How to Create a DIY Vertical Garden

Vertical garden

Vertical gardens are a great addition to urban gardens, especially for those with less outdoor space. DIY vertical gardens are not only great to look at, but easy on the pocket too!

To create your own vertical garden, all you need are a few supplies and your plants of choice. Follow this handy guide to get started.

Pick and Plan

DIY vertical herb garden

First things first, you need to choose what type of DIY vertical garden you’d like to create. Is it purely for aesthetic? Or would you like it to have more of a function? There are plenty of choices to make, from herbs to ferns, so do your research and pick something that suits your needs.

Secondly, you need to think about where to place your garden. Depending on the plants you choose, they will be able to thrive in full sun or full shade. If you have a south-facing garden, you’ll want plants that will thrive in full sun, and vice-versa for north-facing gardens.

Choose Your Plants

DIY Vertical garden with potted plants

Next, pick your plants! Now that you know what habit you should be looking for, you can easily choose which plants will suit your garden. Whether you choose herbs, ferns, perennials, or succulents, there’s bound to be a variety of plants that you love and look great!

If you’re wanting more functionality than aesthetic, vertical herb gardens are a brilliant way of introducing foliage to your outdoor space whilst also serving a purpose. Grow herbs like basil, chives, or dill easily in your DIY vertical garden, as they need little attention to grow and thrive.

Time to DIY

Creating your vertical garden

Now all you have to do is put all your components together! Whether you choose to go all-out with a used palette, or go for something simpler, like this IKEA planter, make sure you choose something that suits your abilities and garden space.

If you’re not as hands-on, you can buy easy to use vertical garden planters from online stores such as Amazon, or IKEA. These make it easy to create your garden but is still within budget.

Finished Your Vertical Garden? Here’s Some More Handy Guides to Boost Your Garden’s Potential!

The Big Pumpkin Hunt – Winner’s List

October is coming to an end and now it’s time to announce the winners of our Big Pumpkin Hunt. We sent you all scouring across our website to find our first set of 5 hidden Halloween pumpkins, and we had so many eagle-eyed customers managed that managed to spot them! So, we set a harder challenge of locating 10 NEW pumpkins around the site, and now we have our winners for both rounds.

Before we announce the winner’s, we’d like to thank all of our customers who got involved with this competition. We had so many entries, but here are the customers who spotted our pumpkins first:

Our 1st winner was…

Kira.P. – Kira won our amazing £100 voucher prize to spend in our online shop.

Our 2nd Winner is…

Diana (a.k.a Good Life Garden) – Diana is the winner of our HUGE £150 J.Parker’s voucher.

Here are the pages the pumpkins were hidden on:

Keep an eye out for our new competition coming this November!

What to Plant in November

November Garden

Knowing exactly what to plant in November can be a bit of a grey area, especially for those who are new to the hobby. However, this month is a critical time for gardeners.

From spring-flowering bulbs to bare-root plants, there’s plenty to be getting in the ground throughout November. Read our guide to help you form your to-do list this month.

Daffodils

A spring classic: the wholesome daffodil is a necessity for your spring gardens next year. Our daffodil range is huge, perfect for those looking for more than your average daffodil variety. Add to your beds, borders, or even containers for an impressive display throughout the month, or to be used as cut flowers for your spring arrangements!

Double Flowering Daffodil Collection
Double Flowering Daffodil Collection
Narcissi dwarf mix
Narcissi Dwarf Mix

Tulips

Tulips come in all shapes and sizes, and our tulip range is truly unmatched. From Darwin Hybrids to Viridiflora species, we’ve got a variety that will suit everyone’s different tastes. When it comes down to what to plant in November, tulips are essential spring and summer flowering bulbs to be getting in the ground.

Single early tulip mix
Single Early Tulips Mix
viridiflora collection
Tulip Viridiflora Collection

Bare Root Roses

Start to get your bare root rose plants into the ground starting from November. Bare root roses can be planted from now till March, so you have plenty of time to get these bad boys planted and ready to go for summer and autumn.

rose collection
Award Winning Rose Collection
climbing rose collection
Climbing Rose Collection

Pansies

Pansies are a British favourite, and this spring should be no exception. November is almost a last call for getting your pansies into your beds and borders, ready to appear through winter and spring. Explore our full range of pansies, both maxi plugs and garden ready, today.

Pansy Can Can garden ready variety
Pansy Can Can
pansy super winter/spring mix in maxi plug format
Pansy Super Winter/Spring Mix

Now that you know what to plant in November, read some of our other handy guides!

How Gardening Helps the Environment

Whatever the size, our gardens can help the environment in lots of ways. To help reduce the human impact on the environment and the world we live in, here are some fantastic environmental gardening tips to bring into your outdoor space.

Helps tackle pollution

Planting particular trees has been shown to improve local air quality. Garden trees do a great job trapping pollution particles, absorbing toxic gases and producing oxygen; this helps to mitigate the harmful air pollution that’s released from the engines of our cars and machines. The best trees to plant to help reduce pollution are maples including ornamental acers, silver birch, alder and conifers. Acers are a great choice for those with little outdoor space, as dwarf varieties are perfect for patios and pots.

Reduces noise pollution

Since many homes in the UK are close to busy roads, we have a few methods for soundproofing your garden and reducing unwanted noise pollution. Planting shrubs is one of the effective ways to lessen the noise in your garden. For instance, shrubs like Hollies and Junipers have thick branches at ground level, which can help reduce traffic noise. Once these shrubs reach maturity, they will create a barrier to stop noise travelling.

Why not try encouraging wildlife into your outdoor space? Plant pollinator-friendly plants and you’ll be joined by an abundance of pleasant, natural sound — which is a great distraction from external noise.

Protects natural habitats

Birds and squirrels need a natural habitat in which they can thrive — and the garden can be the perfect place for them. Planting trees and hedging is an easy environmental gardening technique to create natural homes for all the small local mammals. Fragrant flowers like spring-flowering Muscari or Roses also attract butterflies and bees, which are great pollinators who benefit the environment.

Reduces urban “heat islands”

As cities grow, natural greenery is replaced with concrete. These building materials become impermeable and dry, which causes cities to heat up, creating “heat islands”. Since gardens in London are 26% smaller than the national average, according to the Office of National Statistics, many city dwellers need to be practical when it comes to gardening. A rooftop garden can have amazing environmental and social benefits. Green roofs provide shade, remove heat from the air, and reduce temperatures of the roof surface. Using green roofs in built-up environments with limited vegetation can moderate the heat island effect, particularly during the day. 

Check out some of our other blogs!

How to Store Dahlia Tubers – A Beginners Guide

dahlia tubers in crates

Understanding when and how to store Dahlia tubers can be tricky for those who are new to gardening. Dahlias are incredible summer flowering plants that bring joy to those who grow them. Growing from a tuber (a dry clump formation of roots, rather than a bulb or plug), Dahlias are perfect perennials that flower throughout the whole season.

However, once the summer season is over, there’s a process you should follow to protect the root and ensure that the plant doesn’t rot. If this is your first time storing dahlias, then this handy guide can help you go from A to B without any fuss or confusion.

Step 1 – Lift the Root

pulling a dahlia tuber

Lift your tubers before the first frost of the autumn season to avoid root rot. To lift the root, you need to dig gently around the base. Be careful not to damage any of the root as you dig. Shake off the soil and cut the dahlia stems down and dispose of the leaves.

Step 2 – Rinse & Dry

purple and pink dahlias

Rinse gently with water until most of the soil has washed off. Leave in a warm area, with the tuber placed upside down, to dry.

Step 3 – Pot and Cover

a bee sitting on a pink dahlia

Once the tuber has dried, place in a pot and cover with dry compost. Store in a dry, cool area until the weather warms once again and repeat the cycle.

Gardening Tip 💡 : If you know that your dahlias are in a warm, safe spot in your borders and aren’t at risk of rotting throughout the winter, cover the area with a thick layer of mulch for an added padding of insulation.

Now you’ve learnt how to store Dahlia tubers, how about learning something else?

how to grow camassia
what to plant in october
when to plant bluebells

Peaceful Passionflower Tea Recipe

passionflower tea herbs

Passionflower tea is warm and inviting on cold winter nights, especially for those who struggle to settle their minds in the evening. Praised for its anxiety reducing properties, the passionflower is said to promote a healthy sleeping pattern and calm those who struggle with hyperactive anxiety.

Said to have been used by native American tribes as a sedative, passionflower tea is worth a try for those who desire more sleep.


Servings: 1 serving

Total Time: 35 minutes


You will need:

  • Your favourite mug
  • A plate
  • Kettle
  • Strainer

For the tea:

  • 1-2 tsp of dried passionflower
  • 1 cup of water

Instructions:

  1. Let Stew

    Put your measured dried passionflower herbs into your mug and fill the mug with hot water. Place a plate over top of the mug and let the herb excrete its natural flavours and oils. Let sit for 20 to 30 minutes. When the time has passed, strain out the loose herb and enjoy!


Tips

  • If you struggle with high-functioning anxiety, drinking this tea 3-4 times a day can make a huge difference.
  • If you’re not too keen on the taste, add a squirt of honey for a sweeter kick.
  • Drink your tea an hour or two before bedtime to feel the full effect.

Browse More of Our Recipes!

Spiced Caramel & Pear Tart Recipe

Looking for the perfect autumnal recipe for your harvested pears? This delicious, spiced caramel and pear tart recipe is the perfect comfort food to keep you warm this autumn.


Servings: 10

Time: 1 1/2 hours


You will need:

  • 9-inch tart pan

For the base:

  • 1 sheet frozen puff pastry (thawed)
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For the pears:

For the caramel:

  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Generous pinch of sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream

Instructions:

  1. Make the base

    Heat oven to 200°C. Brush 1 sheet of puff pastry dough with melted butter, then gently press into a 9-inch tart pan, letting ends extend over edges of pan. Fold in edges of dough, slightly pinching sides to form crust.

  2. Arrange the Pears

    Arrange pear slices in decorative circles on the prepared crust. Sprinkle top with sugar, spices and cubes of butter.
    Bake 45 minutes until crust is deep golden brown and pear topping is cooked. Remove from oven and transfer to cooling rack; leave oven on.

  3. Make the Caramel

    While your tart is baking, in small saucepan over medium heat, heat sugar until dissolved. Cook 3 to 4 minutes, carefully swirling pan, until sugar begins to caramelize and turn amber in colour. Remove from heat; stir in butter and salt until combined. Stir in heavy cream. Continue to cook sauce for 2 minutes, stirring constantly, until slightly thickened and smooth. Remove from heat.

  4. Decorate and serve

    Carefully and quickly brush top of tart with caramel sauce. Be sure to brush both crust and pear topping. Bake the tart for another 10 minutes until caramel is melted and just begins to bubble.
    Return tart to cooling rack. Let it cool before slicing.


Tips

  • When should you pick pears?

It’s best to pick pears when they are mature but not fully ripe and let them ripen in the home. Simply, cup the fruit in your hand, tilt horizontally, and it should come away easily. You can then leave them indoors at room temperature for a week to ripen.

  • How do I store fruit tarts?

This pear tart is best served the day it is made; cool or room temperature storage is fine that day, but be sure to refrigerate the leftovers.

Check out some of our other recipes:

How to Grow Indoor Amaryllis

indoor amaryllis christmas gift

Loved by beginners and experts alike due to their superb flowering potential and minimal effort, it’s the well-loved Amaryllis bulb. Hippeastrum or Amaryllis bulbs are very easy to plant and will flower indoors during the winter months, producing spectacular showy flowers in a huge range of colours and shapes.

Indoor Amaryllis makes an excellent potted plant and are available in two different bulb sizes – the standard 26cm+ bulbs which will produce two stems per bulb, or our giant 34cm+ Amaryllis bulbs which are the largest on the market and will produce three stems per bulb.

We have a wide range of popular Amaryllis bulbs to choose from, which you can find here.

How to Plant Your Bulbs

To plant your indoor amaryllis, all you need are rocks for drainage, multi-purpose compost, a medium to large sized pot, and the bulb itself. Place your rocks at the bottom of your pot. All you need is a shallow layer which helps with drainage. Next, fill your pot with soil halfway and pop your bulb into your pot.

Put compost around the bulb so that it’s anchored in place, but don’t fully cover the bulb. Leave the tip poking out the top so that it grows properly.

Aftercare

Once you’ve planted your bulb, try not to over water it. This will cause the bulb to rot.
After the amaryllis has stopped flowering, it can be made to flower again.  Cut the old flowers from the stem after flowering, and when the stem starts to sag, cut it back to the top of the bulb.

Follow our simple step by step guide here or click on the link below to watch our garden expert Jeff Turner in our video tutorial on planting these winter flowering beauties!

The Big Pumpkin Hunt – Announcement!

What a surprise!

To celebrate October, we’ve been hosting a pumpkin hunt! We hid 5 pumpkins in the spring bulbs section of our online shop, and the first person that found all 5 would WIN A £100 VOUCHER! However, our eagle-eyed customers found our 5 pumpkins so quickly, we’re going to finish off the next two weeks of the competition with another round!


Our 1st winner is…🎊🏆

Kira.P. Congratulations on having such lightening fast pumpkin hunting skills! Kira has won our amazing £100 voucher prize to spend in our online shop.

Time for the answer list. The 5 pumpkins we’re hidden on:

  1. Tulip Black Parrot
  2. Daffodil Delibes
  3. Allium Ambassador
  4. Crocus Large Flowering Mixed
  5. Lily abbevilles Pride

Time for Round 2

Since you all did such a great job spotting our pumpkins, we’re upping the difficulty and hiding 10 pumpkins across our WHOLE website. Whoever can spot all 10 new pumpkins will win…

💰💰 A £150 J.PARKER’S VOUCHER 💰💰

Here’s how to enter:

  • Locate all 10 new pumpkins hidden in product images on our website.
  • Email us at competition@jparkers.co.uk and name the products the pumpkins are displayed on.
  • The 1st person to locate all 10 new pumpkins will be our 2nd round winner.

COMPETITION CLOSES – 30/10/2020

Keep your eyes peeled, we’ll be posting clues for the pumpkin hunt on our Instagram!

How to Prune Your Roses

pruning roses

Roses are a hardy plant and are often happy to grow undisturbed, so it can be difficult to tell when to prune your roses. However, light pruning at the right time of year helps to promote healthy growth and flowering as well as helping to maintain a sensible size for your rose plant.
To see your beautiful roses effortlessly bloom year after year, it’s best to prune them at the start of each year. But when? and how?

Keep reading this rose pruning guide to find out how and when you should be pruning your roses.

When Should You Prune Your Roses?

single yellow rose after pruning

Your pruning window may be slightly different depending on where you live. For example, if you live in the south, you can get away with pruning in mid-February. If you live further north, you should probably wait until March when the weather is warmer. Pruning can also depend on the type of rose plant.

Rose Shrubs should be well pruned in mid-March in Southern England, or in the second week of April when you get further north.

Climbing Roses shouldn’t be pruned for two years after planting and then only sparsely, removing unnecessary growing tips. It’s best to prune this rose type in autumn.

How to Prune Roses – Best Methods

pruning roses in the garden

For most roses, you can prune in late winter. Take care to remove dead/diseased wood and deadhead faded blooms which can be done with your annual pruning. Cut no more than 5mm above a bud with a clean, sloping cut away from the bud so water cannot gather. Keep your secateurs sharp for a clean cut.

Pruning Tip 💡 – Use fertilizer on your roses once you’ve pruned them to encourage healthy growth throughout the year!

Shop Our Entire Rose Range