Parker’s Perfect Bouquets Competition

Last Updated on 20/09/2021 by Esther Roberts

It’s September, and with a new month comes a list of what can be planted. But this one is incredibly important! September is a vital time for the garden as it it when most of our top quality bulbs are sent straight to you ready for your garden. Getting your spring bulbs into the ground is a must, but what about your beautiful blooms? There is no better time to not only harvest any remaining flowers in the garden, but also to create a stunning cut flower bouquet for the home with them. If that sounds like a plan, then this is the competition for you.

How to enter

Submit photos of your Parker’s own cut flower bouquets to be in for a chance of winning.

  • FACEBOOK – Like our Facebook page and share your image to our page with the caption ‘Parkers Perfect Bouquet entry’.
  • TWITTER – Follow us at @JParkersBulbs and tag us in your photos with the hashtag #parkersbouquet
  • INSTAGRAM – Follow us at @jparkersbulbs and tag us in your photos with the hashtag #parkersbouquet
  • EMAIL – Email us at [email protected] (Entries must be under 5mb – please include your name and postcode)

What you win

The winner of our Parker’s Perfect Bouquet Competition will win 3 of our BRAND NEW Tulip Bouquet collections (worth £39.90)! Each of these gorgeous collections come in complimentary colours and shades to create a truly stunning display to brighten up any garden. Supplied as top quality bulbs, these spring-flowering beauties will be the perfect treat when they bloom, giving you flower displays worthy of RHS Chelsea.

When does the Parker’s Perfect Bouquet Competition end?

The competition ends 23rd September. The winner will be announced the following Monday with an accompanying blog post.

Terms and Conditions

  • All entries which meet the criteria outlined below will be considered for the prize of 3x Tulip Bouquet Collections.
  • All entries using photographs must be original images, taken/produced by the entrant.
  • Entrants agree that their names may or may not be published with their entry.
  • One winner will receive 3x Tulip Bouquet Collections sold by J Parker’s. There is no substitution for this prize and it cannot be exchanged for cash.
  • All varieties of flowers will be considered, but only those purchased from J. Parker’s will qualify for the competition prizes.
  • Send your entries by email to [email protected] (email under 5mb) or you can share it with us on our social media pages.
  • All entries will be considered, and you can enter as many times as you wish. Competition closes September 17th 2021. Winner will be notified by email on 20th September 2021.

Hungry for more content? Our recipes have you covered!

Peach Cobbler Recipe

Last Updated on 25/08/2021 by Amber Williams

Both comforting and delicious, you can’t beat the humble peach cobbler! This beautiful dessert can warm you up on the coldest of nights and includes some amazing ingredients that can even be grown at home.

If you’re after a wholesome peach cobbler recipe, then you’ve come to the right place! Follow these simple instructions to create a culinary masterpiece.

Servings: 4

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes

You will need:

  • Baking dish
  • Food processor or mixer

Ingredients:

  • 2 cans of peaches or 400g fresh peaches
  • 120g caster sugar
  • 150g plain flour
  • 150g butter (chilled)
  • 1tsp ground ginger
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 1tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 egg
  • Cream, Ice cream, or Custard for serving

Instructions:

  1. Prep the base – First things first, pre-heat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Grease up the bottom of your baking dish and lay out the drained/cut up pieces of peach at the bottom so it neatly covers the base. Sprinkle/mix the ginger and a teaspoon or two of sugar on top of the peaches.
  2. Combine Dry Ingredients – Put your flour, cinnamon, baking powder and sugar into a food processor and mix them together. Then, add the butter and mix that until it looks a bit like breadcrumbs. This is when we add the egg and mix that till it looks like a dough.
  3. Spread the dough – Spread your dough mixture over the peaches and sprinkle some sugar on top before popping in the oven for 40 minutes (or until the top is golden brown).
  4. Serve warm – Serve with your favourite topping and enjoy!

Tips:

How to store

  • Store for up to 3-5 days in the fridge in an air-tight container, or up to 1 month in the freezer and defrost when needed.

Want to spice things up?

  • If you’re feeling adventurous and would like to add something different to this recipe then let your imagination run free! You could even use different fruits if you’re not a fan of peaches. How about some almonds placed on top of the dough before baking?

Like this peach cobbler recipe? Discover more tasty desserts and snacks on our blog!

Parkers Pollinator Count Winner

Last Updated on 26/08/2021 by Esther Roberts

Our very first Parkers Pollinator Count has finished! Much like the Big Butterfly Count which came before it, our main focus this month was the winged beauties that often populate our gardens this time of year! Another great part of this competition is the donation we’re going to make to the Butterfly Conservation. Every entry, no matter the platform, equals a £1 donation directly from us. So not only are we donating to a great cause but one lucky person has won a £100 VOUCHER to spend on website! So, without further ado lets find out our winner…

Rebecca Saxton

Congratulations Rebecca for winning our Parkers Pollinators Count! This is such a beautiful picture that allows us to see all the tiny little details that this beautiful creature posses. This little pollinator definitely seems to be doing its job as its whole body is covered in pollen, ready to pollinate and make our plants look amazing! The gorgeous flowers and sunshine in the background has helped to crown this picture as our winner.

But that’s not all! Thanks to all of your contributions we have been able to raise £91 for The Butterfly Conservation! But that’s not all, we’ve decided to DOUBLE this number and donate £182, hopefully this larger sum will help towards the charity’s efforts in helping these very important creatures thrive and make the planet a better place. Both butterfly counts may have ended but summer stays, continue keeping an eye out for the little creatures in our life and spread awareness!

Check out our latest blog posts:

The Best Mashed Potato Recipe

Last Updated on 06/09/2021 by Amber Williams

Mashed potatoes are a staple dish. Whether paired with a stew or some bangers, you can’t go wrong with a good plate of mashed potato. Plus, if you grow your own potatoes at home, this is a great way to utilise your efforts.

What if we told you that by following this mashed potato recipe, you’d be making the worlds BEST mashed potato ever? Follow this recipe and find out…

Servings: Feeds 2

Preparation time: 10 minutes

You will need:

  • Large pan
  • Colander
  • Potato masher

Ingredients:

  • 2-4 large potatoes of your choice
  • A glug of milk
  • tbsp of butter
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
    Optional:
  • 50-100g of cheese (choose your preferred cheese, but we would opt for a mature cheddar)

Instructions:

  1. Chop the Potatoes – Smaller chunks of potatoes are easier to cook. Cut your potatoes into small pieces and put into boiling water. Cook for 15 minutes (or until they’re soft).
  2. Drain the Potatoes – Drain your potatoes and pop back onto the hob to dry them out slightly on a low heat. Once dry (but not burnt), add your milk and butter and mash the potatoes until creamy. If you’re struggling with lumps, you can always use a big spoon or whisk to finish the job. Feel free to add more milk and butter until you get the texture you prefer. However, we advise to use more butter than milk because once the mash goes into a liquid mess, there’s no saving it.
  3. Season the mash – Once the mash is creamy with no lumps to be seen, add your cheese, salt, and pepper. Mix it in until it melts and combines.
  4. Serve warm – Put your mash on the plate and serve! Best enjoyed when eaten warm. Cover with lots of gravy and extra salt and pepper because why not!

Tips:

How to take this recipe to the next level

  • If you like crème fraîche, adding some of this instead of cheese can be life changing. About 4 tablespoons will do it!

Goes well with…

  • Mashed potato is a versatile dish. Use liberally with any pie, sausage, or stew dish for an out of this world experience.

Liked our mashed potato recipe? Discover more tasty snacks and meal recipes on our blog!

Behind The ‘Hope Blooms’ Collection

Last Updated on 26/08/2021 by Shannen Godwin

This bank holiday weekend, we are releasing our new ‘Hope Blooms’ collection in collaboration with mental health charity, Manchester Mind. Filled with cool tones and beautiful flowers, a portion of sales of each collection sold will go to Manchester Mind, in aid of their goal to improve mental health around Greater Manchester.

About Manchester Mind

Manchester Mind is an independent charity and has been delivering mental health services around Greater Manchester since 1989. In June 2021, we assisted the charity with the build of a sensory garden at their Chorlton-based allotment, where they grow their own produce to use for their catering services.

Manchester Mind Staff & Allotment Volunteers

Inside the Collection

Fragrant Sea Hyacinth Mixed

This hyacinth mixture is filled with stunning fragrant, cool-toned blooms. The perfect selection for planting in pots and flower beds.

Hyacinth Fragrant Sea Mix
Iris Harmony

Iris ‘Harmony’

Beautiful mid-spring blooming Iris. Producing deep, vibrant blue flowers, these blooms will add a sense of calm to the spring garden.

Narcissi Pueblo

A spring classic. This unique, creamy daffodil produces deep creamy trumpets, surrounded by paler cream petals. Perfect for growing as cut flowers!

Narcissi Pueblo
Tulipa Negrita Double

Tulip Negrita Double

A dramatic, double-flowering Tulip. These purple peony-like blooms are the perfect addition to any spring garden. Grow for stunning cut flowers in the springtime.

Tulip Tres Chic

Finally, this lily-flowering tulip produces stunning clean white flowers. Another cut flower favourite from the J. Parker’s team.

Tulipa Tres Chic

How would the donations help Manchester Mind?

  • £3 will provide a meal kit with an easy to follow recipe to feed a family of four
  • £30 will deliver one “walk and talk” session with a mental health worker at the allotment
  • £300 will pay for a six week therapeutic horticulture course for 1 person

When to Plant Hyacinth Bulbs

Last Updated on 12/10/2021 by Shannen Godwin

Hyacinths are a versatile spring bulb, perfect for growing either indoors or outside (if specially treated). This ever-popular spring bloom will transform any seasonal garden display with their bright colours and floral fragrance.

If you’re not sure when to plant hyacinth bulbs, or even how and where to plant them, then this blog is for you.

When to Plant Hyacinth Bulbs

Outdoor Hyacinth bulbs can be planted throughout the autumn planting season. This can be anytime between September to December, giving the bulbs plenty of time to establish and grow.

However, if you’re looking to plant indoor bulbs (which are sold separately from our indoor bulbs online as they have been specially treated to flower before spring), aim to plant them from September. If you want them to bloom in time for Christmas, then it’s recommended that you plant them around 13 weeks before the big day.  
 

How to Plant Hyacinths Outdoors

To plant your hyacinths outdoors, dig a hole per bulb that’s around 10cm deep and spaced around 7-8cm apart.

Pop them into their individual holes pointed side up. Cover them with soil and pat it down to cover the bulb.

When to Plant Hyacinths Outdoors

Outdoor hyacinth bulbs can be fully appreciated when planted in containers and displayed on patios or decking. Their fragrant blooms will be a delight when kept near doors and windows. 

Position your hyacinths in areas that are exposed to some sunlight. They will struggle to grow in complete shade but can handle partially shaded areas. 

Click to shop our full range of hyacinths.

Read more from J. Parker’s

Parker’s Book Club: The Little Grower’s Cookbook: Projects for Every Season

Last Updated on 23/08/2021 by Shannen Godwin

With planting season just around the corner, why not get the kids involved this autumn! This month, our literary spotlight is on Ghillie James and Julia Parkers’ book ‘The Little Growers Cookbook’.

Filled with exciting outdoor activities and child-friendly recipes, this gem of a book is the perfect way to tempt your little tots into getting into the garden and growing. With step-by-step instructions, colourful images and lots of tips and tricks, they will learn how to play and experiment through a bounty of plant-friendly projects.

The Little Grower's Cookbook: Projects for Every Season

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

Discover more gardening trends on our blog!

What to Plant In September

Last Updated on 24/08/2021 by Amber Williams

We will soon have to bid a tearful goodbye to the end of summer, but there’s still lots to look forward to! September is the perfect month to plant a variety of blooms and plants to give us something to look forward to.

Here’s what to plant in September, from early-flowering spring bulbs to mid-season varieties and everything in between!

Spring-flowering Bulbs

We already have our sights set on spring as the autumn planting season looms over us! We couldn’t be any more excited to get our spring-flowering bulbs in the ground. Whether it be trusty daffodils or sensational tulips, this month you can start planting your spring bulbs as soon as they arrive at your door.

Daffodil Cheerfulness
Tulip China Pink

Iris Reticulata

Flowering as early as February, the gorgeous Iris reticulata can now be planted from September. Our bulbs are delivered from mid-August, giving you plenty of time to start thinking about your early spring displays.

Iris reticulata Alida
Iris reticulata ‘Spot On’

Early Spring Blooms

Speaking of early spring displays, our selection of early-flowering spring bulbs can provide you with carpets of colour from February to March! Order yours today to plant them in September.

Muscari Magic Collection
Single Flowering Snowdrops

Peonies

Ahh, perfect peonies. From late September, you can start planting these beauties around the garden to see them appear next spring and early summer. Explore our full selection of gorgeous peony blooms on our website and create a striking display.

Peony Double Flowering Collection
Peony Honey Gold

Read more from J. Parker’s

How to Make Your Own Cut Flower Food

Last Updated on 27/09/2021 by Amber Williams

Do you struggle to keep your cut flowers alive for more than a few days? We have just the thing to help! This incredibly easy DIY food plant recipe can help your blooms thrive for longer, whilst also being better for the plants.

Read on to find out more.

Our Easy Plant Food Recipe

All you need to create this DIY food plant recipe is 1 litre of water, 1 tablespoon of white vinegar, and 1 teaspoon of sugar. That’s it! Add all your ingredients to the water and stir until combined. This will help your blooms last longer and use less chemicals to do so.

Common issues and how to solve them

1 – Drooping and wilting blooms – This could be down to a lack of water. Try changing the water and solution regularly for the best results.
2 – Mouldy water – When preparing your blooms for the vase, make sure the parts of the stem that will be under water are free from any leaves or other debris. Having leaves under the water can make it cloudy, smelly, and even go a bit mouldy.

Read more from J Parker’s

New Collection Coming Soon…

Last Updated on 19/08/2021 by Shannen Godwin

Are you ready? J. Parker’s has partnered up with mental health charity Manchester Mind to bring you an exciting new collection this summer.

There are just 8 days left until the product launch, so keep your eyes peeled!

Stay tuned for more info on August 27th.

#hopeblooms

Check out our other work with Manchester Mind: