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

Winter Colours with Eugene Higgins

Thursday, 2 November 2006


Do you want wonderful winter colour in your garden? Our lovely landscape gardener Eugene Higgins is here to show us how we can do it. He'll also be taking your questions and calls on gardening.

If you have a question for Eugene contact us today, just call our comment line on 1850 71 71 11. The lines open today at 2:30pm and remain open until the end of each weekday programme. You can also e-mail us at or text STUDIO followed by your thoughts to 53555.

Winter Colour Plants
Skimmia Reevesiana - €13.50 per plant

A low growing, self pollinating garden shrub with super red berries,  that likes a shady spot during the summer and is suited to winter planting. Handsome dark green leaves; showy white spring flowers and attractive bright red berries combine to make skimmia an ideal plant for the winter shade garden. It's important to plant Skimmia right at ground level. If the plants are set too deeply into the soil they will not flower.

Wallflowers €2.95 to €5.95 per packet
Wallflowers are out of fashion for some strange reason. They are ready to plant now.  The Wallflower grows 12-24 inches tall in full sun or light shade and should be planted in a well-drained soil. They grow best in cool, moist climates but once the plant has become established in the garden, it is very durable and can withstand a certain amount of drought. They do not perform well in higher temperatures. In cold climates, be sure to provide ample mulch in the winter.

Solanums - €5.95 per plant
Solanums used indoors and outdoors (in a sheltered spot) are very seasonal looking and can be kept in the garden throughout the summer to return next year. An alternative to these are winter cherries or even Christmas cherries.
Cyclamen - €2.95 per plant

Cyclamen are a genus of plants containing 20 species, which are part of the family of Primulaceae, the Primrose family. In the wild, their distribution is centered on the Mediterranean, being natives of parts of Europe, western Asia and parts of North Africa. In cultivation, there are some species which are definitely hardy, some which are borderline, and a few species which will not tolerate any frost. Cyclamens are a bulb that works in reverse to most bulbs. They are dormant in the summer and then come to life in the winter.  Never plant these too deep and water carefully.    

Top Tips
. If you want to bring in busy lizzies to your garden, then now is the time to get planting. However, bear in mind that they are difficult to get through the winter as they need light and heat through the winter.
. To keep plants off your shrubbery either sprinkle pepper on the shrubbery or leave out orange or grapefruit peel.
. Place bulbs under deciduous shrubs to brighten up the bare patches!
. In your house or in the greenhouse, pots of basil plants will deter whiteflys.

For Further Information
You Can Contact Eugene

Colour Green
Co. Offaly,
Ph: 0579355840 or 01 8674319