Shade-Loving Plants for the Garden

Do you have a shaded area in your garden where it seems like nothing will grow there? Full shade areas can look dreary but don’t worry, there are plants to suit every garden, and all you need is a little creativity. There are so many varieties on offer in a mix of shapes, sizes and colours suitable for brightening any shaded spot. Below, we have compiled a list of our most suitable picks, from ground cover to perennial flowers and grasses, to add to any shaded spot in the garden.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Suitability

To grow healthy plants in shady areas, it is important to match the degree of shade that a plant needs or will tolerate with available light. Do you know which type of shade applies to your garden?

Partial Shade: A situation in half sun and half shade where there is some direct sun but possibly for less than half the hours of daylight.

Full Shade: Under tree cover, shrubberies, and  buildings. If a site gets less than 2 hours of direct sun a day, it is considered heavy shade.

 

A common misconception is that there are a group of plants that love shade, but the truth is that some plants can tolerate shady areas better than others. Here’s an easy checklist to decide whether the plants you are considering for a shady area are really a suitable candidate. They will need to be either:

  • Suitable for neutral to acid soils
  • Variegated foliage
  • Evergreen
  • Prefer moist or wet soil

Perennials

Some may think they have no choice but to add foliage to shaded areas of the garden. However, shade flowering perennials thrive in areas that receive little to no direct sunlight and can help to bring a little colour to a dark corner. Here are some of our suggestions for shade tolerant blooms:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Looking for a beautiful perennial to brighten up a shaded spot? Our Acanthus mollis Whitewater produces tall spikes of white flowers against their backdrop of dark green variegated foliage; a perfect addition to borders or large patio containers.

Tip – These pretty flowers can be cut for vase displays or dried floral arrangements.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This fascinating clump-forming perennial produces striking mint scented flowers of a deep purple shade against bronze tinged foliage. Monarda Blaustrumpf would make the perfect addition for flower beds and borders and thrive in semi or full shade where other perennials may struggle.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This useful and hardy plant does well in all types of shade. Geranium Versicolor is ideal for planting in borders or patio pots for adding striking and unusual blooms to your garden with their vivid pink veined white flowers. This variety makes for great ground-cover in full or partial shade.

 

Ground Cover

It can be difficult to find hardy shade ground cover for those difficult areas of the garden that can lie blank and shady, but once you put your imagination cap on you can discover several different varieties that make the perfect ground cover for those shaded areas.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Not all Euphorbias do well in shade but Euphorbia amygdaloides ‘Purpurea’ is an exception. This rapid growing ground cover plant produces amazing dark purple foliage with contrasting lime-green flowers from Spring in to early summer, making this variety an ideal candidate for borders, patio pots or containers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This reliable evergreen shrub is perfect for bringing some colour to shady areas. Also known as the variegated leaf Periwinkle, Vinca major Variegata produces pretty violet-blue flowers from late spring in to summer; a perfect plant for growing anywhere in the garden, even underneath trees.

Products: Lime Marmalade (left), Creme Brulee (middle) and Berry Smoothie (right)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These charming evergreen clumps of roundish leaves with lobed or scalloped edges come in every colour under the sun. Here we’ve picked out Heuchera Lime Marmalade, Heuchera Creme Brulee and Heuchera Berry Smoothie as our top recommendations for their vibrant hues. Especially when combined with other shade-loving perennials, Heuchera are amazing for ground cover, borders or in front of shrubs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bored of plain foliage? This stunning silver touched deep green foliage that becomes dotted with spikes of pretty white blossoms in spring and early summer. This evergreen shrub is perfect for adding interest to your border displays and in any shaded spot in the garden.

Ferns

Happy to grow in inhospitable spots, many ferns are evergreen, and since they come in a range of shapes and sizes, you are certain to find the perfect fern fit for any shady spot.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Also known as the Harts Tongue Fern, Asplenium scolopendrium is an evergreen fern with luscious upright green foliage. This hardy evergreen needs little attention in the garden, provides colour all year round and can even be grown in woodland/under trees or shady borders.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This small and easy-to-grow fern is the perfect plant for the border or rock garden in full or partial shade. With a mass of golden yellow leaves and striking red stems, this exotic Athyrium Vidalii is guaranteed to provide a dash of unique colouring to even the shadiest parts of the garden.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you’re looking for a fern full of vibrant colour, the coppery red fronds of this Dryopteris erythrosora is the perfect option for your garden. This gorgeous plant can be planted in the border, patio pots or containers and are very tolerant of most conditions making them the perfect shade partner.

Grasses

Ornamental grasses provide many attractive functions in the garden. They are extremely adaptable, low maintenance, and have become increasingly popular in recent years as a way of creating a relaxing and calming effect in the garden. With their increasing popularity, more options have become available, and numerous lovely grasses are suitable for shade planting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This stunning evergreen perennial grass is the perfect addition for containers or a shady border as these plants thrive whether planted in sun, partial shade or full shade. With Carex testacea ‘Prairie Fire’s’ extraordinarily eye-catching green leaves with bright orange tips, this variety also changes in to a dark orange colour with brown flowers in the summer time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This highly versatile grass variety is ideal for planting in containers, near water features in gravel, in the border or alongside other grasses. With stunning needle-like leaves, Festuca Golden Toupee produces grey-green leaves that turn a bright yellow shade in the spring and thrive in pretty deep shade for bringing stunning vibrant hues of colour to a shaded garden.

Bulbs

It can be difficult to find blooms to rectify an unloved shaded area, however here are a few suggestions for bulbs to brighten up your garden.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This hardy perennial excels in partial or full shade. With pointed green leaves and slender, soft yellow bells that drop from its branched stems, Uvularia grandiflora makes a great addition to pots, containers and this variety even makes excellent cut flowers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A smooth cocktail of colours, purple buds opening to apricot, with rose shadings. Geum Mai Tai have fuzzy, dark green pinnate leaves and erect purple stems holding the semi double flowers. These hardy perennial plants will flower all summer from June right through to September and are suitable for partial shaded borders in the garden.

Climbers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With giant showy milk-white lace cap type flowers blooming over vigorous glossy green foliage. This fantastic, self-clinging Hydrangea petiolaris is the best climber for a shaded north wall. Very low maintenance needing only an occasional trim, left undisturbed it can grow up to a height and spread of 5m+ but will withstand gentle pruning to any manageable height to suit your garden.

ENJOY PLANTING THIS SPRING!

How to Plant: Currants

If you are a home gardener and want to grow something which will adorn your garden and at the same time will be useful to you (rather than being just showy), consider currants! They are a beautiful fruit (and its flowers too) to look at, as well as being an excellent source of home grown produce for using in your own recipes. In this blog, we’ll be covering all the areas of planting currants, from varieties, planting instructions and aftercare to make your gardening jobs easier.

Celebrated for their high vitamin C content, currant berries make an excellent addition to your fruit garden and to a healthy diet. There are many reasons to grow them; firstly, they are extremely easy and hassle-free to grow, so you require not much knowledge of gardening; secondly, they give you a large yield of a highly nutritious food item that will enhance your garden’s looks with delightful colours. With their main varieties being black, red and white, these are sweet and sour flavourful fruits that come in the following varieties (typically classified by their colours).

Blackcurrants

Blackcurrants are known for their strong flavour that makes the perfect addition to recipes for juices, pies, jellies and so much more.

Blackcurrant Wellington XXX

Blackcurrants are self-fertile plants, so we recommend planting blackcurrant plants close to each other, like our Blackcurrant Wellington XXX. This popular choice was established around sixty years ago and is a perfect addition to any gardens big or small, all you need is some space on the patio for a pot. A traditional variety, our Blackcurrant XXX produces heavy crops of fruit annually to give you an abundance of produce year after year.

Redcurrants

The humble Red Currant Berry have really proven to be an enduringly popular choice among fruit gardeners. Red currants are typically used for making jellies, juices, purees and more. They are usually self-pollinating plants but, in some conditions, benefit from cross-pollinating with another variety, like another red or white variety.

Currants Red Lake

Our Currants Red Lake are a vigorous species due to their prolonged periods of blooming and ripening. This is a simple to grow variety producing heavy crops of red berries year after year. An ideal choice for both experienced and amateur gardeners; our ‘Red Lake’ is perfect for harvesting your own produce for that summer vitamin boost.

 

White Currants

White currants are a variety of sweet, succulent berries with a grape-like flavour, perfect for serving fresh for a summer treat. Just like red currants, white currants are too usually self-pollinating but can cross-pollinate with other varieties. Perfect soft fruit additions to the garden for a bountiful and sweet April/May harvest.

Currant White Versailles

Currant White Versailles is an easy fruit to grow, making them a perfect choice for both experienced and amateur gardeners. Producing a heavy crop of white berries on trailing trusses year after year, this particularly sweet variety is a perfect choice for the cool conditions of the north of England, as they thrive best in cooler climates.

Planting

Here is our easy to follow guide for planting a garden full of currants for summer fruit.

  • Plant between Autumn through till Spring.
  • Use well-drained, weed-free soil enriched with well-rotted manure.
  • Plant in a sunny or at most a dappled shade position.
  • Plant with tip of stem at soil level and approx. 150cm apart and 150cm between rows.
  • Water well after planting and daily afterwards in dry weather.
  • Same planting process applies for potted plants.

Tutorial

In this tutorial, our resident gardening expert Jeff demonstrates how to plant Blackcurrant plants for delicious and healthy summer produce.

Tips

  • Train as an open centred, goblet-shaped bush – this allows light and air to flow freely around the branches and makes picking easier.
  • Add additional mulch every year to bring plants up to the proper depth.
  • Keep the soil moist by watering from the time they begin growing in spring until after harvest.
  • Add some fertiliser once a year in the early spring.

Aftercare

  • Remove fallen leaves and other plant debris before snowfall.
  • Prune anytime between October and March; this will improve sun exposure to the plant and help to maintain good air circulation.
  • Beginning in the fourth year, prune out the oldest wood annually.
  • Remove any weak new growth.

Planting Companions

Companion planting is an integral part of gardening for maximizing the use of your garden space, providing nutrients, shade or support, increasing crop productivity, attracting beneficial insects and there are many more perks. Since currants do well planted in shade, pairing them with other plants that prefer shade is the best choice for pairings.

For current companions, here are some of our top flower pairing choices:

Marigold Marvel Vanilla

Marigolds are a great pairing for currants as they help to keep pests away from their produce, like pesky hoverflies.  One of our favourite varieties is our Marigold Marvel Vanilla; this double flowering variety blooms creamy white flowers that would pair beautifully alongside currant bushes in beds and borders.

 

 

Apple Blenheim Orange

In a shady, unused spot, you can try planting your currant bushes under an apple tree, like our beautiful Apple Blenheim Orange. This excellent red flushed variety is a perfect addition for creating a fantastic edible garden. Our Blenheim Orange produces a heavy crop and makes an amazing accompaniment to traditional pie recipes and other delicious desserts.

Click here to view our full Currant range

Contrasting Colours: Summer Garden Guide

Looking for a fun and eye catching colour scheme for your summer gardens this year? Bold, vibrant colours are set to make a return to our summer gardens in 2019. One natural way to combine colours in the garden is to choose complementary colours. That means selecting plants in colours that are across from one another on the colour wheel. The colour wheel is a gardener’s best friend when it comes to creating a pleasing garden palette. For example, red is across from green, orange is across from blue, and, as in this bright array, yellow is across from purple. So here are some of our favourite contrasting pairings for you to consider for your garden displays this year.

Red and Green

Red and green create a striking combination of colour. The green allows for a natural, calm feel. A landscape design of various shades of green, emphasizing tone, shape and texture, can be subtle and beautiful. Paired against the vibrancy of bright red flowers, the soothing tones of green really allow the red shades to create an impact. Here are some of our favourite pairings:

Bessera Elegans & Asarum europaeum (wild ginger)

We think these two plants are a match made in heaven. The vivid coral red flowers of the Bessera Elegans provide a burst of colour against an attractive ground cover of the glossy evergreen Asarum Europaeumwhich will create a truly magnificent exotic colour combination for the summer garden.

Euphorbia martinii & Gladioli Holland Pearl

This perfect pairing is ideal for your borders. These plants grow to similar heights and with the contrasting tones of the lime-green bracts of the Euphorbia Martinii against the deep red flowers of the Gladioli Holland Pearl, they are guaranteed to dazzle in summer gardens. An added bonus of this pairing, is that they both can be used in gorgeous cut flower arrangements.

Clematis ville de lyon & Chive Staro

A lovely plant combination for a lasting display from mid to late summer. This butterfly attracting, deep red blooming Clematis Ville de Lyon is perfect for pairing alongside edible plants. Clematis plants prefer growing in full sun which makes the area around the base an ideal spot for growing edible plants like our Chive Staro, and as an added bonus, these contrasting plants create a stunning, fragrant summer display of colour and shapes.

 

Orange and Blue

Create some visual excitement with the glow of orange blooms against the stark contrasting cool, bold tones of blue. These two shades seem like they are almost made for one another. Paired in garden pots, beds or borders, this spectacular colour combination is sure to add interest this summer.

Festuca ‘elijah blue’Crocosmia Mistral

The hot orange funnel-shaped blooms of the Crocosmia Mistral create a fiery contrast paired against flowering grasses, such as the silver-blue foliage from the superb evergreen Festuca ‘Elijah Blue’ that blooms giant spiked flowers during the summer. This perfect pair is ideal for containers and borders for an attractive combined display.

Hemerocallis apricot beauty & Campanula Glomerata Superba

The beautiful blue hue in the flower clusters of the Campanula Glomerata Superba create a stunning stark contrast against the bright orange ruffled blooms of this perennial companion, Hemerocallis Apricot Beauty. These stunning flowers will continue to flower all through the summer months for a beautiful and reliable summer bed pairing.

Dahlia Ludwig Helfert & Agapanthus Back in black

Dahlias look fabulous on their own or combined with other plants and Agapanthus are an excellent vertical choice for brightening up the backgrounds of Dahlias. Dahlia Ludwig Helfert produces spiky orange blooms that provide a dramatic burst of contrasting colour alongside the dark blue flowers and glossy black stems of the Agapanthus Back In Black. This vibrant pairing would make an amazing additions to the summer border.

 

Yellow and Purple

The bright cheery shades of yellow flowers juxtaposed against bold and rich purple blooms make a beautiful colour contrast that excite the senses when you gaze out in to your gorgeous summer garden. Here are some of our favourite combinations that we’ve picked out for you.

Lavender Little Lady and Echinacea Golden SKipper

Lavender has very specific growing requirements that would need to share its space with a plant with similar needs, of which one is Echinacea. They both perform well in full sun and in less-than-rich soil. On top of being great growing companions, the vibrant yellow blooms of Echinacea Golden Skipper against the Lavender Little Lady‘s traditional purple blossoms will produce a striking and fragrant display.

Digitalis Hardy Ambigua YellowHydrangea Zaza

When choosing plant companions, it is best to choose ones that have similar cultural requirements. Shade-tolerant annuals can be massed together to create a bed of rich flowers in front of Hydrangeas. For pairing with the luscious purple-blue clustered blooms of our Hydrangea Zaza, our creamy yellow Foxglove (Digitalis Hardy Ambigua Yellow) grows gorgeous tall stalks lined with bell-shaped flowers which together are certain to create a gorgeous contrasting mass of floral shapes and form.

Geranium Birch Double & Crocosmia Sunglow

The amber-yellow funnel shaped flowers of the Crocosmia Sunglow are ideal for planting in bold swathes along summer borders, and when accompanied with the stunning and delicate purple blooms of Geranium Birch Double as a low flowering addition, these two create an ideal companionship in the garden.

 

Contrasting Shapes

Matching the colours of two or more flowers, while varying their shapes, is another way to guarantee a winning combination.

Phlox Paniculata Pink & Echinacea After Midnight

The pink hues of the coneflower and the phlox are closely identical, but their flower structure offer a striking contrast. Echinacea After Midnight‘s single blossoms are reminiscent of coarse daisies, while the lush, pyramidal clusters of Phlox Paniculata Pink‘s florets add an imposingly beautiful contrast of shape combination.

Hosta Fire and Ice & Verbena Samira Lavender Star

The soft lavender hues of the Verbena Samira Lavender Star matches beautifully with the dainty spikes of flowers in the Hosta Fire and Ice. The identical floral tones are set apart by their drastically different shapes and sizes. The beautiful Verbena flowers planted around this Hosta variety in the border would make an enchanting yet bold statement in the border.

HEMEROCALLIS FRAGRANT RETURNS & IRIS SIBIRICA BUTTER AND SUGAR

Siberian Iris grown in clumps can create a beautiful contrast with Day lilies like our Hemerocallis Fragrant Returns. The stunning trumpet-like blooms of the Hemerocallis offset against the demure, drooping petals of the Iris Sibirica Butter and Sugar. These beautiful plants when paired together in summer borders are guaranteed to bring the sunshine to your garden with their unique shapes and cheerful, pale yellow blooms.

Happy Planting!

Complete Guide: How to Plant Buddleia

Looking for advice on how to plant Buddleia this spring? Through this informative guide, we will share all our best knowledge and tips on the planting, arrangement and aftercare for your Buddleia shrubs. When it is covered in butterflies, no other garden plant brings so much pleasure on a summer’s day!

Buddleia, also known as Butterfly Bush, is one of Britain’s most popular summer flowering shrubs. Buddleia comes from Asia and there are more than 100 species that have spread from northern India, China and South Africa to Central and South America, largely after being introduced by the great plant hunters around the beginning of the 20th century.

Planting

Buddleia are superb additions to the garden for attracting wildlife with butterflies and bees being big fans of this shrub. Known for their burst of colour and their distinct tubular fragrant flowers, this vigorous, deciduous shrub is the perfect choice for summer blooms. Here are our guides to planting out in the garden and in containers for easy planting this spring.

In the Garden

Great for long-term borders/rockeries. They perform best when planted in full sun (or at least in partial shade) and in fertile, well-drained soil. Dependent on the variety, plant around 5 to 10 feet apart for a gorgeous display. Plant Buddleia in Spring or in Autumn before the first frosts and water thoroughly after planting.

Buddleia Mixed (Hardy)

Tips

  • When planting, loosen the soil and mix in compost and dig a hole twice the diameter of the plant container.
  • They will not perform well if grown in soil that tends to retain a lot of water in the winter.
  • Do not plant under trees.

In Containers

Use a pot deep enough to contain the roots and heavy enough to weigh the plant down. Make sure the pot has a good amount of drainage holes to allow the roots to breathe. Place the pot in full sunlight and water regularly. Cut the plant back around 10-12 inches in late winter or early spring.

Our Tips

  • Whisky Barrels make great planters
  • Avoid garden soil which becomes heavy/compact in containers.
  • Dwarf varieties like our Minature Collection are the best choice for pots and containers.

Video Tutorial

In this gardening tutorial, our resident gardening expert Jeff demonstrates how to plant Buddleia (Butterfly Bush) for summer flowering and shares his tips and tricks for getting the best results out of these beautiful shrubs.

Aftercare

  • When in bloom, you can snip their stems for honey scented cut flower bouquets.
  • Buddleia can be pruned hard after flowering, and you should cut shoots back to strong buds/younger growth.
  • We recommend reducing plants by half in Autumn when they are grown in windy positions.
  • Removing the dead blooms and watering the plants in very dry conditions will bring butterflies flocking to your Buddleia plants.
  • You can take softwood cutting in late spring just as the stems begin to harden up a little.

Our Top Picks

Flower Power

This magical hybrid showcases a mix between the usual blue-purple varieties along with a yellow flowered species. This plant’s gorgeous spikes of flowers blend perfectly from purple to orange for a sensational display of multi-coloured shades and sweet scent to radiate your summer garden.

Buddleia White Swan

The stunning fragrant white flowers are displayed on strong arching branches that are amazing for attracting wildlife in to the garden. Ideal for brightening your summer gardens in patio pots and containers.

 

 

Buddleia Purple Lion

Purple Lion is a stunning, fragrant  dwarf variety of Buddleia. This compact plant bears large purple flower spikes along with attractive silver-green foliage making Purple Lion the perfect long term addition to borders/rockeries and patio pots.

 

 

Companion Plants

Lantanas

The green foliage of Lantanas are topped with clusters of tiny, vibrant little flowers that are superb plants for attracting birds, butterflies and bees to the garden, making them a perfect pollinator companion for Buddleias.

Lantana Esperanta White

This variety is the perfect colour complimenting partner for white and purple Buddleias. These snow white, compactly formed flowers with bright yellow centers are an ideal plant for filling your landscape as ground cover or in containers to bring the wildlife swarming to your beautiful pollinator friendly garden.

Lantana Esperanta Yellow

The cheerful sunny yellow blooms of this Lantana variety are bound to become a showstopper in your garden when planted alongside purple Buddleia for a stunning contrast of colour.

 

 

Asters

A border of Asters creates a truly unforgettable spectacle. Combine with Buddleia for a truly delightful show of colour. They are bound to liven up your garden as Asters are great pollinator attracting plants with their bright colours and nectar rich, wide open blooms.

Aster Alpinus Dark Beauty

These vibrant violet blue, daisy-like flowers with their sunny yellow centers are the perfect partner to a white or purple Buddleia for a bold cluster of vibrant colour to the summer garden.

 

 

 

Aster Alpinus Pinkie

This vivid pink variety of these tough, sun-loving perennial plants are a great easy to grow pairing with Buddleia. Their cheerful ornamental cluster of flowers will certainly bring a pop of colour to summer rock gardens, borders and pots.

 

Click here to view our full range of Buddleia

Summer Gardens for Small Spaces

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do you have a compact garden and are looking to create an amazing summer display but don’t know how? In this guide, we will be sharing all our small garden tips and tricks to turn your miniature garden/tiny terrace and petite patios in to a show stopping display of shapes and colours.

Design Ideas

  • Vertical Planting: Create a Living Wall

With a little bit of creativity, a few plants and a vertical corner just waiting to be brought to life, there’s no reason for anyone to give up having a garden due to lack of space. If you don’t think your gardening skills are up to a whole host of plants, try growing a climbing plant up one wall for an easy display of stunning foliage and flowers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our Top Choices

Honeysuckle American Beauty

Honeysuckle is a fantastic climber with the added bonus of attracting wildlife with their sweetly scented flowers. Our American Beauty variety is a beautiful, eye-catching plant for their mulit-coloured rich tones of blooms, making them a popular choice for the summer garden.

 

 

Clematis Viticella Huldine

 

This gorgeous variety of Clematis is a strong grower producing a dazzling array of white flowers with creamy yellow stamens. This climber makes the perfect addition to the summer garden for coverage on trellises and archways.

 

 

 

  • Think Big (Impact)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ample pathways can make a real statement in a small garden. Planting scented plants, flowers and herbs will create an impact on the senses with a variety of bold colours and fragrant scents, as well as attracting wildlife to the garden.

Our Top Choices

Lavender Rosea

 

This twist on the traditional lilac evergreen Lavender varieties, Rosea is ideal for planting in rows along pathways, around the patio and in the garden for a display of beautiful pale pink blooms and their staple lavender fragrance.

 

 

Penstemon Mixed

Bring a bright mixture of colours to your pathways this summer with there pretty foxgloves. Penstemon Mixed have a neat compact habit making them a versatile option for the summer garden as they are suitable for beds, borders and containers. Also, as an added bonus, they are loved by bees and butterflies!

 

 

  • Create Secluded Areas

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Divide the garden and make your own secluded areas of the garden to break up the space to make your garden feel larger by adding areas of interest. By using tall narrow plants or climbers you can create spaces for different functions like a place for contemplation or an edible garden.

Our Top Choices

Phyllostachys aureacaulis Yellow Bamboo

 

Noted for it’s fascinating yellow colour, this variety of yellow bamboo can create a striking structure in the garden when planted together for a captivating and contrasting effect. A fantastic strong plant for designing a beautiful summer garden structure.

 

Pennisetum Alopecuriodes ‘Hameln’

 

This ornamental grass produces strong green stems topped with pink cloud like flowers making this the perfect variety for creating an area of relaxation in the garden with their dense foliage and feathery flowers.

 

 

 

  • Smart Planting

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t bombard your garden with plants. For smaller spaces, keeping clutter at bay is the best way of creating the feeling of more space. Choosing the right plants for your space can be detrimental to creating a beautiful garden design and hanging basket, potted and patio plants are perfect for small spaces as they do not take up too much room and can be placed on the ground or up on shelves for an explosion of blooms and colour.

Our Top Choices

Begonia Superba Mixed

The fabulous bright colours of our Begonia Superba are the perfect eyecatching potted plants for your garden spaces. Suitable for planting in pots on the patio, place these flowers in clusters around your front porch, corners of decking or on low walls for a burst of summer colour.

 

 

Calibrachoa Chameleon Pink Passion

 

The beautiful shades of pink blooms in our Calibrachoa Chameleon Pink Passion make a stunning addition to summer pots and hanging baskets. Pot up in clusters around corners or along walls for a pretty display or plant in baskets for wall hangings.

 

Types of Small Gardens

  • City Garden/Balcony

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With more and more people being drawn to urban living and if you’re lucky enough to have your own inner city garden or outdoor space, creating your own private green oasis is possible. Small city spaces can be challenging but it’s an opportunity to get creative. You could pot up a mini orchard on your balcony and grow your own produce, create a small herb garden for a delight on the senses, or pot up a selection of plants along narrow spaces to give an illusion of a larger space. Transform your small spaces with these compact design hacks for beautiful summer displays.

Tips:

  • Container planting to keep clutter to a minimum.
  • Try portable planters to allow for adjusting your garden plants.
  • Vegetables, fruits and herbs are the best easy growing options for urban spaces.

Our Top Choices

Miniature Patio Fruit Trees Collection

Fancy growing your own fruit produce on your own patio? Our Miniature Patio Fruit Trees collection is ideal for producing a reliable source of delicious fruit and bringing colour and variety to your spaces. Their compact proportions make them perfect for placing in small, compact spaces.

 

Herbs Mixed

With small gardens, any surface can be an opportunity for planting. For an easy herb garden, our Herbs Mixed provides a range of herb varieties in a lucky dip style to allow you to harvest your own herbs for cooking or just as a focal piece on your balcony, patio or garden.

 

 

  • Courtyard Garden

Courtyard gardens may be small but they can be beautiful spaces with strategic planning, they can become alive with colour and textures without looking cluttered. Why not draw the eye by using repetition of container plants along paths or paving? or since courtyards are often shady, why not plant up big, glossy green plants to create your own tropical jungle feel?

Tips:

  • Plant in Containers to establish usable space.
  • Evergreens are great year round choices for creating structure.
  • Go vertical and plant climbers along walls or fencing for a large garden feel.

Our Top Choices

Hosta Touch of Class

 

This beautiful patterned variety of Hostaceae is perfect for container growing or in the border for adding a tropical feel to your small spaces with their waxy bottle green and lime yellow striped leaves. As an added bonus, this variety produces light lavender flowers in late summer.

 

Euphorbia Silver Fog

 

This compact evergreen perennial produces an array of silver-grey foliage and small white flowers throughout summer, making this plant the perfect versatile option for borders, patio pots and containers. They can even be used as a filler for hanging baskets for a pop of delicate blooms.

 

Small Space Hacks

  • Pallet Planters

Wooden pallets are a great DIY idea for creating unique vertical planters to help save space in the garden. Turn an old pallet lying around your home in to a fun herb garden, vegetable patch or a unique floral display.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Verticle Vegetable Gardening

For a modern twist on the ordinary vegetable garden, using different variations of planters can help spruce up a cluttered garden to bring a touch of individuality and organisation to your green spaces.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Windowsill Gardening

If you live in a city, space for gardening can be sparse, so why not try growing plants indoors? Succulents have become popular indoor plants but try growing some unique options like a windowsill herb collection and bring the green indoors.

 

 

Valentines in the Garden

St. Valentine’s Day, popularly known as Valentine’s Day, is celebrated as the lovers day every year all over the world on February 14. The celebration of this day is thought to have originated from a Roman festival called ‘Lupercalia’, which celebrated the start of their springtime. Later on, the festival changed into a Christian celebration where they decided to use it to remember St Valentine too, and gradually, St Valentine’s name started to be used by people to express their feelings to those they loved.

Valentine’s is a time where people share their affection with gifts, such as chocolates, cards and flowers (traditionally red roses). Sure, roses are the flower of love, but they’re not the only flower that has romantic symbolism. You can show your valentine how much you really care with a bundle of beautiful romantic themed flowers, as many varieties from the traditional Rose, to Dianthus and Dahlias.

So, in honour of the date, here are 14 of our favourite love themed flowers to add that Valentines feeling to your garden all year long.

1. Hemerocallis Cherry Valentine

This beautiful soft pink petalled flower has a red centre and is one of our loveliest, large flowering plants from our Day Lily range. Flowering through June to September, Hemerocallis Cherry Valentine is guaranteed to bring romance to your garden all through the summer months. First grade loose roots supplied.

2. Dahlia My Love

The Dahlia is one of the most beautiful flowers in the world. Dahlia My Love is a beautiful pure white Cactus Dahlia that will add a delicate beauty to any summer garden display. Dahlias are known for being a symbol of commitment and grace, making them the perfect loving addition to your garden. Top grade tubers supplied.

3. Dianthus Scent First Romance

Fill your summer gardens with romance. Our Dianthus ‘Scent First’ Romance is a wonderfully fragrant plant producing delicate pink flowers, which blend in to a dark pink in the centre. 3cm diameter jumbo plug plants supplied.

4. Dicentra Valentine

Is your summer garden in need of some love? The Dicentra Valentine‘s heart shaped pendant flowers make a distinct and eye catching addition to patio pots and borders. Blooming with deep red tones on fantastic burgundy stems, these flowers are guaranteed to make you fall in love with your garden this summer. First grade loose roots supplied.

5. Hebe Wild Romance

A compact evergreen shrub; Hebe Wild Romance boasts an abundance of cream edged, dark green leaves which fade in to a deep pink/maroon in the winter, and then lighten in the spring to a luminous hue of bright pink. This colour evolving plant is bound to enchant in your summer gardens. 9cm pot grown plants supplied.

6. Rose For Your Eyes Only

Would this be Valentine’s if we didn’t include Roses? The most popular flower gifted for Valentines as this flower has long been a symbol for love and passion. This colourful floribunda rose produces expansive blushed orange/pink blooms that will flower all through the summer. An added bonus of Rose For Your Eyes Only is that their flowers emit a delicate, sweet aroma to add a special charm to your patios and paths this summer. Top quality 2 year old bare rooted plant supplied.

7. Hydrangea hovaria Love You Kiss

This affectionate plant is a unique lace cap variety of Hydrangea. Hydrangeas are known by some to represent anything that’s sincerely heartfelt, and alongside geraniums are gifted as a 4th wedding anniversary flower. The near white and red margin blooms of Hydrangea hovaria Love You Kiss are the perfect showstopping addition to your garden this summer. 14cm pot plant supplied.

8. Rose Lover’s Meeting

The ancient Greeks and Romans associated Roses with Aphrodite and Venus, the goddesses of love, and have been used for hundreds of years to convey the message of love. Each colour of rose can convey different meanings. The orange Rose represents passion and desire. A beautiful summer time bloom, our Rose Lover’s Meeting is bound to captivate with its striking twist on the traditional Hybrid Tea Rose shape with their pointed outer petals of exotic Indian Orange to add a touch of glamour to your summer garden. Top quality 2 year old bare rooted plant supplied.

9. Gladioli Adrenaline

Symbolizing strength and moral integrity, Gladioli also represent infatuation, with a bouquet conveying to a recipient that they pierce the giver’s heart with passion and known as a 40th wedding anniversary flower. Blooming a stunning blend of pale pink and white flowers, our Gladioli Adrenaline is bound to enchant all summer long. 12/14cm corms supplied.

10. Dianthus Scent First Passion

With its scientific name, Dianthus roughly translates to “flower of love” or “flower of the gods”, this flower is one that has been revered for centuries. Known for their spicy fragrance, compact habit and long season of bloom, Dianthus First Scent Passion is a striking variety with amazing, deep rich red flowers, ideal for bringing the passion back in to your summer borders, patio pots or containers. 3cm diameter jumbo plug plants supplied.

11. Hydrangea Together Collection

 The beautiful Hydrangea is known to be a symbol of deeper understanding between two people, that doesn’t have to be of a romantic kind. This connection can be between friends and family members but it can also apply to romantic couples as well. This exciting pairing in our Hydrangea Together Collection produces masses of magical pink and blue blooms make the perfect pairing in summer pots and containers. Supplied in 15cm pots.

12. Lily Casa Blanca

Lily Casa blanca, which shares its name with one of the greatest romantic movies of all time (Casablanca), is one of the finest oriental hybrids with large pure white blooms and brownish-orange anthers. Lilies are known as the 30th wedding anniversary flower as they symbolise humility and devotion. Enjoy this flower in the garden or be captivated by this oriental lily’s spicy fragrance indoors as part of a spectacular cut flower display. 14/16cm bulbs supplied.

13. Anemone The Bride

Add a touch of elegance to your gardens with these stunning traditional white Anemone, Anemone The Bride. These beautiful cup-shaped flowers bloom through April and May, perfect for pots, borders and containers. In Victorian times, people used this flower to represent a forsaken love of any kind in their intricate Language of Flowers, and in modern times this flower is used in bouquets for special occasions such as marriages (which would link with this flowers name) or the birth of a baby. 5/6cm bulbs supplied.

14. Eremurus Romance

Often known as a symbol of endurance, the dramatic soaring habit of Eremurus Romance is guaranteed to take your breath away with their giant, salmon pink flowers, which provide a real treat in the summer. Top Size Bulbs supplied.

 

Happy Valentine’s Day!

 

Plants of Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year or Spring Festival or Lunar New Year, has a rich history behind it. Celebrated in January or February each year, China goes on holiday, unlike the rest of the world, for seven days and 2019 celebrates the year of the pig. The pig is believed to be a symbol of optimism, enthusiasm and being hardworking.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flowers and fruits hold special significance during Chinese New Year and symbolic plants and flowers are used to decorate homes in celebration. Just as the Chinese proverb say “花开富贵” – Blossom flowers bring wealth and prosperity. So, since the number 8 has long been regarded as the luckiest number in Chinese culture, we’ve rounded up our top 8 luckiest fruits and flowers that are often gifted or used as decorations during Chinese New Year.

1. Orchids 

Orchids are delicate, beautiful and elegant flowers, and in China, they have long been considered to be symbolic of ‘many children’ or fertility and abundance. Orchids also signify refinement, luxury and innocence.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Peonies 

Peonies in Chinese are called 牡丹 and they are most commonly known as 富貴花, which stands for “Flowers of Prosperity”, as they symbolise richness and peace, therefore it is one of the top choice in Chinese New Year. The peony has a double flower and that has led to a hidden meaning of a wish for repeated riches. This beautiful flower is associated with feminine beauty, innocence, affection, and charm. It is known as the ‘flower of riches and honour’. Red peonies are particularly auspicious.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Plums & Plum Blossoms

This group of fruits is symbolic of good luck, wealth, fortune, gold, prosperity and fertility. These serve as holy offerings in Buddhist temples and are also used in cooking, not to mention gifting among relatives.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The welcome blossoms of plum trees in late winter has made the plum tree a popular plant. It is one of the three friends of winter with the bamboo and the pine tree. As the flowers emerge before the leaves and it takes a long time to come into flower it is associated with longevity. It is often shown with a crane, another symbol of longevity. A popular pattern has plum blossom over cracked ice symbolizing Spring.

4. Bamboo

Bamboo is viewed as a symbol of traditional Chinese values. It is an example of the harmony between nature and human beings. Ancient Chinese people designated the plum, orchid, bamboo and chrysanthemum as the “four gentlemen”, and pine, bamboo and plum as the “three friends in winter”. People think its deep root denotes resoluteness; its tall, straight stem represents honor; its hollow interior modesty and its clean and spartan exterior exemplify chastity.

Ancient Chinese literature held bamboo in profound esteem. This explains why there are so many writings and paintings dedicated to the plant throughout history.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. Pussy Willows

In Chinese tradition, Pussy willow (银柳), also known as catkins is a signify the coming of Spring with growth and Prosperity. The appearance of their branches of fluffy, furry blossoms and tall height can also be related to growth and abundance of fortune.

6. Chrysanthemums

Chrysanthemums, typically those in golden yellow or purple color are lucky flowers during Chinese New Year. They represent wealth, prosperity and longevity. If you are looking to improve your wealth luck and finance in the coming year, you can consider getting the golden chrysanthemums for your home.

7. Camellia

The camellia is native to China where it has a rich national history, particularly in the southwest region. Here, camellia flowers grow wild and during the early spring entire fields will be covered in colorful camellias. In China, the camellia represents the union between two lovers. The delicately layered petals represent the woman, and the calyx (the green leafy part of the stem that holds the petals together) represents the man who protects her. The two components are joined together, even after death.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8. Hemerocallis

The species of lily most prized in China is the ‘Day Lily’ (Hemerocallis) whose blooms only last one day. The transitory nature of the flowers is said to help you forget your troubles. The grace and beauty are associated with foot binding as an Emperor extolled the virtue of the tiny feet in terms of ‘wherever she steps a lily flowers’ and so bound feet became termed ‘golden lilies’.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Enjoy the celebrations and …

Lilies: Varieties & Planting Guide

Lilies are one of the truly great garden plants for their flower forms, diversity, extended season of bloom, graceful stature, and reliable disposition. Their bulbs can be planted in spring for bloom the same year, or in fall for bloom the following year. Lilium/Lilies are ideal for large, showy displays and many are fragrant varieties, and will naturalise each year for continued pleasure. Since summer flowering Lily bulbs have become a real British favourite for producing the best sights in the garden, keep reading to learn more about our different lily varieties and advice on how to plant them.

Asiatic Lilies

These lilies are very cold hardy and often the earliest bloomers. They are usually 3 to 4 feet tall and produce unscented flowers in almost every colour imaginable. Asiatic lilies are an excellent choice for borders or rockeries as they produce very strong stems and are available in several exciting colour combinations, these little garden beauties provide the earliest lily blooms of the year by appearing in June-July each year. Asiatic Lily bulbs produce sturdy and colourful flowers that make cut flowers. Supplied as top sized Lilium bulbs.

Asiatic lilies come in a variation of tall, dwarf, double and bi-colour varieties.

One of our favourite tall varieties is the stunning Lily Yellow Country. This Asiatic lily produces beautiful yellow flowers and a lovely scent, which stand upon tall, strong stems and an added bonus of this plant is that they are usually pest free.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A favoured dwarf variety of ours is the Lily Foxtrot. A beautiful pale pink, Dwarf Asiatic lily. Ideal for growing in groups at the front of the border or in pots scattered around the patio.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A gorgeous Double Asiatic variety in our Lily collection is the Lily Red Twin. A stunning double flowering Asiatic Lily, it has deep orange-red flowers. It has a slight fragrance and is ideal for patio pots and containers. They grow to a height of 100-110cm and make wonderful cut flowers for indoor arrangements as they stand on strong sturdy stems.

Oriental Lilies

These amazing Oriental Lilies can grow to 5 feet high, bloom in late summer, and have a strong, enchanting fragrance, flowering in summer (August-September). The colour and markings of Oriental Lilies are very unusual and unique, but still with an abundance of flowers per bulb. Fragrant Oriental Lily bulbs can be planted in late autumn through to spring.

The stunning giant flowers that are a staple feature of this plant are available in double and dwarf varieties.

Our top pick for the Double Oriental Lilies is the Lily Lotus Beauty. Lotus Beauty is from our new range of double flowering oriental lilies that produces large flowers that resemble a lotus in appearance. The ruffled white flowers are speckled with burgundy spots and flower from July throughout August.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of our favourite dwarf varieties is the Lily Gold Band. This oriental lily is an excellent choice for adding beauty to your summer borders with their gorgeous fragrant flowers and eye catching white and gold banded petals.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OT Lilies

Fragrant giant Goliath Lilies are a cross between Giant Oriental Lilies and Giant Trumpet Lilies.  These Interspecific crosses between Oriental and Trumpet lilies have produced lily bulbs that easily weather late Midwestern frosts without bud kill but have the sweet fragrance and shape of Oriental lilies. They have large flowers with thick petals that open wide, are extremely fragrant, and tend to last a long time. These beautiful Lilies can be incorporated into the back of your garden borders where they can act as a wonderful backdrop for your display.

One of our top picks for Giant Oriental Lilies is Lily Debby. A stunning red and orange oriental trumpet lily variety that grows to roughly 2m tall and produces up to 30 giant flowers with a diameter of roughly 20cm; a perfect addition to borders and large pots for summer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trumpet Lilies

Our popular Trumpet Lily bulbs produce large scented, huge trumpet shaped blossoms on very sturdy stems, and these lilies can grow up to 5 feet high. Trumpet Lilies like the same suggests exhibit large trumpet shaped flowers, often with a combination and blend of colours. Fragrant and easy to grow. Flowering early summer from June onwards. Trumpet Lilies are supplied as top size bulbs.

One of our favourite Trumpet Lilies is Lily Anastasia. A new hybrid of oriental and trumpet lilies which reach heights of 2.5m with up to forty 20cm diameter flowers per bulb. Large pale pink flowers with a deep stripe of magenta at the centre of each petal and dappling at the throat giving the lily a bruised, blushing effect.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other Species, Tiger and Unusual Lilies

We have a selection of unusual yet beautiful Lilies in some breath-taking colours that are simply hard to ignore. This range of summer flowering Lilies flower all summer long, offering wonderful sights and fragrance. You can choose from Tiger Lily bulbs like our vibrant Lily Tiger Babies, which produce colourful, speckled brown blooms. The name Tiger refers to the spots inside the petals. Tiger Babies will produce delightful orange flowers, smothered in small spots that we come to expect from Tiger varieties.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Martagon Lilies are a species that varies very little in shape and form, but colours range from dark maroon to mauve and white, with different spotting on the petals, depending on where they’re growing. This was one of the first lilies to be grown in British gardens: Gerard described it in 1596. One of our top picks in this variety is the Lily Martagon Arabian Knight; a striking plant with a mix of gold, red and purple hues, which makes a fantastic choice for cut flowers or as a focal point in the summer garden.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Planting Guide

Though lilies look like they’d be fussy plants, they are actually very easy to grow. All of our Lilies are supplied as bulbs, ready to plant on arrival. Lilies are best planted from October up until April/May. Lilies like a lot of sun but not direct sunlight. Therefore, you should place the flowerpot in partial shade. The soil in the plant pots should be loose and permeable. Ensure that the holes in which the lily bulbs are placed are twice as deep as the diameter of the bulb.

Looking for help on planting specific lily varieties? Here are some of our video planting guides to help give you more knowledge on lily planting and how you get the best results out of your Lilies for summer.

Make sure you know which plants are toxic for animals, so be sure to keep out your lily plants out of contact with your animals to avoid your dog or cat from harm! 

Asiatic Lilies

Giant Goliath Lilies

Ground Cover Oriental Lilies

Or click here to view our collection of Lily planting tutorials on our website here: https://www.jparkers.co.uk/videos/lilies

Aftercare

After planting, they require little care. But you should not forget to water them. However, always avoid watering too much. Depending on the variety, the lily flowers themselves grow 60 to 140 cm tall. Lily varieties which grow tall are unsuitable for pots. For pot plants, you should choose lily varieties which do not grow taller than 60 70 cm. Popular, small tub varieties include Mona Lisa or Cordelia lilies. The flowering period of lilies is from June onwards. Always cut off withered petals immediately, so that no seeds form which would cost the plant unnecessary energy.

Click here to view our full lily range.

Attracting Wildlife to the Garden

Encouraging wildlife into your garden is a winner all-round. They can help out your garden plants and you would be doing a good deed for all those creatures in need of a home or food throughout the winter. Flying visitors such as birds, butterflies and bees are pretty to look at and help improve your garden’s production. Encourage hedgehogs, toads and frogs too – they act as fantastic pest control, reducing the need for pesticides.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s what you can do to turn your garden in to a wildlife haven.

Bees

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bees are great to have around the garden. You want them in your garden to feast off your flowers to make them continue to pollinate and keep your garden looking spectacular. Bees love blue, purple and yellow flowers and plants so keep that in mind when planning your garden displays.

Here are some tips to keep bees doing their jobs as pollinators:

  • Plant single flower plants as most double flowers make it difficult for the bees to get the pollen and nectar.
  • Avoid using pesticides wherever possible.
  • Provide water for pollinators using a shallow dish filled with stones/marbles and water to provide a safe water source.

Bee Friendly Plants

  • Dahlias
  • Asters
  • Sedums
  • Cornflower
  • Heather

Birds 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Provide nest boxes/wooden houses for birds to nest in. (Place near trees or bushes so the birds can make a short flight to safety).
  • Improve soil with well-rotted compost to introduce worms and slugs and other soil insects to provide food for birds.
  • A simple bird bathe will give the birds somewhere to bathe as well as doubling as a water supply.

Bird Friendly Plants

You can plant different shrubs/trees/flowers that will either provide food for birds in the form of seeds, berries or nectar, give shelter and warmth under dense foliage or they will attract insects which birds and other wildlife can feed off.

Here are some of our top choices:

  • Honeysuckle
  • Rowan
  • Viburnum Opulus
  • Holly

Ladybugs 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ladybugs are a great help in the garden for eliminating destructive and damaging crop pests like aphids, mites and scale. Here are some tips for attracting ladybugs to your garden:

  • There are several pollen plants that attract ladybugs that tend to be yellow and white, such as Angelica, Cosmos and Fennel.
  • Plant decoy plants what will attract aphids away from your desired bug free plants until the ladybugs remove them for you. Aphid attracting decoy plants could include: Early Cabbage, Marigold and Radish.

Ladybug Friendly Plants

Ladybugs eat two things: insect pests and pollen, and there are several pollen plants that ladybugs like, including:

  • Calendula
  • Chives
  • Cosmos
  • Marigold

Bats

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Did you know that attracting bats to your garden is one of the safest and most efficient methods for natural insect control? One little brown bat can eat 1,200 insects per hour!

A great bat attracting method is to build a bat house to provide a warm cosy shelter for the creatures. Since bats tend to set up colonies in the early spring, building a bat house is the perfect winter project! Some tips are:

  • Use a rough, nontoxic wood (such as plywood or cedar) to make your box. The rough surface will make it easier for bats to climb in and out of the house.
  • Place in a warm, sunny position for warmth
  • Keep it close to a freshwater source (pond, stream)
  • Support on a pole or the side of a building

Bat Friendly Plants

The key to attracting bats to your garden is to plant night-scented flowers, such as:

  • Yucca
  • Evening Primrose

Frogs  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Attracting frogs to your garden is beneficial for the welfare of your plants. Frogs make great inset killers so why not attract some garden frogs to help with those little pests.

  • Build toad houses – overturned flowerpots buried lightly in the soil make great shelters.
  • Avoid using pesticides in your garden. Frogs are sensitive to chemicals so use natural sources of nutrients in your garden such as compost.
  • Keep pets away from the part of the garden set up for attracting frogs.

Frog Friendly Plants

Toads and female frogs usually spend winter on land, under rockery stones (or in a log pile). Recommended rock plants are:

  • Aubretia
  • Hardy Geraniums
  • Sedums

Hedgehogs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just like the shrew and the vole, the hedgehog is an insectivore with a voracious appetite. An adult hedgehog can eat up to 200 grams of insects per night, making the perfect pest controller in your garden. So, why not attract them to the garden with a few small tips and help these little creatures as their population has dropped in recent years. Here are some tips to draw these little creatures into your garden:

  • Leave areas of the garden naturally unkempt with fallen leaves, twigs and dead vegetation, which they can use to build nests.
  • Leave bowls of water out in the winter as hedgehogs drink lots of water. Top the water up regularly.
  • Avoid using slug pellets as they are fatal for hedgehogs

Hedgehog Friendly Plants

Hedges provide a great habitat for hedgehogs as they provide free access between gardens, unlike walls and fences. Species with large deciduous leaves are great for hedgehogs collecting leaves for their nests. Here are some top picks:

  • Beech
  • Berberis
  • Buddleia
  • Pyracantha

Click here to view our latest offers! 

Winter Care: Spring Flowering Bulbs

Bulbs are the epitome of nature’s talent for packaging, containing within themselves all the essentials they need to grow to provide gorgeous blooms year after year if well cared for. Your spring bulbs may be snug underground awaiting the warm weather of Spring but they need to be cared for until then. Bulbs are designed by nature to withstand cold winter temperatures. Indeed they rely on winter’s cold to trigger the biochemical process necessary to bring the bulb to flower in spring, but to help you get the best height, colour and performance out of your spring bulbs, here are some must-know tips for caring for your spring bulbs after they are planted.

General Tips

  • During a warm winter spell, the bulb leaves may start to sprout but do not worry as the foliage and flower bulbs can withstand freezing temperatures without damage. Only when brittle stems are broken, or the weather changes are too abrupt will be when the flowers suffer.
  • If you wish to feed your spring bulbs, feed them at planting time or just as they begin to emerge in the spring.
  • In colder areas, apply a nice layer of mulch over the bulb bed once the ground temperatures have dropped.

Daffodils/Narcissi

T

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • For sprouting Daffodils, water sparingly as Daffodils do not require much care but some watering will help establishing roots.
  • Potted Daffodils require regular watering as the soil tends to dry out quicker.
  • If there is no snow cover, the bulbs will also need water throughout the winter.
  • Apply a low-nitrogen, high-potash (potassium) fertilizer after flowering if bulbs are not performing as desired.

Crocus

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Apply fertilizer after bulbs flower if your spring is long and temperate; bulbs will have a chance to use the extra nutrients to produce bigger carbohydrate stores.
  • In late February, remove mulches from snowdrops and crocuses so the shoots can come through.
  • In February and March, keep plastic milk jugs or other coverings on hand to protect the flowers of crocuses and other early bloomers against the return of severe weather.
  • Do not let the soil dry out. If the ground is fairly dry in the spring, make sure to water sparingly.

Snowdrops

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Water during the autumn/ winter with a water-soluble fertilizer to nourish the bulbs as they develop new roots and top growth. Your bulbs will survive without fertilizer, but providing extra nutrients encourages more flowers, larger blossoms and longer life for your bulbs.

Tulips

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • After the tulips bulbs are planted, you need to water them thoroughly and then cover the area with a mulch of pine bark or shredded leaves to protect them.
  • You can build up their strength further by giving them a liquid feed every 10 to 14 days while they’re still in leaf.

Flower Aftercare

  • After your spring bulbs have bloomed, remove spent flowers of large-flowered bulbs, such as Tulips or Daffodils, as soon as they fade.
  • When the season’s blooms are past, your snowdrops need to store energy for next year’s show. Allow the leaves to photosynthesize (process sunlight to produce food) until they yellow and wither, before removing the spent foliage. Trimming still-green foliage will reduce plants’ ability to nourish next year’s flowers, resulting in fewer, smaller flowers.
  • Six weeks after blooming is when it will be safe to mow the green leaves of any naturalized crocus and snowdrops on your lawn.

Have you completed your gardening jobs for January?

Click HERE to check out our garden job list.

Good luck with your flowers this spring!