GARDEN

Gardening with James Vaughan: Tree of knowledge in our schools

James Vaughan

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James Vaughan

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news@tipperarylive.ie

Gardening with James Vaughan: Tree of knowledge in our schools

Hyacinths have a delicious scent

On Thursday, October 3 the Tree Council of Ireland launched National Tree Day. On National Tree Day schools and families nationwide were invited to spend the day learning about trees and being outside enjoying their natural environment. As part of this year’s campaign, over 1,000 NATIVE tree saplings were made available free of charge for primary schools to help teach children about the importance of planting trees to improve biodiversity on the school grounds.
National Tree Day is an opportunity for children, teachers and parents to connect directly with trees, nature and the outdoors. It’s the only day in the primary school curriculum when school children are encouraged to put down their books and go outside to learn about nature. Many schools also take the opportunity to participate in guided woodland walks at various locations throughout the country, enabling children to connect directly with nature.
In a recent article I spoke about several types of Spring Flowering bulbs that can be planted outside in the garden around now. A recent conversation with a colleague raised a related situation. The colleague mentioned remembering a relative that used to have Hyacinths that somehow flowered at Christmas time instead of the usual spring.
In the past it would be difficult to achieve this with any degree of simplicity. You would need to buy a regular Hyacinth bulb and plant it in pot. You would then need to place this pot outside in the cold for around a month. You would then need to remember to bring the potted bulb inside to the heat of a house. This would encourage the flower to start growing. If you timed it all correctly you would have a Hyacinth in flower for Christmas. These days it is so much easier. All you need to do is ensure that you purchase PREPARED flower bulbs. This means that all the hard work has been done for you. The bulbs may cost a little more but I find it is well worth it. There are several types of bulbs that can be used to give Christmas colour.

Hyacinth
These are available in a variety of colours from white through to deep blue. The variety ‘ Delft Blue’ is my favourite. There is the added bonus that Hyacinths have a delicious scent. Three bulbs in a pot will provide enough flowers to perfume

Paper White Narcissus
These are a type of daffodil. They grow taller than Hyacinths- up to 18 inches/ 50 CM high. So for this reason you may need to support them. As the name suggests, the colour is white and petals are thin like paper.

Amaryllis
Perhaps the showiest and definitely the largest flowers of all indoor flower bulbs. I have grown these bulbs before which had flowers 10 inches/20 CM across. They are also, however, expensive in terms of flower bulbs. They can cast anything from four euro to twelve euro each. If you have never grown these before I would recommend you try them at least once.
All these bubs, if treated the correct way, can be saved and treated so that they flower again next year and every year. I will cover this aspect of indoor flower bulbs in next weeks article.