Botanical Bits by Christine Agnew

The weather over the last couple of weeks has been amazing and perfect for winter gardening. There’s plenty to do and it’s a great excuse to be outside and active! The Bare-root fruit and ornamental trees have been going fast at McCourts Garden Centre with a new shipment arriving this week so if you missed out on the first round there are still plenty to choose from. Old favourites such as Moorpark Apricot, Goldmine Nectarine, Elberta Peach, Stella Cherry, Satsuma Plum and Williams Pear are back in stock as well as the new Dwarf varieties including Dwarf Moorpark Apricot, Dwarf peaches and nectarines and dwarf apples. Kiwi Fruit, Almonds, walnuts and hazelnuts can also be planted in bare-root season and grow particularly well in this region. Many of our customers at McCourts Garden Centre have been espaliering their fruit trees, which is also a great idea for smaller gardens and for landscape effect. Pears, Apples and most stone fruit are suitable for espalier gardening as well as citrus varieties and look fantastic in courtyard environments.

Ornamental trees such as claret ash, ornamental pear varieties, crabapples, flowering plums, golden elms and London Planes are all popular and can be planted now. Planting the trees in rotted down manure or blood and bone and watering in with Seasol will give your trees a fantastic kick start and when the trees come out of  their dormancy in spring they will take off! Keep the watering up to them in the first couple of summers and after that they should be established enough to look after themselves apart from extreme temperatures!

Roses have arrived at McCourts Garden Centre and there is a great variety to choose from. The New Releases as usual get better and better whilst the old favourites still have their fan clubs. The French Delbard range is known for their intense fragrance and great vigour with some new varieties released this year including Parfum de Paris, a large double and quartered bloom with rose-pink hues and softer tones that fade to creamy pink at the base with a heady sweet perfume and modern vigour and disease resistance. Another new release rose in the Delbard climbers collection is Pierre Gagnaire a repeat flowerer with large clusters of single cream to blush pink blooms. Sometimes they appear single like clematis and other times they unfurl with a double row of petals! Overall this rose is as close to disease free as you will get, neither heat, wind or rain will hinder their beauty or progress. Rose Marvel is an excellent soil conditioner and fertiliser for roses and can be used for new roses or in established garden beds.

For winter colour McCourts Garden Centre has instant colour in the form of pansies, primulas, polyanthus, cinerarias, cyclamens nemesias, lobelia, snapdragons and linaria. Shrubs flowering well now include daisies, daphne, azaleas, camellias and winter lavenders.

Pruning roses is best left to late July in this area as frosts will still be around for a while. Get your  pruners, secateurs, and loppers sharpened, cleaned and ready for the winter. Methylated spirits will kill any fungi spores etc on the blades and is advisable to clean blades between each rose to ensure disease doesn’t spread to other bushes.


Posted by: at 7:20 am on June 26th, 2013