New Year’s Resolutions for the Garden

As we say goodbye to another lovely year, it’s time for us to welcome a fresh start and look towards a great year ahead. New Year’s Resolutions are a fantastic opportunity to try something new, and where better to make a positive change than in the garden? Below we have compiled some tips and ideas on how you can maximise your garden this year.

Start a compost heap

 

 

 

 

 

 

Generating your own compost is a fantastic (and free!) way to make an impact on your garden, as well as reducing your contribution to landfill. Spreading the finished compost into flowerbeds greatly improves soil quality by helping it it to retain moisture, suppress weeds, boost plant growth, and reduce the need to use chemical fertilisers and pesticides.

You can put so much into your compost. Waste such as fruit and veg peelings, eggshells, coffee grounds, teabags, garden waste, used paper napkins/towels, unwaxed cardboard and paper (ripped into small pieces), most food waste, toothpicks, even hair!

Start growing your own vegetables

 

 

 

 

 

 

Contrary to popular belief, a large garden with lots of space is not essential to successfully growing your own fruit and veg. Dependant on the variety, many fruits, vegetables and herbs can be grown in beds, borders, containers, or pots. Meaning that even the smallest of spaces has the potential to yield a bumper crop!

The benefits to growing your own fruit and vegetables are in abundance; home grown is fresher, it tastes better, it contains no chemicals, saves you money, and reduces single-use plastic packaging so is much better for the environment. Not to mention how rewarding the results are.

Check out our wonderfully wide selection of fruit and vegetable plants here.

Encourage wildlife into your garden

Encouraging wildlife into your garden is really rewarding and truly brings it to life. It positively impacts the livelihood of certain species and is incredibly beneficial to your garden; reducing the spread of weeds, pollinating your plants, and keeping garden pests such as slugs under control.

Grow Wildflowers

Bees and butterflies are drawn to wildflowers, and are a great way to attract wildlife into your garden. Our Buddleia weyeriana ‘Sungold’ is a particular favourite of butterflies.

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Create a Water Feature or Pond

If you have space for a pond this will diversify your garden ecosystem and allow you to keep fish and frogs as well as attracting beautiful insects like dragonflies. If not, a small water feature will help to attract different creatures.

 

 Hang a Bird Feeder

A bird feeder filled with unsalted peanuts, fat balls, or seed mixes are ideal for attracting a range of bird species. Alongside this it’s a good idea to have a bird bath of some kind to provide your feathered visitors with a water source for drinking and washing.

fill your 2020 garden with hanging baskets

The easiest way to add something new to your garden this year is with one of our Premium Pre-Planted Hanging Baskets! We have various styles and colours to choose from, and there is something to suit every garden. Our premium 14 inch diameter Rattan baskets are pre-planted with the highest quality UK-grown summer plants and delivered nursery-fresh direct to your door. Simply hang them securely in their chosen location, water, and they’re ready to go.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! And if you only manage to have one resolution this year, make it to find a little more time to enjoy your garden!

Dazzling Dahlias for the New Year 🌟

If you love bright colours in your borders, you won’t go far wrong with dahlias. Dahlias are among the lowest maintenance, highest production cut flowers and garden plants you can grow. So, with our premium Dahlia range now available to order online (for dispatch from mid-January), why not kick the new year off with a bang by planting these showstopping bloomers.

Dahlia Ambition

Marvel at the profusion of spectacular rich purple blooms of our Dahlia Ambition. A great choice for borders, containers or as superb cut flowers.

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Dahlia Tartan

This striking Dahlia will steal the show in any summer garden. Their gently ruffled, velvet wine and white swirled petals are great for cutting or plant in groups for a hypnotizing display.

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Dahlia Blue Boy

Big, bright and blue. These cool toned Decorative Dahlia flowers will add a touch of class to your summer borders.

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Dahlia Art Nouveau

Art Nouveau is a fabulous dwarf Dahlia variety that produces amazing deep pink, almost purple flowers. Perfect as pretty cut flowers for the vase.

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Dahlia Toto

Anemone flowering Dahlias, commonly known as Powder Puff Dahlias produce unique flowers with double feathered central petals, resembling a Powder Puff.

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Dahlia Painted Lady

Bring joy to the summer garden with Dahlia Painted Lady‘s pink and crimson flecked flowers. A perfect choice for a feature plant in the border or potted up in a patio display.

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Dahlia Collarette Pooh

A truly charming Dahlia. Bright orange-red petals adorn a ring of small ruffled gold petals at their heart. A real stand out for borders or as cut flowers.

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Dahlia Honka White

A Dahlia with style. These unique cartwheel style flowers look will look like little sunny faces in the summer border.

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Dahlia Boom Boom Yellow

Silky, spherical flowers. These Pompom Dahlias brighten up the summer season with their unique, pale yellow blooms. An uplifting sight in a sunny garden.

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Dahlia Bishop of Leicester

Dark and dramatic showstoppers. These attractive pink flowers with cheery yellow centres contrast beautifully against their dark foliage.

Click here to view online.

 

Our Favourite Dahlias for a Cutting Garden
Dahlia Apricot Desire
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How to plant Dahlia tubers

  • Plant dahlias on free-draining, lighter soils, where they are more likely to survive the winter.
  • Plant in a sunny or partially shaded location for best growth.
  •  Space about 60cm (2ft) apart and 10-15cm (4-6in) deep.
  •  As dahlias are tender, you’re best starting the tubers into growth in the greenhouse, then plant them in their flowering site after the frosty days are passed.

NEW SPRING 2020 CATALOGUE COMING SOON!

Our new spring 2020 catalogue has landed! Filled with our latest range of fantastic offers on spring/summer bulbs, plants and shrubs, keep an eye out for your copy in the post in January!

Not signed up for the catalogue? Click here.

Must-Have Flowers for 2020

Get Ahead: Plan your Summer Bulb Displays Now

With the new year approaching we can look forward to warmer weather and new growth appearing in our gardens, and now is the perfect time to be thinking of your summer display. Summer-flowering bulbs add an injection of colour to any garden and make for eye-catching borders and displays. Whilst often planted out in spring, many bulbs are suited to being planted as early as February. Be one step ahead and take inspiration from our selection below of Must-Have Flowers for 2020!

Summer Flower Top-Picks:

Lilies

Lilies add a touch of the exotic to the garden, and their large, brightly coloured heads are bound to attract the eye. These flowers are a striking addition to pots and borders and provide a beautiful scent. Planting time is December to April.

Lily Mona Lisa

This Dwarf Oriental Lily is a must for fronts of garden borders, or perfect in a patio pot or container. With a wonderful fragrance, these lilies would also make a lovely cut flower arrangement.

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Lily Red Twin

Our Double Flowering Asiatic Lily produces an abundance of vibrant deep red-orange flowers, and is sure to liven up any display or border.

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Lily Butter Pixie

The bright zesty petals of this Dwarf Asiatic Lily contrast splendidly with its glossy dark leaves, and is a refreshing addition to front of border displays.

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Begonia

Begonias are extremely popular for their versatility and reliability. From hanging baskets and window boxes to borders and pots, these colourful favourites are a  centerpiece in the garden. Planting time is from February onwards.

Begonia Richard GaLLE

Begonia Multiflora Richard Galle produces clusters of apricot-orange flowers with hints of yellow. They have a fantastic flowering period from June right through to October.

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Begonia Double Pink

Our Begonia Double Pink has spectacularly large bright pink blooms which can reach a diameter of 15cm. The tubers can be lifted, stored, and replanted the following year making them great value.

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Begonia Fancy Frills Yellow 

Begonia Fancy Frills is a sunshine yellow Fimbriata Begonia with bright ruffled petals. This flower is sure to bring sun to any garden.

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Gladioli

Gladioli are a classic flower which have added excitement to summer displays for generations. Available in an array of bright and bold colours, they are often referred to as the ‘sword lily’ for their blade-shaped foliage. Planting time is early March to May.

Gladioli Video

The Gladioli Video yields elegant lavender-pink petals from tall flower spikes, reaching a mature height of 90cm. Perfect for adding height to borders.

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Gladioli Cha Cha

Our Gladioli Cha Cha has beautiful butter yellow flowers which are sure to brighten up any border or summer display.

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Gladioli Espresso

The Gladioli Espresso produces striking velvety-red flowers with contrasting white stamens. This large, vibrant flower will bring excitement to any garden this summer.

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Eucomis

Eucomis descend from South Africa and have an unusual pineapple shape. Their long-lasting flowers and attractive foliage are an exotic feature point of borders, pots and flowerbeds. Planting time is from February, if into pots and containers.

Eucomis Sparkling Rosy

The Eucomis Sparkling Rosy gives deep maroon flowers in summer and follows with delicate pale pink star-shaped flowers, nestled between glossy green foliage.

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Eucomis Bicolour

This Eucomis Bicolour most lives up to the name of ‘pineapple lily, as it’s flowers bear a striking resemblance to the fruit. It’s petals are pale green an edged with maroon.

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Eucomis Autmnalis Alba

Our Eucomis Autumnalis Alba produces white flower spikes with a bright green tuft, atop broad, wavy edged leaves.

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Bulb Planting: A Guide

The general rule for planting bulbs is to dig deeper than the obvious. The usual guide is two to three times the depth of the bulb itself, however you will do less harm by planting too deep than too shallow. The other general rule is that bulbs need good drainage. The best way to achieve this is to mix grit into the general area or container of planting.

Many summer bulbs are ideal for growing in patio containers, especially tender species. These can then be lifted in winter and stored.

Step by Step:

Planting in borders:

  • Dig a hole wide and deep enough for your bulbs. Most bulbs require planting in a hole two to three times their depth.
  • Place the bulbs in the hole with their shoot facing upwards. Space them at least twice the bulb’s own width apart.
  • Replace the soil and gently firm. Avoid treading on the soil as this can damage the bulbs.

Planting in containers:

  • Dig a hole three times the bub depth, and plant the bulbs one width apart.
  • Water bulbs once after planting then regularly when in active growth. Reduce watering once the leaves die down through the dormant season.
  • If you bring pots of hardy bulbs indoors for flowering, put them in a sheltered spot outside as soon as flowering is over.

Looking for more information on planting our bulbs? Below you can find a selection of videos from our resident plant expert Jeff Turner explaining how best to plant your Summer Bulbs.

How to Plant Eucomis (Pineapple Lily): Summer Garden Guide
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December in the Garden

There are always things to do in the garden in December. These simple gardening tasks will offer some calm and relief amid the busyness of the festive season. So, here are our top jobs to get done in the garden this month.

FROZEN PONDS
  • Don’t smash the ice on a pond with a spade as the shock waves could kill fish or other wildlife. Create a breathing hole by putting a rubber ball in the water before it freezes, removing it once ice forms.
Prep Beds and borders

 

potted plant care

• Potted plants are vulnerable to water logging over winter, which can cause root rot. Raise them up onto pot feet or stand on bricks, to allow excess moisture to drain away.

• Water pots when necessary to counteract the dry winter winds.

Trees and shrubs

• Cut off dead stems of wall shrubs and climbers, then tie in any wayward shoots to prevent them being snapped off in windy weather.

• Remove any dead, diseased or dying branches from deciduous trees.

 

HELP WILDLIFE
  • Leave out bowls of fresh water for wildlife to bathe and drink.
  • Don’t throw out any scraps, birds love bits of cheese, pasta, and bread.
  • Plant a feast of berry-filled bushes that birds and other wildlife can enjoy during the cold months.
GET FESTIVE

• Why not spruce up the bare branches in the garden with fairy lights or decorative baubles in spirit of the festive season.

  • Use broken twigs to make ornaments for your trees and gift toppers. Star twigs are a favourite.

 

fOLLOW US ON FACEBOOK AND WIN £50

Enter our Christmas Wreath Photo Competition by sharing snaps of your own festive wreaths on our social pages for a chance to win a £50 PARKERS VOUCHER!

Enter by midnight Sunday the 15th!

 

FILL YOUR 2020 GARDEN WITH BASKETS

We’ve just made your gardening so much easier! Our NEW premium pre-planted summer floral hanging baskets are the perfect way to enhance your displays and keep your garden looking fantastic all summer long!

December Plant of the Month: Holly

The British countryside is experiencing a bumper crop of holly berries this autumn, thanks to perfect weather conditions in 2018. So the traditional Christmas plant is putting on its best display in over 20 years. As well as being a symbol of the festive season, the common native evergreen provides vital winter food for animals and birds and makes Holly the perfect plant of the month for December. Get yours in time for Christmas!

Keep reading to check out our favourite evergreen Holly plants, a handy guide for planting Holly in borders and containers.

Top Products

Once planted, Hollies resent disturbance, so buy younger, smaller plants are the way to go as these are easier to establish in the garden. So, take a look below at our bestselling varieties.

Holly Hedging (English Holly)

A brilliant hedging plant. Forming a dense prickly barrier, English Holly is a welcome source of food and protection to wildlife in the winter. Their glossy evergreen leaves and bright red and orange berries are a beautiful sight during the festive season.

Click here to view online.

Holly Blue Angel

A classic winter wonder. This popular evergreen bush produces vivid red fruits and dark olive leaves and can be grown outside for years to come for bigger and better displays each Christmas.

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Holly Ingramii

Our superb, premium Holly variety. This new variegated Holly is ideal as a feature shrub or very prickly barrier hedge. The glossy, dark green leaves are patterned with a broad, irregular, speckled, cream margin.

Click here to view online.

Holly Ornamental Collection

An outstanding collection of Hollies. These colourful evergreens produce striking red berries from December. The collection includes one of each variety: ‘Sharpy’, ‘Golden Van Tol’ and ‘Aurea Marginata’ and one male ‘Blue Prince’.

Click here to view online.

Holly Argentea Marginata

An awe-inspiring evergreen tree that looks great in every garden. With masses of bright red winter berries and lustrous, silvery dark green leaves, why not add a festive staple into your garden?

Click here to view online.

🍃 How to Plant Holly 🍃

For the border:

  • Dig a hole large enough for the root ball, plant and water in well.
  • Keep the area surrounding a newly planted holly weed free by mulching or covering with a mulch mat.
  • If a Holly has to be moved, lift carefully in late-winter or early spring, making sure you remove a large root ball. Water carefully for a year.
  • Hollies grow slowly and often appear to stand still for two or three years.
  • If your garden is prone to rabbit damage, protect new plants before they strip the bark.

For containers:

  • Plant in moist, but well-drained soil.
  • To ensure good drainage, use a pot with a drainage hole(s) and a quality potting soil or potting mix, or a 50/50 combination thereof, for planting.
  • Choose a container that is large enough to allow for 2 to 3 years of growth before shifting up to a larger size container. This might mean your planting pot would be 10 inches or more in diameter (width) than the root ball of your plant.

Don’t miss out this Christmas, check us out on Facebook to enter our weekly Christmas competitions! Click HERE to follow our page.