Television


About RTÉ Television
The Afternoon Show
The Afternoon ShowRTÉ One, Weekdays, 4.00pm

Brighten up your Garden with Eugene Higgins

Thursday, 19 October 2006

BRIGHTEN UP YOUR GARDEN WITH EUGENE HIGGINS

If you want to wake up to a flower filled garden in winter then now is the time to get digging and plant your bulbs. Our Landscape gardener Eugene Higgins is here to show us how.

Hyacinths
. Plant now and they'll be in bloom by Christmas
. Hyacinths look best when planted in clusters
. Their flower heads are at their largest and fullest the first spring after planting; in subsequent years they tend to be smaller and looser.
. Plant in bulb fibre to make sure they have adequate nutrients
Hyacinth Bulbs - €3.00 for 3
Bulb fibre - €3.95

Daffodils
. Daffodil bulbs should be planted about two to four weeks before the ground freezes to allow the root to develop underground.
. Plant them 6-8 inches deep.
. Daffodils will tolerate some crowding.
. After they bloom allow the plants to grow until they die off. They need time after blooming to store energy in the bulbs for next year.
. To remove the dead plant, either snip them off at the base, or twist the leaves while pulling lightly.
Daffodfil Bulbs - €3.95 a dozen

Bulbs - 3 unusual varieties
Tulip Viridiflora

. You'd have to search far and wide to find flowers more exciting than these. Each petal is adorned by a striking emerald 'arm' creating the impression that a master artist touched each flower with delicate strokes of green. Height 26-30 inches (75-90cm)"
Tulip Viridiflora - €4.99 for a dozen
Allium Christophii
. Alliums will grow in any average soil, doing even better in rich, well-drained soil. To achieve a successful visual effect, plant 10 - 15 bulbs close together. Alliums prefer to be dry in their dormancy. Position them where other plants will help to hide their often untidy foliage.
. This allium's unique color and its large inflorescence - which easily contains 75 individual flowers and can reach a diameter of 8 inches (20 cm) across - make it an indispensable plant. The inflorescence is still attractive even after its colour has faded. The plant's leaves are narrow and hairy.
Growing Tips
. Planting Depth: 5" (12.5cm)
. Spacing: 10-12" (25-30cm)
. Height: 16-20 Inches (41-51 cm)
. Spread: 8-10 Inches (20-25 cm)
Allium Christophii - €4.95 for 5
Woodland Bluebell
. A must for every authentic cottage garden. This mid-spring flower thrives in shady locations where colour is particularly welcome. A top choice for naturalizing.
Woodland Bluebell - €3.99 a dozen

Crocus Bulbs
. Crocus bulbs are the first real sign of spring.
. Where space permits, they can be planted thickly to form a carpet of early spring colour.
. Crocuses can also be planted in a lawn to brighten a patch of winter-weary turf - provided mowing is postponed until the leaves begin to yellow. Mowing too soon prevents the bulbs from storing energy needed for the following spring's show.
Bulbs
10inch terracotta pot - €9.95 
8 daffodil Bulbs approx - €0.20 each
8 tulip bulbs approx - €0.20 each
Crocus bulbs 8-10 - €0.06 each
Tray of Violas - €3.95
Lophomyrtus - €14.95
Ivy plants 3 - €5.95 each

Eugene's Top Tips
. A good bulb is plump and firm, reject any shriveled up soft or mushy when purchasing
. Plant miniature daffodils or tulips as they are much easier to manage when they die down. The normal bulb grows to 2 ft and miniature grows to half that. They won't get blown over as easy so are therefore tidier and easier to manage.
. Don't cut leaves of bulbs after flowering; allow them to die down naturally as the leaves gather the food and energy for next years flowering. It takes 6-8 weeks for all the leaves to die back.
. Planting depth of bulbs varies from variety to variety. Check information on pack for details of depth

Bulbs
. Most bulbs require very little maintenance when planted. Hardy bulbs can be safely left in the ground year after year.
. For best results, plant your bulbs according to the package's planting times. In general, early spring bulbs -daffodils and snowdrops for example - should be planted by autumn. Late-blooming tulips can be planted through Novemebr or up until the ground freezes.
. Keep unplanted bulbs in temperatures above 40º F
. During the fall months, after the soil temperature drops below 60°F; the bulbs of spring and Christmas flowering plants should be planted.
. Select healthy, disease free bulbs.
. Add Bone meal or Bulb fertilizer into the planting hole, as you prepare the soil.
. Most spring flowering bulbs should be in the ground by the early part of this month, with the exception of Tulips which may be planted up until early November.

Specifics

. Gladiolas, Dahlias and other tender bulbs should be dug before the ground freezes, and stored in a cool, dark area. Dahlia and Begonia tubers should be stored in a box of slightly moist peat moss. Gladiola corms can be stored in a paper bag without additional packing.
. Be sure that new plantings and perennials which were divided and moved last month are kept watered if there has been insufficient rainfall.
. There is still time to set out winter pansies, flowering Kale, flowering Cabbage, and fall mums. Keep a little color in the garden for as long as possible.
. Watch your thermometer on colder nights. A windless, cold, clear night usually means a killing frost.... You can keep your Chrysanthemums and Asters blooming for quite a while longer if you take the time to provide a little frost protection for them. A small, simple frame covered with cheesecloth or an old bed sheet placed over your plants on frosty nights, can add a month or more of garden blooms. (Don't forget to remove the cover as soon as the danger has passed!)
. Geraniums, begonias, fuchsias, and other tender plants should be brought indoors or moved to a coldframe before the first frost.
. Mulching fall planted perennials will keep the soil warmer longer, allowing root growth to continue, however, the plants do need time to harden off for winter. Spread a thin layer of mulch after fall planting, and then add a thicker layer once the ground has frozen.
. Collect and save seeds of wildflowers to sow next spring.

Where to buy
Mr. Middletons supply a variety of bulbs
58 Mary Street
Dublin 1
www.mrmiddleton.com
Tel: 01 8731118

You Can Contact Eugene
Colour Green
Tullamore,
Co. Offaly,
Ph: 0579355840 or 01 867 4319

Archive
Go