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Winter Gardening

Gardening Later in the Year

Some people think that as soon as the weather turns colder, it’s time to stop gardening until the spring. However there is still plenty to do, and the fresh air and exercise will do you a world of good.

To start here is plenty of maintenance to do in the garden at this time of year, with leaves to be swept up, and tidying up of plants that have died back after summer.  It’s estimated you burn 350-450 calories per hour, raking and bagging leaves, and activities pulling weeds, planting flowers, can expend up to  200-400 calories per hour.

Irelands relatively mild climate means that are plenty of plants that thrive in the cooler conditions that have arrived. Right now there is a good selection of Irish grown plants, many bearing the Bord Bia Quality Mark, that can be planted to brighten up the darker days.

We’ve picked out a few of the popular flowering plants for this time of year. When you’re making up a pot or hanging basket, try to combine plants of different heights, colours and textures.  You want to use flowers for the bright colours, but pack them around Heucheras or hebes with their bright leaves, and add carex which has the appearance of a grass.

Heucheras

Heuchera are a very popular evergreen perennial which are renowned for the rich colour of their leaves. They like to be grown in part sun, part shade. They are grown primarily for their colorful leaves, although some varieties have pretty flowers too. Look out from them in shades of lemon and lime, through oranges and reds all the way through to deep purple.

Carex

Carex are a family of sedges often called grasses with colourful often variegated leaves. They are evergreen, and a good foil for flowering plants, that can also add some height to a container. 

Skimmias

These are evergreen, spring-flowering shrubs with aromatic foliage and red fruits that appear in autumn and winter. They grow well in containers and provides good all year round colour with their glossy green leaves, pretty flowers, and festive red fruits.

Hebes

Native to New Zealand, these pretty evergreen shrubs come in a wide range of colours, shapes and sizes. Many species have attractive foliage, ranging in colour from green to purple, with many variegated options and they also get pretty flowers. They don’t mind windy conditions, and you can plant them in the sun or light shade.  They are perfect for a winter container.