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SP1986

Winter Bedding?

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Does anyone use winter bedding, ie pansies, primroses, cyclamen etc?

It would be interesting to see how many people actually use it - alot of people prefer their garden to have general resting period through winter but myself I love cramming colour in the garden through winter.

I know the likes of Primroses, Cyclamen and Pansies only flower during the mildest parts of the winter but here were quite lucky in that they put a good display in all but the absolute coldest weather

Anyone else do this?

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I tend just to use bulbs during the winter, i did use some Pansy's in a border however they didn't last long. Didn't use any primroses last year but i have in the past and they tend to do well. I mainly put winter plants like Pansy's, ivy ect.. in the baskets. Easier to look after. I may try some primroses in the front flower bed with some panseys for change.

Did use some cyclamen last year as well, started off nice, but the snow killed them.

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A bare bones garden, watching for signs of resident bulbs (snowdrop, 'winter' narcissi mainly) with seasonal accent and colour through Hellebore/Lenten Rose and winter jasmine. Plenty of evergreen,hopefully berries etc and some grasses left with the 'dead growth' to act as foil. Cyclamen also done in by cold snap January and February, although minuscule signs of leaf stirring from the corms so fingers crossed. Cyclamen do very well in pots/window boxes here, with small evergreen bits and bobs. The previous two years are the first without narcissi bobbing above snow/frost New Years Day. Never had much luck with Primroses and viola/pansy in garden over winter.

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I think the best thing to do with Cyclamen is keep them very dry because they occur in naturally sandy soils and although many website quote them as liking the sun, they are found on the shady side of rocks and trees. It depends on the cultivar though. Cyclamen heredifolium is more tender than Cyclamen 'coum' which is capable to withstanding wet and cold (frost). I think only in coastal areas would anyone reasonably expect heredifolium to flower throughout winter.

Primroses are hardy and well worth the effort of growing in winter, although like you say Mark they tend to be a favourite of snails or slugs and don't last long!

North African and Mediterranean plant have a strange habit of flowering in winter, for a reason I'm not sure why..

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