How to make your own fruit sorbets

Last Updated on 29/06/2021 by Esther Roberts

Our sorbet recipe is fuss free, simple and sure to be a summer favourite! In a simple set of steps and a small ingredient list this desert will take you no time to make, and even less time to polish off. Using either fresh or frozen ingredients, this is an easy treat with almost limitless combinations.

Servings: 6 – 8

You will need:

  • Saucepan
  • Baking tray
  • Parchment paper
  • Blender or food processor

Ingredients:

  • 600g raspberries (or your preferred fruit
  • 300g granulated sugar
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • Mint (optional)

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Freezing time: 1 -2 hours

Instructions:

  1. Freeze fruits – Wash and dry raspberries before freezing completely on a parchment covered baking tray.
  2. Dissolve sugar – In a saucepan dissolve sugar in 280ml of water on low heat. Stir until sugar has dissolved and raise the heat to a simmer until liquid has become a syrup. Set aside for later.
  3. Blend fruits – In a blender or fruit processor, carefully pulse fruits adding sugar syrup in stages. Combine with lemon juice and blitz until smooth. Discard of any seeds.
  4. Enjoy – serve immediately with extra fruits for decoration and a sprig of mint for decoration.

Tips:

Do I have to use the sugar syrup?

  • If you’re not a fan of sweetener you can always substitute it for orange juice (or any kind of fruit juice) or even water.

Do I have to use raspberries?

  • Not at all! Although raspberry is our favourite, strawberries, blueberries and blackberries work just as well! You could even take it one step further and exchange the lime juice for other citrus fruits, lemon and orange are great additions.

Don’t get caught in the dark, our planting guides are here to help:

What to Do In the Garden In July

Last Updated on 29/06/2021 by Amber Williams

Garden jobs to do in July blog

Our gardens are full of sunshine and life, giving us the motivation to get outside and get stuff done. Let’s talk about garden jobs to do in July.

Whether you’re growing flowers, plants, fruits or vegetables, there’s plenty to do in the garden or allotment this month. Follow this quick and easy-to-do list to help you plan for the month ahead.

Deadhead Spent Perennials

Deadheading echinacea flowers - garden jobs to do in July

Sometimes your blooms need a bit of help and encouragement to help them look their best. Deadheading spent flowers will allow them to produce new buds, keeping your display looking fresher for longer! Deadhead your flowers whenever they need it, cutting just below the flower head.

Protect Your Fruit from Pests

Adding mesh to protect strawberries

As exciting as it is to grow your own fruits and vegetables in the garden or allotment, they can also be a pain to protect against pests. As fruits like Strawberries start to appear this month, it might be a good idea to cover them with mesh. This will stop animals like squirrels and birds from getting at them!

Feed your Chillies, Cucumbers and Tomatoes Regularly

Add tomato fertilizer to vegetables like tomatoes, chilies and cucumbers.

To keep your cucumbers, chillies and tomatoes bursting with life, it’s a great idea to add some high potash tomato fertiliser every week to two weeks.

Keep Up With Composting

Turning the compost heap is another important garden jobs to do in July

Turn the contents of your compost bin. Leaving it to its own devices can take longer to create your compost, so a regular turn and stir will help the oxygen move through the pile and quicken the process.

More Garden Jobs to do in July

  • Mow your lawn regularly, if needed
  • Water your hanging baskets and containers every day, either in the early morning or evening to help preserve water
  • Deadhead bedding blooms
  • Keep an eye out for pests regularly on your plants
  • Start to think about ordering spring plants and blooms for autumn delivery

Read more from J Parker’s

Eton mess recipe
When is too late to plant summer flowering plants?

What to Plant in July

Last Updated on 29/06/2021 by Esther Roberts

Summer is truly upon us! As the weather and soil warm up, now is the perfect time to get those Autumn flowering bulbs into the ground. Move that BBQ, rearrange that patio furniture and make space in those beds, a new growing season is upon us. From gorgeous Crocus to delicious berries (that go great in an Eton Mess!), it’s time to get stuck in.

Here is what you can plant this July.

Autumn Flowering Crocus

Don’t let your garden fade away, keep up the momentum with our Autumn Flowering Crocus range! They look especially beautiful when planted  in groups at the front of a border or in patio pots and containers alongside evergreen foliage. Supplied as top quality bulbs and corms, don’t leave your Autumn garden until too late.

Crocus Sativus (Saffron)
Crocus Autumn Flowering Mixed

Indoor Flowering Amaryllis

Bring the garden indoors with our Indoor Flowering Amaryllis bulbs. With a large assortment of collections, styles and colours to choose from, they’re an easy way to bring some of that garden magic indoors. When planted in fresh loam or compost, watch your flowers bloom in a beautiful display of colour.

Amaryllis Adele 34cm+
Amaryllis Alfresco 26cm+

Goji Berry

If you’re looking to start that new healthy lifestyle, Goji Berries are the one for you! High in vitamins and antioxidants, along with delicious little berries, this bush will produce beautiful purple/white flowers that bloom through summer encouraging pollinators such as butterflies into the garden.

Goji Berry (Lycium Barbarum)

Blueberries

Known as a modern day super food for it’s great source of Vitamin C, Blueberries are one of the UK’s most popular fruits! Whether you love it for the incredible health benefits or it’s subtly sweet taste, Blueberries are easy to plant and even easier to care for and once picked off the branch can be used in a wide range of ways.

Blueberry – All Season Collection
Blueberry Pink Lemonade

Tayberry

This marvellous mixture of a raspberry and blackberry is the size of a big raspberry with the sweetness and juice of a blackberry. Growing to the size of a large strawberry, the Tayberry is much more restrained than a blackberry and can be safely controlled. Don’t forget to prune back in winter!

Tayberry Madana

Keep up to date with all things J Parkers:

The Manchester Mind Therapy Garden is Now Open

Last Updated on 29/06/2021 by Shannen Godwin

After a hard 6 months of planning and building, the Manchester Mind therapy garden is now finally open! Based at the charity’s allotment in Chorlton, the therapy garden is now a peaceful, relaxing space for the charity volunteers and staff to enjoy.

After partnering together on this project at the start of 2021, the charity volunteers and members of the J. Parker’s team have worked tirelessly over the past few months bringing this garden to life. As the charity work hard producing kilos of fruit and vegetables at their allotment, this new relaxation space is now the perfect spot for workers and visitors to relax, and the new enclosed area will be used for 1/1 support sessions.

The enclosed area

The enclosed area features a large wooden gazebo which shelters two large wooden benches. This area is now a isolated area, separated from the open garden by a wall of bamboo, to help provide more space for 1/1 therapy support sessions.

Walkway to the enclosed area

The open garden

The open garden now features two wooden arbours, a garden arch, trough planters and a solar fountain. This space is now the perfect spot for volunteers and staff to socialise and relax after a hard day at the allotment.

Solar fountain and arbour in the open garden area

J. Parker’s will be continuing their relationship with Manchester Mind, so keep your eye out for new projects coming soon!

For more information about Manchester Mind and their services, please visit their website here.

Parker’s Book Club: Garden Refresh: How to Give Your Yard Big Impact on a Small Budget – Kier Holmes

Last Updated on 28/06/2021 by Shannen Godwin

Looking for the perfect summer read? With many of us enjoying the warm weather in the garden, some of you may be thinking about ways to spruce up your outdoor space. This month, our book of choice, written by esteemed writer Kier Holmes, is certain to fill your brain with creative ideas on how to switch up your garden space without breaking the bank.

Kier Holmes contributes to various publications including Martha StewartBetter Homes and Gardens, and Sunset Magazine. In this upcoming book, Kier Holmes shares all of her top tips for creating a beautiful, productive garden without spending a ton of money, from pro-tops to creative planting suggestions. This inspiring read also shares DIY remedies for some of the most common and frustrating gardening problems.

Do you have a book you’d like us to mention? Send in your suggestions on Instagram using the hashtag #parkersbookclub.

Check out some of our other blogs:

Summer Garden Make-Over Competition Winner

Last Updated on 28/06/2021 by Esther Roberts

Another competition has flown by and given us the opportunity to learn more about our valuable customers. What we love the most about our competitions is understanding the reason why gardening is such a beloved hobby. But more importantly, how we can help spread that love with people. Without further ado, we are pleased to announce the winner of our Summer Garden Make-Over Competition…

Nick Robson

Nick Robson was lovingly nominated by his wife Annemarie, who highlighted his local tree planting group and dedication to the preservation of nature. In between creating a bee and butterfly garden, Nick has also spent this lockdown redoing the family home and landscaping. We hope this mystery summer bedding and basket collection can help towards the new beds he has created!

Other Entries

We received so many amazing and inspiring entries that we want to take a moment to say thank you to everyone who shared their stories. From health care workers who need a moment of respite, and those suffering from mental health. It is truly eye-opening to see how gardening can reach people. All of your stories touched our hearts and we only hope that you continue nurturing both yourself and your garden.

There will be more J Parkers competition coming up, giving you even more opportunities to win the garden of your dreams.

Stay up to date with J Parkers:

Eton Mess recipe

Last Updated on 22/06/2021 by Esther Roberts

Searching for the perfect summer desert? Nobody wants to be eating warm custard in the summer sun. Our Eton Mess recipe is not only a British classic but by swapping strawberries for raspberries and other British summer berries, not only does it bring a whole new flavour but also the chance to grow your own ingredients!

Servings: 6

You will need:

  • Baking sheet
  • Mixing bowl
  • Electric whisk
  • Blender or food processor
  • Non-stick baking paper

Ingredients:

For homemade meringues

  • 2 large egg whites
  • 300g caster sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preparation time: 30 minutes

Cooking time: 1 hour – 2 hours

Instructions:

  1. Optional: Make meringue – Pre-heat oven to Gas mark 1 or 100c and line the baking sheet with non-stick baking paper.
  2. Whisk meringue ingredients – Beat together the egg whites until they resemble stiff peaks. Add caster sugar one tablespoon at a time until the mixture thickens. Do the same with the vanilla extract until the mixture is thick and glossy.
  3. Bake the meringue – Place large spoonful’s of meringue onto the baking sheet, ensuring they are spaced out evenly. Bake on the lowest shelf for an hour or until the meringue can be easily peeled from the paper. Set aside to cool for later assembly.
  4. Make the puree – In a blender or food processor, combine half the raspberries with half of the icing sugar until a smooth puree is left. Slice the remaining raspberries along with the seasonal berries and set aside.
  5. Make whipped cream – Whip the double cream and other half of the icing sugar until soft peaks are formed that can hold their shape.
  6. Time to make a mess – Here comes the fun part! Lightly fold together the crumbled meringue (save some for the end), whipped cream and selection of berries. Stir in the puree and divide into bowls. Crumble meringue over the top and serve!

Tips:

How can I add more complex flavours?

  • Eton Mess is a great desert that can be easily personalised! Simple ingredients like a dusting of cinnamon, chocolate shavings, hazelnuts or almonds, or a caramel sauce could be enough to elevate this recipe and make it your own.

Do I have to use berries?

  • Although berries are the tried and trusted ingredient, other soft fruits such as blackberries, blackcurrants might also work too. You could even experiment with some more unusual varieties such as loganberries or tayberries for a truly bespoke experience!

Check out our latest blogs:

When is too late to plant summer flowering plants?

Last Updated on 14/06/2021 by Esther Roberts

Summer is finally upon us and it’s not too late to start on that garden! Planting and maintenance are hard work, and not everyone has the time to meticulously plan for their summer flowering garden. Or even the knowledge of when to start it!

In the world of gardening there are two primary seasons to start planting – spring and autumn. For spring, we plant bulbs like gladioli that will eventually blossom in summer. For autumn, we plant bulbs such as daffodils that will bloom in spring. However, there is still a prime time for planting during summer that will allow your gardens to thrive well into late autumn so you don’t miss out on having a spectacular display.

Garden Ready Plug Plants

Garden Ready Plug Plants are exactly what they sound like, easy to grow UK grown plugs that are ready for your garden! These plugs establish quickly when planted straight into their final location in garden borders, hanging baskets or patio pots and will have your garden looking like a top notch display in no time.

Aster Asteroids Mixed (Garden Ready)
Cosmos Apollo Lovesong (Garden Ready)

Sedums

With their succulent-like foliage, these plants thrive in this hot and dry weather. They also make great pollinators for bees! Sedums are easy to grow and their fast-growing ability is an excellent choice for ground cover. Their benefits even surpass peak season as in winter if the flowers are left alone, they’ll continue to look attractive.

Sedum Spurium Summer Glory
Sedum Sunsparkler Wildfire

Hydrangea arborescens

These plants are a real treat! Boasting huge domes of pretty flowers that are dotted across the light-green leaves, these plants can truly steal the show of any garden border. They can even be grown in a large container. These versatile flowers can be cut and dried for an impressive long-lasting indoor display.

Hydrangea arborescens Annabelle
Hydrangea arborescens ‘Pink Annabelle’

Petunia and Surfinia

Petunias and Surfinias are two of the most popular varieties of bedding and hanging basket plants available and it’s no secret as to why! They come in a wide range of shapes, sizes and colours making them versatile enough to fit in with any garden and add a dash of summertime flare.

Surfinia Trailing Double Flowering Mixed
Petunia Climbing Tidal Wave (Garden Ready)

Don’t miss out on the action – check out our recent blogs:

Summer Garden Make-Over Competition

Last Updated on 07/06/2021 by Esther Roberts

The sun is out and the weather is hot, which means it’s time to for our Summer Garden Make-Over Competition! We are giving you the chance to win a large selection of some of our best plants for your garden. Let us help you make your garden main event this summer. Dust off your decking and break out the BBQ, let US get the garden!

What you win

  • Mystery mega Summer Bedding & Basket collection!

How to enter

  • Simply answer this question (in 250 words or less):

“Why should you win our Summer Garden Makeover?”

Please send your answers to us via email at: [email protected](Remember to please keep your entries under 5mb to ensure we receive them).

When does the competition end?

Get your answers to us by June 26th to be within a chance of winning. The winner will be announced the following Monday.

T&Cs

  • The winning entry will receive a mystery collection of summer bedding and hanging basket collections.
  • Entries should be under 250 words. Images can be used so long as your entry email is less than 5mb in size.
  • Send your entries by email to [email protected] (please keep your entries under 5mb to ensure we receive them) or entry via social media.
  • Entrants agree that, should they be successful, their story may be used in future for coverage on our blog and social channels.
  • All entries using photographs or drawings must be original images, taken/produced by the entrant. You must own all rights to the image and in entering the competition you agree to allow us to use your image in further promotions, on our blog, on social media or in print.
  • The winnings cannot be exchanged for cash and there is no substitution for this prize.
  • Competition closes 26th June 2021.
  • The winner will be contacted and announced 28th June 2021.

Check out what else we’ve got going on:

What to Plant in June

Last Updated on 08/06/2021 by Esther Roberts

It looks like summertime is finally here! The days are brighter, the nights are longer and it’s time for the hard work in the garden to begin. From summer bedding favourites that will make your garden glow. Or freshly grown vegetables perfect for salads, it’s time to start planting!

Here is a list of what you can get in the ground.

Argyranthemum

Commonly known as the Marguerite daisies, these beautiful flowers are perfect for summer bedding and can really transform your garden. Supplied as UK grown plug plants, these flowers have the added bonus of attracting butterflies to your garden and make the perfect summer display.

Argyranthemum Grandaisy Pink Halo
Argyranthemum Grandaisy Red

Pansies

Pansies are a summer staple and our garden ready collections are ready for planting! When planted with plenty of room for the roots to establish and develop, these stunning UK grown Maxi Plugs will add colour and charm to your flower beds and containers.

Pansy Can Can Mixed (Garden Ready)
Pansy Matrix Mixed (Garden Ready)

Geraniums

Geraniums make perfect bedding and trailing plants, especially when supplied in trays. Our Geraniums are supplied as UK-grown 3cm diameter jumbo plug plants, and once in the ground your summer beds will be blooming from summer to early autumn.

Geranium Apple Blossom
Geranium Double Trailing Blue

Tomato Plants

Our RHS Award of Garden Merit winning Tomato plants are ready to pot on arrival! Supplied as premium 3cm jumbo plug plants, tomatoes make the perfect summer treat and thrive in this heat, start planting the best varieties possible and give yourself the best crops this year.

Tomato Sweet Million
Tomato Beefmaster

Kale

When planting kale be sure to allow them plenty of space to grow! Our kale reflex are incredibly high yielding and produce finely curled dark green leaves that have a great resistance to untimely yellowing. Plant in fertile, well drained soil.

Kale Reflex
Kale Reflex

Peppers

Crunchy, sweet and just a little bit spicy – peppers are the perfect accompaniment to any summer recipe! Either in a salad or grilled on the barbecue, our peppers are incredibly versatile and have the ability to adapt to any growing conditions, perfect for outdoor vegetable gardens.

Pepper Beluga Red
Pepper Beluga Yellow

Get the most out of your garden with J Parkers: