Derry garden centre's tips to get out in the garden this winter

By now, most of our summer bedding plant displays will be finished and ready for replacing as they will be withering and dying after fulfilling their purpose. So, it’s time to freshen up the pots and beds and bring a bit of colour back to the garden.

A lot of people who come into the garden centre don’t realise there is so much variety available this time of year and think that once the summer bedding is finished that that’s it until next year again. But no, there are loads to choose from and most are readily available from September onwards.

Most of the summer bedding can be pulled out and composted, but anything with a tuber such as Dahlias and Begonias can be lifted out of the soil, dried and stored in a cool, dry place until Spring again. Some gardeners will leave them in the ground and take a chance that they survive and will pop back up again the following year but that can depend on the Winter we get and it’s best not to take that chance.

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Most people are familiar with Pansy and Viola and Primroses and these can provide a blast of colour to brighten up the garden and patio even on a bleak Winter's day. Cyclamen is a beautiful plant and the flowers come in White, Red, Pink and Purple. They set off any Winter display, planting Red and White together can create a lovely Festive feel ‘Candycane’ colours.

Cyril and Alison Quinn, proprietors of the Springrowth Landscape and Garden Centre, Springtown Industrial Estate. DER2115GS – 028

Little green or gold Elwoodii conifers provide a bit of height and make a great centrepiece to a pot or planter, they don’t need to be any taller than 12 inches and a bit of snow spray or glitter can turn them into mini Christmas trees. Winter flowering Heathers make a great addition to pots and beds, they are guaranteed frost hardy and also give a splash of colour with their various shades of green and golden foliage as well as white and different shades of pink flowers. Ornamental Kale is a very popular winter bedding plant, they come in green with either white, pink or purple centres.

There isn't as much choice when it comes to trailing plants though, we are limited to ivy and vinca (periwinkle) both of which can be either variegated or green leafed. Personally, I think the variegated types are prettier.

As you can see there is plenty of variety available in Winter, so if you want to rejuvenate your own pots or buy a new one for a Christmas gift just call in to the garden centre and we will be happy to help.

A winter pot.