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Chase away the winter blues

Bright Poppies in my home gardenWe have reached the winter solstice which means spring is just around the corner but we know we will have the coldest part of the winter to get through till then! Colour is energy and the colours of our environment affect our behaviour and mood. This time of the year we often get a bit low waiting for spring but when yellow poppies, bright primroses and colourful pansies flower, we immediately begin to feel better. So take a moment to look at the colour found all around us this time of the year and donít hibernate to long.

Our top tips to chase away the winter blues:

  • Instant Colour

    Bright Poppies in my home gardenJack Frost has moved through and cleaned out the garden. The one thing that does happen as it gets colder is the winter annuals suddenly come out smiling. There is still time to plant patches of colour with bedding plants. The poppies have been particularly rewarding this year in full sun Ė keep removing the dead flowers and pick for the vase to stimulate more buds. Pansies are simply wonderful! They flower for ages in sun and there are so many colours to choose from they will definitely lift your winter garden or patio. The colder they get the better they flower and feed them with Multifeed to grow the best pansies ever this year.

  • Oriental Moth Orchids

    Add a touch of the orient indoorsColour indoors lasts much longer in winter and a Moth Orchid can easily be in flower for two months or more this time of the year. They prefer medium to bright light but avoid direct sunlight though a window. Moth Orchids need good air circulation, make sure your orchid is away from the heater. They prefer slightly humid conditions so in our dry winter weather you can increase humidity by misting your plant foliage in the morning. Do not mist at night.

    Before you water your orchid, make sure it is dry to touch. If it is still wet, do not apply any more water. In general, your orchid plant needs to be watered every 10-14 days in winter. Do not allow your orchid plant to stand in water. Feed with Pokon Orchid food every second time you water. Once your orchid has finished flowering cut the stem about 2cm below the first bloom. Sometimes a branch will emerge with more blooms from one of the nodes on the stem. If nothing happens in 6-8 weeks, cut the flower stem all the way back.

  • Leafy Edibles

    Pick young spinach leaves all yearThe weather is also perfect for some of the leafy winter herbs and vegetables. Lettuce planted now does extremely well in full sun to semi-shade. Plant a combination of green and red leaf lettuce to add a lush texture to the garden or even in a container near the house, let them dry between watering and you will harvest in about six to eight weeks. Spinach planted now will give you loads of leaves through spring to add to the plate. Oriental winter herbs are also great for adding to soups and stir fries for a great taste. Of course you donít have to wait till the crop is mature to harvest; leafy veggies can be picked as they grow!

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