Ok, I’m looking at you. You grow gorgeous summer flowers.. but then at some point in September, you stop going into the garden, and those poor geraniums and begonias just die in situ, becoming a mushy brown gloop. But, your garden deserves better. So, let’s talk ‘cool season planting’!
And, this year, there’s a real poster boy for the occasion. Introducing the ‘Miracle’ from the Skimia Gold-Series, a sublime Skimmia which has tonnes of winter colour all wrapped up! Being evergreen, it’s gonna look amazing all year round too. Time to dig up those browning begonias, don’t you think??
How to grow Skimmia ‘Miracle’ from the Skimia Gold-Series
Flowering time: April to May
How was this plant created?
Chris Bolwijn runs a Skimmia nursery, so you can be assured he knows what he’s talking about when it comes to this winter beauty! He began breeding and growing Skimmia over 30 years ago. His aim was to create a strong, disease and pest resistant plant, which would please growers and home gardeners alike! It’s also quick-growing, and looks a dream on the garden centre bench. Make sure you choose some when you make up your cool season containers. You may also want to enter my ‘autumn container contest’ here.
What’s different about this plant?
Skimmia ‘Miracle’ plants are aptly named, as they offered a strong alternative to often disease-prone Skimmia family. Uber healthy, strong plants are neat, rounded and stay compact at 90cm. The spring flowers have a surprising hyacinth fragrance, and make a stupendous cut flower too!
For growers, the Skimmia is a miracle, thanks to the disease resistance, and ability to stay unaffected by spider mite! You’ll be seeing this plant in every garden centre up and down the land very soon!
Where can you plant Skimmia ‘Miracle’?
Skimmia ‘Miracle’ needs a slightly acid soil, so when planting out or into pots, use a little ericaceous (acidic) compost! Being an acid lover, ‘Miracle’ will also pair well with Pansies and Heathers too. There’s no excuse not to plant window boxes or doorstop pots.
However, the Skimmia also holds its own in the border too, it’s a fantastic underplanting specimen for beneath trees and shrubs. The pruning is super simply, simply snip off the faded flower heads after blooming.
Plants are available in garden centres across Europe.
Plant of the Month is sponsored by Plantipp, a company based in The Netherlands who handle the introduction of new plants into Europe (with Concept Plants doing the same job in North America).
See every Plant of the Month here.
Michael has been involved with gardening and plants since he was just five years old. He is a self-professed Plant Geek, and was listed in the Sunday Times top 20 most influential people in the gardening world, thanks to his plant hunter role at Thompson & Morgan.
Michael was responsible for new plant introductions such as the Egg and Chips plant and the FuchsiaBerry and keeps busy travelling the world in search of new plants as well as lecturing worldwide, including stints in Japan. He is very active on social media – so why not give him a follow at @mr_plantgeek or Facebook. You can also listen to The Plant Based Podcast with Michael and co-host Ellen-Mary on iTunes, Spotify and Google.