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Eugene's Guide To Winter Plants

Monday, 5 November 2007

It may be winter but work still needs to be done. Last week we featured plants for containers. now its plants that will flower in your winter garden.

Now that it's November like it or not mother earth is taking a snooze, but at the same time just like us at night time things tick along nicely.

Most plants loose there leaves and flowers to let light into our somewhat darker world, but a few need to keep things going, some are still flowering due to our recent warm weather, but that will change sooner rather than later.

7 COLOURFUL WINTER PLANTS

The plants Eugene is bringing will not have flowered yet so he is getting images we can put up on screen.

1.Cornus Canadensis : this is a member of the Dogwood family and is just starting to flower
€12.95,

2. Heleborous:  "Christmas Rose",  flowers in January
€13.95

3. Sarcocca "Christmas Box"
€16.95

4. Pseudowintera: A plant from New Zealand that adds lovely foliage textures to the garden during the winter.
€18.95

5.Skimmia Rubella: Lovely red buds thru the winter.
€17.95.

6. Camellia: The Queen of the garden, buds are waiting to open sometime in early winter. But mainly in spring but in the mean time it looks great as its foliage is lovely.
€ 21.95

7. Garrya Elliptica: long catkins which are flowers without petals.
€13.95

TOP TIPS: THINGS TO DO IN THE WINTER IN THE GARDEN.

1.
Check your apple trees to see if the leaves have all, fallen off in January, if they have not you may have fire blight.

2.
Stop feeding your plants at this time of the year.

3.
Bubble wrap is a good way to insulate your greenhouse use clips to attach it to the frame doing the windows separately...

4.
Bare root plants will be available soon, hedging and trees are the most popular they are cheaper mainly available in the countryside but losses are higher they are dug up while dormant and must be planted before they bud.

EDIBLE PLANTS

Experts say it is possible to eat the petals of more than 100 flowering garden plants.

Flowers can be:
1. Dried to flavour tea
2. Crystallised to decorate cakes
3. Infused in jars of vinegar
4. Added to fresh salads
5. Made into sauces for meat and more

1. Mahonia
AKA the Oregon-grape grows to 1-5 m tall. Its leathery leaves resemble holly and the stems and twigs have a thickened, corky appearance. The flowers, borne in late spring, are an attractive yellow.
The small purplish-black fruits, which are quite tart and contain large seeds, are sometimes used locally mixed with Salal to make jelly. As the leaves of Oregon-grape are holly-like and resist wilting, the foliage is sometimes used by florists for greenery and a small gathering industry has been established in the Pacific Northwest. The inner bark of the larger stems and roots of Oregon-grape yield a yellow dye.

2. Berberis
Habitats: Woodland Garden; Dappled Shade; Shady Edge; Hedge;

Edible Parts:
Fruit - raw or cooked and used in preserves An acid but very pleasant where children seem particularly fond of the fruit, when fully ripe, the fruit loses most of its acidity and makes very pleasant eating. Unfortunately there is a lot of seed compared to the amount of flesh and this does detract somewhat from the pleasure of eating it. The fruit goes very well raw in a muesli or cooked in a porridge. The fruits are about 7mm long.

Other Qualities:
The root bark is tonic. Berberine, universally present in all parts of Berberis species but especially the rhizomes, has marked antibacterial effects, especially upon the urinary system. Since it is not appreciably absorbed by the body, it is used orally in the treatment of various enteric infections, especially bacterial dysentery. It should not be used with Glycyrrhiza species (Liquorice) because this nullifies the effects of the berberine. Berberine has also shown antitumour activity.

With thanks to Blackbanks Garden Centre for the plants for our set.  Blackbanks Garden Centre - 01 8327047

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