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The Afternoon Show
The Afternoon ShowRTÉ One, Weekdays, 4.00pm

Summer Bedding With Eugene

Tuesday, 2 May 2006


We are gearing up for summer with plenty of hints and tips on how to add a bit of colour and make the most of your garden when the sun shines. Eugene our garden expert joins us and will focus on bedding for your gardens and how to get it right this summer!

Bedding refers to high-impact; seasonal flowers suitable for planting in flower beds or pots.  Summer bedding typically has a short, glorious life from May/ June to late August/ early September. Bedding is great for novice gardeners as, depending on the variety of flower selected, impressive results are very achievable with relatively little effort. However, Eugene says a bit of extra attention can significantly lengthen the lifespan of a summer garden!

The bedding season normally kicks off mid-March but this year because of unusually low temperatures it's only starting now.
According to Eugene coming into Summer even the most inexperienced gardeners dabble in a bit of bedding hoping to create what he calls the "St. Stephen's Green impact" fopr example "clumps" of dramatic colour in the garden.

Top Tip
Some bedding plants thrive in shade while others prefer sunlight, it's really important to take this into account, selecting plants that favour the lighting conditions of your garden. 

Bedding for Beginners
Eugene talks us through some well-known bedding plants which are fairly low maintenance. These plants are prefect for brightening up gardens that ren't landscape and great for getting kids involved in the garden.
. Lobelia €3.95 for tray of 6
. Marigolds €3.95 for tray of 6
. Alyssum €3.95 for tray of 6
. Petunias €3.95 for tray of 6
. Bacopas €4.95 Each

Geraniums are really drought tolerant bedding plants. Eugene points out how useful it is to go for plants that are more drought-tolerant for the summer months: because of the long daylight hours there is a high level of evaporation and resulting dehydration throughout the season. Geranium €5.45 each

Eugene will be planting up the Sweet-Pea that was started on the show last year. Because sweet pea is a great climber he demos it with a miniature trellis made from canes.
. Terracota Pot €15
. Compost €6.99

Top Tip
It's really important to dead-head Sweet-peas or they won't last the season.

Bedding for Serious Gardeners
Eugene introduces more unusual plants which he has already planted up.

. Mimulas are really good in shady areas.
Mimulas €3.95
. Nemesia is really good value as it lasts and lasts, it will even survive through a mild winter, it can live up to 2 years flowering non-stop.
Nemesia €4.95
. Brachycome's Australian name is Swan River Daisy.
Brachycome €4.95
. The Surfinia Petunia comes in loads of different colours and is a great trailing plant, ideal for planting hanging baskets.
Surfinia Petunia €4.95

Top Tip
Ice-cubes in hanging baskets are a really great way to keep your plants hydrated in summer.