Paraic Horkan is the resident gardening guru on the TV3’s Ireland:AM show. This morning he talks about Easter, getting kids involved in the garden and what to plant in the garden for some colour right now.
Easter is a great time to celebrate Spring, and plants coming into flower. It is a lovely time of year to do up a simple Easter Wreath. We are all very familiar with the Christmas Wreath, made with holly, but it is a lovely idea to do up a colourful, festive wreath this Easter. Use natural Silver Birch or Willow, taken from hedgerows, formed into a simple wreath by twisting the branches to make a frame. Then intersperse with Pussy Willow and some greenery and decorate with colourful flowers and mini Easter eggs. Mini daffodils, especially a wonderful variety called Jetfire, make for wonderful decorations on this wreath. Insert some festive plants into the wreath for a great bit of colour. Consider flowers like Azaleas, or Dwarf Rhododendrons, which are just coming into bloom now. This is something kids will love to get involved with!
With kids off school for the next two weeks it’s a great time to get them out in the garden! Kids love getting their hands dirty, even if its just planting a simple container, and it’s a great time to add some Spring colour! You can use a window box, a planter, or pretty much any container with proper drainage. Simply add some compost, with some Perlite mixed through to aid drainage, and then simply add your plants. Consider the Osteospermum, a wonderful yellow flower, or the which will flower now right through to early Summer. One plant that kids seem to love is ‘Bachelor’s Buttons’ with wonderful button-like flowers. Simply place your smaller plants to the front of the basket and your larger plants to the back and you will have colour right through Easter up to early Summer.
Or why not get kids involved in sowing seeds? A great option for kids is sowing pumpkin seeds. Kids just love these, especially come Halloween! Sow the seed now in a small pot of compost, sit it on a windowsill indoors and it will germinate in a few weeks. The kids will get to see the seed germinate, feed the pumpkin throughout the Summer, and then harvest the pumpkin in Halloween. It is a great way to get kids involved in the garden and see the whole life cycle of the plant.
If your garden is lacking some colour there are some simple solutions. Gro-Sure Easy Flower All In One Seeds can be sown directly outside in the garden soil, and will start blooming in June. These are a great fuss free way to get some colour into your garden.
Or why not plant some bulbs? We associate plantng bulbs in Autumn for the following Spring but why not plant some now for some Summer colour. Consider Dahlias, Scented Lillies, Arum Lillies; put them into the ground now and they will flower throughout the Summer.
If you are looking for some instant colour, there are perfect planting conditions right now; the soil conditions and temperatures are just right. The Lithodora will provide some instant colour, as well as flowering every year as well. The wonderful heavenly blue flowers are just coming into bloom right now and will carry right through to May or June, ideal for rockeries.
A wonderful scented plant is the Dianthus Oscar. A very easy plant to grow, it has a wonderful clover, spicy scent, and it will flower right through the Summer period.
Some other options would be Wallflowers or Hydrangeas. Wallflowers are just coming into flower now. They a wonderfully popular, easy to grow flower. There are some early varieties of Summer Flowering Hydrangeas available now and they are absolutely brilliant for coverage.