Tips for Choosing Decorative Plants for Events and Occasions
Choose plants early for specific purposes or events, whether evergreen or deciduous, large or small. When it comes to choosing that, the best advice I would give is to start planning early. Every year, we would get a good few enquiries about plants flowering in May and June, for communions or weddings. All nice and good, but we usually get them a week before, or even less. It is now April, and summer is almost around the corner. I would like to emphasize the importance of considering decorative plants for your near future.
Planning is key, so do sit down with a cup of tea in one hand and a pencil and paper in the other and start your plan with a budget. I always tell people it makes no difference whether it is 50.00 or 500.00 euros, it is very important to plan a budget, and stick to it! Decorative plants are not the only things we will be spending on if we have a big event coming up. I find that the most popular colour in the last few years used to decorate the entrance or back garden is white. The most popular plant is Hydrangea. There is nothing wrong with Hydrangea. It is one of the longest flowering shrubs with a variety of different options available in the market.
Hydrangea Decorative Plants for Stunning White Blooms
If you are unsure, take my word for it and look at Hydrangea Macrophylla “Wedding Gown”. With strong and sturdy stems with dark green leaves, this shrub will take your breath away once in bloom. The flowers are big and pure white, so when in full flower, this hydrangea could be compared to a bride. For a more delicate, understated look you should look into planting Hydrangea paniculata “Polar Bear” or “Limelight”. Conical-shaped flower heads full of delicate creamy white petals blowing gently in the breeze are now on trend all over Europe. Those hydrangeas look particularly well underplanted with dark green foliage such as Ilex Crenata, Euonymus or Ivy.
Tips for Adding Colour to Your Garden with Summer Bedding Plants
If you already have your planters and borders sorted, but are looking to add colour on a smaller scale, then look into summer bedding plants. Those will be showing up in the shops just about now. White trailing Lobelia, Bacopa “Snowflake” or Begonia “Non-Stop” planted en masse will definitely transform your space. Plant up your containers using good compost, and start feeding those bedding plants early. Should we get another touch of worse weather, put them into a shed or garage overnight and keep them in more sheltered spots in your garden. This way you are guaranteed a great result.
Viburnum: The Perfect Showstopper for Your Garden Pathway or Border
Should you be on the market for a showstopper as a feature to be added to an existing border or pathway then look no further than a Viburnum! Those shrubs are brilliant, hardy and easy and what’s most important, they look stunning when in flower. I have my eye set on a Viburnum Plicatum “Janny”. This one grows into a tiered shrub and is sometimes called a wedding cake tree. It is not to be mistaken though with Cornus Controversa Variegata, the true wedding cake. Another stunner is Viburnum “Kilimanjaro”, an upright grower laced with white flower heads in the early summer. Or the Snowball Tree – Viburnum Oppulus “Roseum”. Whichever one you should go for, you will not be disappointed and we are here to help you find your perfect decorative plants.
Planning Your Event and Planting for the Season
Those are just a few examples of white flowering decorative plants that could help you add a touch of elegant colour into your space for the big day and forever after that. So if you do have an event happening this year, start planning now. It will put your mind at ease, tick off a position if your possibly never-ending list of jobs to do, and can save you a little bit of money. And those were only the white flowering examples. You might decide on a different colour scheme which should also be planned ahead. Pop into our garden centre if you need a word of advice and start planting up!
What to Plant and How to Prepare Your Garden
With St. Patrick’s Day behind us now, it’s time to speed up in the garden! Rain or no rain, veggies are now ready to be transplanted, and seeds are still good to be sown, especially outside. I am yet to start myself, so don’t panic when you hear that all your neighbours and friends are done already! Beetroots, leaks, carrots and beans will only be seeded out into the beds in my garden in the next two weeks. No need to rush, it was cold all along. The same goes for potatoes. Hydrangea heads will be trimmed back now, old perennial bits tidied away after winter and new additions should be dug into the existing beds. Early spring shrubs such as Forsythia should definitely be pruned back after all the flowers are gone.
The same goes for cherry blossoms. Before all the foliage appears is usually the best time to cut back and shape your plants. Dahlias will be ready to go into the ground this month along with other summer bulbs that you have planned for this season. And don’t forget the feeding time. Blood, fish and bone, Bonemeal or any other good quality feed should be applied now to give your plants a boost. For new additions consider a feed with mycorrhizal fungi. This builds up the root system, feeds the plant and helps set in the ground better.
Those would be the most important jobs in my own garden for the next few weeks guys, but we all know there is a ton more to do, as always. I can officially say that the season has started. Now we just wait for the sun to come.
Magda O’ Byrne.