums will not flower in the following years unless they can  spend a period of relative neglect (you stop feeding them completely in July and August) outdoors in the shade, or partial shade, each summer.
This cruel-to-be-kind treatment has its problems. Once they come back indoors, any pests the plants may have picked up will thrive and proliferate. Spider mite can be a real problem. If indeed you detect a spider mite ( graininess on backs of leaves) spray with Provado Ultimate Bug Killer.
Re-potting every other year is a good idea, using a bark-based orchid compost.

The Plants

. Grevillea "Desert Flame" -  €9.95
This striking red-coloured plant does really well in coastal areas.
. B. Hebe "Heartbreaker" - €9.95
Colour in the garden isn't all about flowers as is proven by this stunning-looking pink-tinged foliage plant.
. C. Ozothamnus Ledifolius/ "Kerosene Plant"  - €8.95
This Australian plants produces yellowy-white flowers which turn red.
. D. Pieris Katsura - €10.95
This plant combines white flowers set against red-tinted foliage. Great for flower-arranging.
. E. Cytisus Racamosa - €14.95
This plant has an unusually long flowering period, it produces its unusual yellow flowers for anything up to 4 months.
. Large Black Pot  - €85.95 / €49.95
There is also a smaller version of this pot for people who don't have much space or don't want to spend as much:
Available in Black Banks Garden Centre.
. Nandina Domestica/ Sacred Bamboo - €43.45
This very leafy plant is quite different from traditional bamboo.
. Two Lophyrmyrtus -  €14.95
. Campunula - €5.95
This purple-blue coloured plant contrasts really well with the black pot.
. Daffodills Tête a Tête - €2.95
The Tête A Tête is a miniature daffodill.
. 80 Ltr. Tippand Organic Compost - €7.99.