• Dig over vegetable beds and sprinkle lime (horticultural type), it’s a must for all vegetables except potatoes.
  • Perfect time for planting bare-rooted hedging.
  • On well-prepared beds plant out garlic and onions.
  • On a dry day get out the lawnmower and top the lawn.
  • Plant dahlia tubers in pots.

In an ideal world, all pruning of roses would have been carried out in December to January unfortunately, most of us do not live in that ideal world.  It’s high time to carry out rose pruning.  Spring growth has started and if you leave pruning much longer you’ll be cutting off a lot of new growth, putting your roses under pressure and actually delaying flowering time.  How much to prune will depend on the variety, hybrid teas, and floribundas which are the most popular type usually growing 3-4 feet in height are pruned back quite hard to within one foot off the ground or lower.  Remove dead or very light shoots completely, the remaining stems are cut back to just above outward facing buds, this will encourage the bush to remain open in the centre allowing more light and air thus reducing disease problems.  Shrub roses and the modern David Austin varieties will benefit from a lighter pruning.  Shorten back the main stems by a 1/3 and shorten back the side shoots on the main stems removing any very weak stems.  Follow much the same procedures for climbers, if you can tie in the stems at a 45% angle, this will result in more flowers and less growth.  Rambling roses should have been pruned in late summer, the procedure being to remove all stems that have just finished flowering and tie in the new fresh growths for the next flowering season.  If you missed this time slot, do it now or wait until next July or August, at most cut off some of the old stems, you will know by the colour, older stems tend to be grey/brown whereas younger stems will be green.  Now is the time to feed your roses with lots of good compost and a good quality granulated rose fertilizer.  Did you know that if you plant garlic beside your roses it helps to keep greenfly away and you can harvest the garlic in autumn?  If you’re planting garlic now put it in the fridge a couple of days beforehand and when planting push a clove or two into the ground 2” per rose bush and while you’re at it plant some parsley and this will intensify the scent, leave some room for Nepeta Kit kat which will be available in a month’s time.  All the above are a happy family benefitting from each other’s company.

January 17, 2021 — omearas gardencentre
Tags: February


Plant something special in your garden, Edgeworthia, Chrysantha distinctive yellow flowers with an exquisite scent known as the Forest Daphne.

In a less favourable site plant Viburnum bod. ‘Charles Lamont’ highly perfumed white buds turning to pink flowers.

It goes without saying if you don’t sow, you don’t reap and with the modern busy lifestyle it’s quite easy to miss the planting season. I find if you start in time you won’t be playing catch up, what I mean is it’s much easier to dig the soil now while it’s still soft. It will take twice as much effort and much longer to do the same amount of cultivation in three weeks. I consider an hour spent weeding in the garden now more productive than a whole day in a month’s time. The reason being weeds are at their weakest this time of the year and their roots don’t have a strong grip and are easily hoed out. If you equip yourself with a good quality hoe and confine your attention to the top ½ “ of soil, weeding this time of year is child’s play. Many shrubs are pruned this time of year (ones that flower after the longest day of the year) the sooner this pruning is done, the better the resulting flower. The same goes for fertilizer, applied now to trees, shrubs and hedging it will have maximum effect. Give roses their first spray for blackspot, prevention rather than cure.  Kill grass around fruit trees, you will increase the crops of fruit by 50%. The same goes for killing grass around hedges planted in the last couple of years. Feed hedges now and remove the grass 18” to 2 feet out from the stem, the resulting growth will be 50% better.  Roundup is an excellent spray for doing this, direct the spray away from your plants on a calm day, do it as soon as you can before the grass starts to grow.  When Roundup touches the soil is neutralized and does not poison the earth. For small shrubs or areas too difficult to spray, mix the Roundup in a bucket and use a paint brush or a roller. Traditionally St Patricks Day or thereabouts was considered early potato planting time, they are so easy to grow and they’re great as a first crop. Weeds can often be a problem when you dig a new area but by growing potatoes the first year, the farmyard manure you use will increase the soil fertility and improve the soil structure and weeds are no match for the overpowering potato stalks. One word of caution, we can still get frosty nights so it’s important to harden off soft plants before you plant them out. I use garden fleece, it protects the plants but doesn’t catch the wind or rain and if you forget to take it off for a day, your plants will not suffer. Never use plastic as it can do a lot of damage and remember all your good work can be ruined if you forget the slugs and snails, I use Neudorff Sluggo, it's organic and it won’t poison the birds.

January 17, 2021 — omearas gardencentre
Tags: March


  • Continue winter pruning of trees and fruit bushes.
  • Prune indoor growing grape vines now, it will soon be too late.  If you prune them too late when the sap is rising they will bleed.
  • Dig in compost or farmyard manure into vegetable beds giving it time to get broken down by frost and worms.  Farmyard manure should not be dug in where you are going to sow onions and carrots this season.
  • Cloches or black plastic placed over soil will help to heat up the soil and keep it dry and more suitable for early planting.
  • Greenhouses and poly tunnels should get a good washing down now with Armillatox or Jeyes fluid and will help with disease and pest control.
  • Plant strawberry plants now, indoors for an early crop.  Pile on farmyard manure around rhubarb. Rhubarb stools covered now with a large pot, keeping out all the light will produce a tasty crop in 5-6 weeks.
  • Don’t forget birds will sing in your garden after they have had breakfast.  Snowdrops and singing birds is a sign of good things to come.

When I’m putting this article together, foremost in my mind is keeping it interesting and relevant. Gardening fashions change and there are some groups of plants that have gone from been must haves to almost forgotten. Personally, I think it’s a mistake to be a slave to fashion, no matter how I try, I find it very difficult to get excited about growing vegetables and I know this is not flavour-of-the-month all that healthy eating and so forth, that’s for another day.  I am always inspired by the diversity of evergreen conifers which over the last number of years have gone out of popularity for no good reason.  Conifers come in all shapes, sizes and colours.  Nearly all are extremely hardy and easy to grow requiring, no real work except the odd trim for some of the larger types. 

Conifers really come into their own this time of year.  Many of them intensify their colour as the days get colder. Crytomeria Japonica Elegans (Japanese Cedar) turns a lovely shade of bronze which lights up with winter sunshine. It needs a bit of room and in time will reach 5 metres high, there are more dwarf forms available. In contrast to this, Pinus Wallichiana (Bhutan Pine) with its soft tassels of dark green ferny foliage, which produces blue-green cones in time, is well worthy of the space it will take up.

Where space is a premium, plant Pinus Wintergold which turns from green to gold with the season and can easily be kept in shape. Under plant with winter flowering heathers, there is one called Challenger with its deep pink flowers, it’s guaranteed to brighten up any winter garden. Taxus Standishii is another torch for a winter garden. 

When choosing conifers you do need to take care of the eventual height. They all look much the same in the garden centre but there’s a huge diversity in eventual height, making the wrong choice or getting the wrong advice I think in the past is part of the reasons for their lack of popularity. If you have the space, the large blue cedar is fantastic but in a small garden Juniperus Communis Compressa, which even looks lovely mixed in with alpines, will hold its own and always look good regardless of fashion and only reaches 3 feet high and no more than 9 inches wide in 10 years.

January 17, 2021 — omearas gardencentre
Tags: January


  • Deadhead winter pansies regularly to keep them flowering
  • Collect fallen leaves showing signs of blackspot from around roses
  • Winter prune apple trees
  • Plant bare rooted hedging
  • Dig over vacant areas in the vegetable garden
  • Lift and divide congested clumps of rhubarb
  • Move tender or valuable houseplants away from cold window sills every evening
  • Bring potted strawberries under cover to encourage earlier fruiting
  • Take the last chance to bring on forced indoor bulbs for festive decorations or Christmas gifts
  • Fork compost into borders, but take care not to spike emerging bulbs
  • Firm soil around roses loosened by storms
  • Replace wobbly tree stakes and worn plant ties
  • Earmark your best sprouts for the Christmas table and give them last-minute protection if windy
  • Do a final collection of any autumn leaves still lying around
  • Plant new season roses now, a climbing rose on an arch in your garden will give it a new lease of life

Don’t forget the birds! Birds love fat cakes and at this time of year they are just what they need to give them energy and keep warm. This is a little project you can do with your kids over Christmas. Firstly avoid using turkey fat, (keep it for your roast potatoes) it doesn't set like suet and lard, and can coat birds' feathers, preventing them from being able to fly. It can also spread disease. The best ratio for this recipe is one part fat to two parts dry mixture. Use sunflower seeds or some other high energy seed mix, we sometimes through in a few mealworms for an extra treat! Mix all your dry ingredients together in a bowl. Melt some lard or suet in a pan and add to the dry mix. Stir it well until the fat has all been absorbed and the mixture sticks together. Make a hole in the bottom of a yoghurt pot and thread through a length of twine or string, and then pack the pot with your warm fat mixture. Place in the fridge overnight to set, then cut through and peel away the pot. Tie a big knot at one end of the twine to secure the cake. Hang the cake in a tree or on a shepherd’s crook and wait for the birds to come and feast. It’s very important that when you feed birds that you give them fresh water too. Bird baths are on a height for a reason, so if you’re using a bucket or basin remember to pop it up on a height so they can bath and drink in safety and don’t forget to break the ice!

January 17, 2021 — omearas gardencentre
Tags: December


  • Plant tulip bulbs now to prevent Tulip Fire infection.
  • Plant up a terracotta pot of hyacinth bulbs for a simple but stunning display next spring.
  • Before the birds eat them all, cut a few stems of holly with berries for making Christmas garlands. Stand them in a bucket of water in a sheltered spot where our feathered friends can't take them.
  • Clean out the greenhouse thoroughly. Wash the glass, the floor and the staging with horticultural disinfectant to kill any overwintering pests and diseases.
  • If you haven't already aerated your lawn, there's still time to do it before winter sets in. You can use either a lawn aerator or simply insert a garden fork at regular intervals and lean it back slightly to let air in.
  • Continue to clear fallen leaves off the lawn to keep it healthy.
  • Keep on top of weeds while they are still in active growth. Dig over the soil on a dry day when the ground is not too wet. Mix in plenty of organic matter such as some compost or manure
  • Prune pear and apple trees anytime between now and February. But don't be tempted to prune your plum trees now as they will be susceptible to the silver leaf fungus - wait until midsummer.
  • Cut down chrysanthemums to soil level after flowering
  • Remove pond pumps and filters, wash and store away
  • Plant new fruit bushes and cane fruits
  • Cut down Jerusalem artichokes then dig up and store tubers in buckets of dry compost
  • Prune side shoots on gooseberries back to about 5cm

Did you ever wonder why plants have their own unique scent or why they have red flowers or white flowers?  You would be forgiven for saying I have a sad life! But you would be mistaken if you assumed plant colour or scent happened by chance.  Everything in nature is highly organized and plants have evolved in their own distinctive ways of ensuring their survival.  Most plants must attract insects and bees to transfer pollen from one plant to another.  Some use bright colours others use scent and some feed their pollinators. This is all very interesting but what does this mean to us gardeners!  Plants that flower in winter when insects and bees are not abundant have to do something a little bit more special so they tend to produce highly scented flowers which is as attractive to insects as it is to us.  Everybody likes scent in the garden and the following winter flowering shrubs are among the best at doing so.  As well as having good scent they are usually very bright colours and stay in flower for months on end.  Mahonia Charity or Winter Sun will shortly be in flower with its long racemes of highly scented golden yellow.  It’s quite easy to grow and thrives in light shade.  Viburnum bod. Dawn which flowers throughout the winter on bare branches is also a favourite.  Jasminum nudiflorum makes an excellent climber with its yellow flowers all winter.  Daphne in all its varieties is sought after for its scent.  The dwarf evergreen variety called Daphne retusa is one of my favourites.  Sarcococca humilis (Christmas Box) is a worthy choice.  It’s a multi tasker, been evergreen, low growing  2-3 feet with the most fantastic  scent in winter, is an excellent groundcover plant, makes a stunning low hedge, a good choice for a winter patio container, will grow in sun or shade, is quite hardy and inexpensive, what more can you ask for?  By the way it smells like hyacinth and branches taken off the plant brought indoors to use in flower arrangement will continue to fill a room with scent.

Anybody who has ever grown a pot of hyacinths will testify to the strength of their scent.  It’s so easy, plant a handful of bulbs in a pot now, put in a dark cool spot for 3 weeks, thereafter leave them on the windowsill where they will develop and reward you in mid winter with flower and  scent for as  little as €3.  Nature takes advantage of the shortening days, it would be remiss of us not to partake.

Winter can be a tough time for garden wildlife. In winter, wild animals and insects hunker down in log and leaf piles, nestle into tree bark, or bury themselves in compost heaps or mud. We all feel like hibernating in the winter however,  some species such as birds and squirrels, don't hibernate, but struggle to stay alive - using up fat reserves just to stay warm. Birds are more likely to visit gardens in autumn and winter, as they rely on bird feeders when their natural sources of insects and grubs dry up. Birds need calorie-rich suet, sunflower hearts and peanuts to maintain fat reserves on frosty nights. Our gardens our becoming increasingly important places for wild animals and especially birds. By providing a regular supply of food and water, we can help birds survive the challenging winter months. If you haven’t already done so clean out any used nesting boxes as many birds will use them as shelter over the coming months.  Birds can be quite choosey so the type of food you leave out will determine the species in your garden.  Robins are ground feeders and they don’t like bird feeders, they like mixed grain, just sprinkle a bit along by a hedge or shrub bed.  Sparrows, blue tits and finches love peanut feeders.  Goldfinches are quite fussy and they will only come into your garden in any number if you hang up a feeder with a niger feed, this is a very fine seed so you need to use a feeder with very small holes, well worth doing as goldfinches are the most highly coloured species in Ireland.  If you have a problem with larger birds stealing all the food, you can use feeders with a protective mesh which only allows the smaller birds to feed.  Fat balls are a very good source of energy and if hung from very light twigs will only be accessible to the smaller birds.  If you don’t have a tree near a window to observe you can now get feeding stations that you can just strike down in the lawn outside your kitchen window.  A lovely idea as a Christmas gift. Remember if you start feeding birds in your garden it is important to continue doing so until spring as birds become dependent very quickly.

January 17, 2021 — omearas gardencentre
Tags: November


  • Prepare areas to plant new roses
  • Move shrubs that have outgrown their position or are in the wrong place
  • Lift and store carrots
  • Prune out fruited blackberry canes and tie in new shoots to replace them
  • Install water butts to collect rainwater over winter
  • Gather up hoses, sprinklers and watering equipment to store away for winter and remove pumps and filters from ponds and bubble fountains
  • Dig over vacant soil and spread a thick layer of compost over the surface
  • Clear fallen leaves from greenhouse gutters
  • Clear out old crops and growing bags, adding material to the compost heap
  • Bulbs are still the best value in gardening. Plant now for mass-spring colour.
  • Plant out spring bedding including pansies, wallflowers and forget-me-nots
  • Start to plant tulips in pots and borders. Wallflowers are tulips companions in spring, plant them together for coordinated displays
  • Pile bark mulch over the crowns of hardy fuchsias to provide extra protection
  • Garden birds do much more than look pretty. They are part of the food chain and act as vital predators in terms of insect pests. A flock of long tail tits will make short work of an aphid infestation and without the need for pesticides.

Make your garden a safe haven for birds and enjoy their delightful antics, with natural food such as berries and seeds are in short supply, supplement their diet with quality food that mimics their natural diet

How to Grow Onions from Sets. By planting autumn onion sets now you can be guaranteed the earliest crops next year. It will ensure that you can have a tasty home grown crop of superb onions from late spring to early summer. Bear in mind that each set (mini onion bulb) will swell and grow into a bulb up to the size of a tennis ball, so you need to leave plenty of room between each one. Plant them with 10cm (4inches) or more between each bulb and when growing in rows leave at least 30cm (12inches) between the rows. Choose an open and sunny site. Dig over the soil until it is crumbly and easy to work. Dig in some compost to improve the soil, and add a dressing of Growmore to the soil. Gently push each mini onion bulb into the prepared soil until just the very tip is protruding, leave at least 10cm (4inches) between each bulb. Plant them in blocks or rows for convenience. Weed between the onions and keep the soil moist until they have established. Onions are shallow rooted, so take care when weeding. In mid to late summer when the leaves have started to yellow and die off, place a fork under the swollen bulbs and lift them out so that the sun can ripen the base of the bulbs. When the foliage has died off completely string them up for winter use.

Give it a try.. It will take a few years to get there, but a mature, heavy cropping apple tree is a big asset in the garden. Tasty fruit aside, there is the abundance or decorative spring blossom early in the year, and after harvest in late summer, some varieties go on to offer really great autumn foliage colour too. October is a good month to plant apple trees in the garden. Clear the planting site of weeds and unwanted plants. Improve heavy or light soils with the addition of compost. Beef up nutrient content by digging in a balanced feed such as fish, blood and bone. This will break down over winter to release nutrients ready for uptake in spring when the tree comes back into growth. Dig a planting hole twice as wide as the tree’s container and a good 10-15cm deeper. Cover the base of the hole with 10-15cm of compost, plus a handful of fish blood and bone. Mix in and level. Thanks to dwarfing roots stocks and a range of space-saving pruning and growing methods, there is room for an apple tree even in the smallest garden. 

January 17, 2021 — omearas gardencentre
Tags: October


  • Use osmo Autumn feed to harden up your plants for the winter
  • Continue to plant autumn vegetables
  • Prune old fruited stems of raspberries down to soil level
  • Pinch out tops of main shoots on outdoor tomato plants
  • Prune trained forms of fruit trees
  • Remove suckers from roses, shrubs and trees
  • Trim box hedging and topiary Prune rambling roses, removing shoots that have finished flowering
  • Plant conifers, shrubs and hedging
  • Tie tall chrysanthemums to supports
  • Plant autumn crocuses, sternbergia, colchicums, hardy cyclamen and nerines
  • Dig up hardy annuals if you don't want them to set seed
  • Pick ripe apples and store the best in fruit crates
  • Dig up strawberry runners and pot them up and Net autumn raspberries & blackberries to protect them from birds
  • Lift and dry main crop potatoes and store in paper sacks in a cool, dark place
  • Pot up a few herbs to bring into a porch or grow on the window sill
  • Sow broad beans and hardy peas for early crops next year
  • Check pears regularly to harvest when perfectly ripe
  • Vegetables to sow now include winter radishes, lettuce

In September the garden slows down, the fading heads of summer flowers just ghostly reminders of the brilliant colours that preceded them. The opportunities to increase your flower density in your garden at this time of year  are immense in fact this can be the most productive time to garden, an energetic weekend of bulb planting for example can provide you with flowers in as little as four months. Snowdrops, crocuses, daffodils and alliums will fill the garden from January to June.  This is also a great way to encourage the next generation of gardeners, since planting bulbs is child’s play. All it needs is some well drained soil, a few bulbs and a little patience. In September the soil is warm, so it’s perfect time to get plants in the ground, plants will benefit from an autumn planting and will grow much stronger. Here are my top 3 show stopping flowers of the month. Crocosmia, over a century of breeding has produced hundreds of crocosmia cultivars, and no late summer garden should be without their warmth of colour in shades of yellow, orange and red. The foliage alone is an asset to the garden as it’s sword like leaves remain fresh from spring to their late summer flowering, giving form to planting schemes. Sedums have the advantage of looking good almost all year round. The grey flower heads that form in summer are very similar to heads of broccoli and gradually over the season assume their true colour. The flower heads attract hordes of butterflies and many beneficial insects to collect their nectar. Anemones are a contrast to the sometimes unsubtle colours of late summer flowers. Although Japanese anemones will grow in moist shade or sun they always look happier in partial shade rather than full sunlight. Planted in a group around a small tree or with a background or shrubs, they will light up a shady corner.

January 17, 2021 — omearas gardencentre
Tags: September


  • Feed fruit trees now with potash for next year’s fruits. 
  • Excellent weather for planting identify any dull spots in your borders
  • Prepare soil ready for sowing a lawn or laying turf during September and October
  • Deal with problem lawn weeds, digging them out or applying herbicide.
  • Deadhead border plants, unless you want to collect their seeds
  • Deadhead dahlias to encourage further blooms to form
  • Cut down perennials past their prime
  • Sow hardy annuals, like poached egg plant, for early flowers next year
  • Water camellias regularly as drought can cause the buds to drop next spring and feed now with an ericaceous  liquid plant  food
  • Thin out heavy crops of plums to prevent branches snapping
  • Hang wasp traps in fruit trees
  • Use osmo Autumn feed to harden up your plants for the winter
  • Continue to plant autumn vegetables

Sweet ruby jewels. Raspberries are often called strawberries on stilts! I think this is very unfair to both fruits. Growing both is well worth while. Strawberries are easy to grow but they have a very short season. And if you have ever eaten yellow raspberries I’m sure you will agree that strawberries are not in the same flavour league. By choosing your raspberry varieties carefully, you can enjoy the sweet, juicy fruits from late-June to late-September. While you may need space to grow raspberries, you don't need much time. They're also one of the best low-maintenance fruit crops you can grow. Raspberries take a little more work than strawberries ( but not much) and you have a much longer season especially if you use summer fruiting varieties followed by autumn fruiting varieties and in the unlikely event, any you can’t eat can be frozen or made into jams. There are two main types of raspberries summer and autumn fruiting. The summer fruiting varieties must be pruned immediately after picking the fruit. Simply cut the canes which bore fruit to ground level, leaving 6 or 7 strong new canes for next year’s fruit. Tie into the support wires and remove any suckers which have grown out into the path or between the rows. Give them a sprinkle of sulphate of potash to encourage fruit and that’s it until spring. Autumn fruiting varieties are pruned differently; all the canes should be cut back to ground level in February. There is no need for thinning the canes or tying in, yields are lower however than the summer varieties. Raspberries are happy as long as your soil is not too wet and will tolerate a little shade. I think there are few plants that give a better tastier return. Plant both summer- and autumn-fruiting canes in autumn. Although you can delay planting the latter until as late as March.


January 17, 2021 — omearas gardencentre
Tags: August


  • You want a green lawn, but you don’t want to be constantly cutting grass. Use after cut now, it encourages a lush green carpet without excess growth.
  • See our Facebook account for details on how to receive a free spreader. Less work!
  • Give extra water to ripening soft fruits such as raspberries, gooseberries, strawberries, and currants.
  • Harvest early potatoes, carrots and salad crops.
  • Spray potatoes against blight.

Tasty, Rhubarb is a gem in spring, but at this of the year it gets boast and it takes more sugar than its worth to make a nice pie, but the girls here in the coffee shop have been making rhubarb and ginger jam, which I must say is seriously tasty. Come out and try some, I guarantee you will be planting more rhubarb next year. Our recipe is up on our Facebook page and it's quite easy to make I’m told. The ladies in the shop have all the jam making accessories in the homewares department. I hear rumours of strawberry and rose petal jam, interesting…we shall see.

Come July, especially with the kind of weather were having you will be forgiven if you were not as enthusiastic about your vegetable patch as you were in spring, but persevere and you will be rewarded. Now is the right time to plant seeds for vegetables that will mature in the autumn and in some cases over winter. Cabbage “wheelers imperial” is worth mentioning. This is a select variety that you sow now for spring greens or left longer to develop ahead. This is from our heritage collection which has many varieties well tried and tested in our climate. Sow carrot “mignon” for succession sowings as they mature quickly about 12 weeks from sowing. All types of beans can be planted now climbing, French, dwarf and all year round lettuce. In the garden centre we have a very helpful pamphlet on what to sow and also when to harvest, it’s free, so some time when you’re out, pick one up. 

Anybody that is new to growing potatoes it is now time to spray for blight otherwise, all your hard work will go to waste. If your space is limited traditionally turnips would have been sown in the area where early potatoes will be soon dug up. So get planting, don’t throw in the trowel it’s still only half-time.

January 17, 2021 — omearas gardencentre
Tags: July


  • Spread mulch around beans and other crops to help conserve soil moisture
  • Thin out heavy gooseberry crops by removing the smallest fruits, and use these for cooking
  • Sow seeds of rocket, spinach, beetroot, carrots, calabrese, mini-cauliflowers, spinach, chicory, endive, kohl rabi, peas, spinach beet, swede and turnips
  • Check pot plants and water if required
  • Pinch out cucumber sideshoot tips two leaves beyond a female flower
  • Tie in greenhouse tomatoes to their supports as they grow

Plant of the Week      

Sorbaria sorbifolia. A little-known shrub that giving all its superb qualities deserves a home in any Irish garden. In fact it does most of the things that everyone is looking for. It can be described as a low growing shrub, producing fine pink tinted golden foliage in early spring. It starts to grow much earlier than most plants. Sorbaria sorbifolia Sem resembles a fine Japanese maple called ‘sango kaku’ but is much hardier having originated in eastern Siberia. It’s also much smaller growing 1m high. very easy to grow tolerating heavy damp soil, looks fantastic planted in groups on a bank and after all that produces an abundance of creamy white flowers in late summer. Planting companions would be any shrub with a white or blue flower or silver foliage and it is quiet happy in an Irish winter. The good news it does all this for under a tenner.

Veg of Interest...

Plan ahead, plant now.

Parsnips need a really long growing season but they're well worth the wait. Sow seeds early in the year and look forward to parsnips roasted for the Christmas table, or in warming winter soups. Do it: February - June. Takes just:30 minutes How to do it, using string as a guide and a trowel or draw hoe, dig a shallow trench about 15mm deep. Sow seeds individually along the row or in groups of two or three at regular intervals, about 10cm apart. You could use a pre-marked board for accurate spacing. Thin out the weaker seedlings to give your plants room to grow, so you're left with just one plant every 10cm.

Good Companions..

Carrots and onions planted in alternate rows are good allies. The carrots help drive away the onion fly and the onions drive off the carrot fly.  Plant the variety of carrots called fly away for extra protection. If it’s a big problem in your garden, I would also recommend in investing in some enviromesh cloche

January 17, 2021 — omearas gardencentre
Tags: June


Old fashioned roses If you could only plant one plant in your garden, and you wanted a beautiful flower to look at that will flower for up to 6 months with a heavenly scent, which is also quite happy in -17c. The choice is without a doubt an old fashioned cottage rose (nowadays known as Davis Austin roses). David Austin being the nurseryman who spent his life producing improved and new varieties. These fantastic roses are coming into flower just now with their majestic rosettes of full of scent. The better varieties will repeat flower all summer long, in my own garden, the last flowers of last year were encased in snow. I try out new varieties in my garden to see how they stand up to living in the midlands and I must say Sophy’s roses which have red to deep pink rosette shaped flowers, bushy short growth and excellent healthy growth is my new favourite. I think the scent improves every year, or it could be that I have given up smoking and can smell things again. Under plant with Nepeta, but use a low growing variety. Nepeta ‘walkers low’ is very attractive.

The generous gardener even in a container, given support as it makes a short climber preforms exceptionally well, under plant with your choice of summer colour. An extremely healthy variety with large, cup-shaped flowers of pale pink. It has won awards for its fragrance.

This year the brand new rose Wedgewood is looking promising. They are in limited supply but we managed to secure a few for this year. This is what the breeder had to say about it, “the Wedgewood rose, is the most beautiful we ever bred. The variety is also, insofar as we can tell almost completely free of diseases, something that can be said of only a very few roses”. It is vigorous and upright making a large shrub or growing to 10ft if trained as a climber. It was introduced to commemorate Wedgewood’s 250th anniversary.

These roses deserve a good home; we have gone to a lot of rounds to choose only the best and grow them on in our own nursery, in the best compost to give you the best blooms. Make sure you plant them in good soil, which has been enriched with FYM… No need to give them any further feed in the first year, as we put long-term slow release fertilizer in the pots. However roses are greedy they all love a feed of rose fertilizer in July, prolonging flowering time. Sometimes you can get a slight smell in the mornings of garlic in the garden centre and this is because we spray our roses from time to time with garlic extract. It acts like a probiotic for plants. That’s why our roses have strong shiny leaves. They are resilient to diseases and greenfly attack. It’s also totally organic. The David Austin roses also can make a spectacular hedge as they are not pruned back hard like ordinary roses. Two choice ramblers for repeat flowering which is unusual for ramblers are Paul Noel which has full pink fragrant flowers and Phyllis Bide salmon pink, flushed yellow with a pleasant fragrance and there are many more.

January 17, 2021 — omearas gardencentre
Tags: June


  • June sees the risk of frost pass so if you haven't already now is the time to plant out tender bedding plants and annuals for stunning summer displays. June is a busy month in the gardening calendar with fruit, vegetables, containers and baskets needing regular feeding and watering. First crops are ready for harvesting and you need to keep sowing lettuces and other crops to ensure a season long supply.
  • Keep mowing and feeding the lawn to make sure it's looking its best and then sit down, relax and enjoy the fruits of your labour
  • Prune early summer-flowering shrubs like philadelphus once the flowers are over
  • Finish planting out dahlias, cannas and summer bedding
  • Feed acid-loving plants with a special liquid fertiliser containing iron
  • Harvest Veg as they become ready and earth up potatoes to ensure a bumper crop. Keep fruit and veg well watered. Spread mulch around beans and other crops to help conserve soil moisture
  • Increase greenhouse shading if temperatures inside are getting very hot  and damp down the greenhouse floor every morning
  • Carrots and onions planted in alternate rows are good allies. The carrots help drive away the onion fly and the onions drive off the carrot fly.  Plant the variety of carrots called fly away for extra protection. If it’s a big problem in your garden, I would also recommend in investing in some enviromesh cloche.
  • Pinch out cucumber sideshoot tips two leaves beyond a female flower

Give it a try... Planting up a summer hanging basket. The first step toward creating a lush, beautiful hanging basket is in choosing your plants. Purchasing healthy plants is essential; I look for plants with several stems, since they will produce prolific growth. Then choose your basket size the larger the basket the more plants you will be able to put in and the more colourful it will be. Make planting a basket easy and remove the chains before you start. It’s handy to stand the basket on a large flowerpot or a bucket for stability while you plant. Line the wire basket with a moss liner or choose another type of liner. It is important to be able to push through the liner or cut it easily so that you can position plants through the sides of the basket and underneath. Half fill the basket with Basket & Container compost and mix in some Slow Release Plant Food (Osmocote) to ensure that your plants have sufficient food for up to 6 months. When using bedding plants gently push the roots through the side of the basket so that the root balls are resting on the top of compost, lobelia is best we find for side planting. Plant all around the edge of the basket at this level with one layer of plants. Add some more compost and plant another layer of plants through the sides of the basket all the way round. Finally fill the basket, almost to the top with more compost and add another layer of plants. Top up the basket with more compost until it is full. Plant a selection of trailing basket plants around the edge of the basket and a few upright plants in the centre. Firm them in gently and water well. Once your basket has settled the liner or moss will have shrunk to fit your basket, any excess on a liner can be trimmed. Remove spent blooms from your plants two to three times a week to encourage plants to produce a succession of flowers. You can boost plants with a weekly liquid feed.

January 17, 2021 — omearas gardencentre
Tags: June