Garden Trends for 2020

If you’ve ever found yourself at a loss for what to plant, weed, cut back or grow, these gardening trends could be the solution you’ve been waiting for.

🌇 Small Space, Big Impact 🏡

With half of the world’s population living in cities and that number is expected to rise by 7% by 2050, whether you have a roof terrace, a tiny balcony or just a window sill, the latest urban gardening trends mean it’s easier than ever for horticultural enthusiasts living in cities to go green.

Living Walls

Transform a plain fence or wall into an eco space full of life and colour. This trend is perfect for areas with limited space. Simply grow creeping plants that can grow up walls such as Clematis or Climbing Roses for a beautiful and easy  pollinator friendly display.

SYMMETRY

Twinning plants on either side of a door or garden gate, hanging baskets with a bounty of matching spilling blooms or window boxes that set up and frame a house on either side can all add cohesiveness, charm and decorative appeal. Try planting with Pansies or Primula this winter.

Mini Allotments

Growing fruit & veg at home has become a popular choice for modern gardeners in recent years. With the rise in desire for organic produce, you can start growing your own allotment in any garden, big or small. Why not try our Patio Fruit Trees for small spaces and Grapes for larger areas?

 

💙 Big on Blue 💙

One of the rarest and most sought after hues in the garden. From Hydrangeas to edible blueberries, accessorize your garden with these beautiful blues.

Muscari azureum

These icy cool blooms bring a breath of fresh air to the spring garden. Their unusual pea-like blooms flower in cooling shades of powder puff blue with a white edging. Plant these dainty naturalising bulbs around trees or shrubs for a delightful sea of blue hues.

Click here to view.

 

Hydrangea You and Together Blue

Fall in love with the beautiful blue blooms of our Hydrangea You and Together Blue. This stunning double-flowering Hydrangea produces an impressive showcase of summer colour. A perfect low maintenance shrub for creating eye-catching patio display.

Click here to view.

Ceanothus Puget Blue

The RHS award-winning Ceanothus ‘Puget Blue‘ is a no brainer for any garden. This hardy evergreen shrub illuminates the garden with an abundance of lavender-blue flowers in the spring/summer. Their masses of dense flower balls are ideal for attracting an array of pollinators to the garden.

Click here to view.

🐝🦋 Wildlife SOS 🐝🦋

With over 2/5ths of animal species declining in Britain in the past 50 years as a result of habitat loss, we are losing our UK wildlife at an alarming rate. Help restore nature back to its glorious best by planting pollinator-friendly flowers and bring life into the garden.

Lavender

The aromatic fragrance of Lavender is ideal for bringing wildlife flooding to the garden. With bees and butterflies adore their summer blooming flowers and strong scent, these evergreen shrubs are perfect for any garden.

Our top picks: Lavender ‘Super Scented‘ & Lavender ‘Rosea’.

Honeysuckle

A true wildlife hotel. Honeysuckle provides nectar for insects, prey for bats and nest sites for birds. The sweet, heady scent of Honeysuckle, carried on a warm summer breeze, is one of the most delightful experiences in the garden.

Our Top Picks: Lonicera ‘Winter Beauty’ & Honeysuckle Tellmanniana

Geums

Geums make a wonderful statement in the garden border where their free flowering nature makes this a cottage garden jewel. Their bright and colourful summer flowers are perfect for attracting pollinators.

Our Top Picks: Geum Mrs Bradshaw & Geum Hardy Collection

 

 

🖤 Dark and Moody Blooms 🖤

There’s something odd and fascinating about coming across a flower that appears to be an endless hue of black. Dark colours in your garden can actually give the illusion of more space, and their unique and rare colouring make them some of the most intriguing blooms in the garden.

Tulip Black Parrot

A true symbol of spring. This award-winning black tulip is a dazzling variety with fragrant dark purple flowers, almost flamed and edged in black. Black Parrot is hard to ignore and sure to impress this spring.

Click here to view.

Rose Black Baccara

Not quite black but possibly the closest option available in rose form. This captivating Hybrid Tea rose blooms with dramatic blossoms in a velvety dark red shade. A popular choice for cutting gardens.

Click here to view.

Lily Mapira

A dark and dramatic Asiatic Lily. This lush beauty blooms with deep maroon petals fade to a beautiful, rich burgundy. A deep and dramatic addition to summer borders or pots.

Click here to view.

 

 

Weird and Wonderful Halloween Themed Plants

Put away the jack-o-lantern carving planning for a second because it is time for a very special Top Ten. This countdown is filled with plants that put the orangeblackfreaky and frightening back into Halloween.

Tulip QUEEN OF NIGHT

Bring the dark side to your garden. This Tulip variety is a luxurious bloomer with deep velvety maroon/black petals. Plant exclusively with other black tulips such as Paul Scherer for an dramatic look.

Click here to view online.

Folklore: Use this variety in full moon rituals, for workings related to power, ambition, or even banishing spells.

Sambucus ‘Black Lace’

With lacy, black-crimson leaves, this elderberry makes a dramatic appearance in the autumn garden. With red berries in autumn and pink flowers in summer, you can enjoy this shape shifting shrub year round.

Click here to view online.

Folklore: The leaves could protect a home or a person from evil spirits when dried and hung in a doorway or around the neck.

Iris ‘Oktoberfest’

This beautiful pumpkin orange Iris variety is the perfect Halloween partner. Their ruffled petals are a perfect choice for adding a touch of zesty colour to the summer garden.

Click here to view online.

 

Folklore: The ancient Greeks planted purple iris flowers on the graves of women, believing they would entice the Goddess Iris to lead their loved ones in their journey to heaven.

Corylus avellana Contorta

Otherwise known as Corkscrew Hazel, its dormant, spindly form will produce green-yellow catkins from the tree’s twisted branches, followed by a covering of bright green leaves in spring and summer.

Click here to view online.

Folklore: Magic wands were fashioned from hazel, and it was once thought that if you wore a crown of hazel twigs and wished very hard, your wish would come true!

Lysimachia Atro Beaujolais

The long slender finger-like stems of Lysimachia bloom in profusion for a striking summer display.  Flowering in shades of plum and maroon, this perennial is perfect for bringing pollinators into the garden.

Folklore: In Irish folklore, lysimachia was believed that its use would discourage bad feeling and discord between the inhabitants of a house.

Hemerocallis ‘Voodoo Dancer’

You’ll be cast under a spell once you feast your eyes on the world’s first black double flowering Hemerocallis. One of the most sumptuously vibrant and usual flowers you’ll ever see.

Folklore: A very old Chinese belief was that a woman who wore daylily flowers in her girdle (belt) while pregnant would give birth to a boy.

Athyrium Ghost

Lift your spirits with this ghostly white fern. A cross between a painted fern and the traditional lady fern; the deciduous silvery white leaves darken to a silver green as the plant matures.

Click here to view online.

Folklore: Ferns tied to the ears of horses protect them from the devil.

Hamamelis mollis (witch hazel)

Bring a touch of magic to the garden with Witch Hazel. With tiny firework-like flowers exploding all over the branches from winter, look for these spidery golden flowers blooming on the most magical of all witchy night.

Click here to view online.

 

Folklore: An extract of the bark is useful in banishing spells, to make something go away.

salix melanostachys (Black Pussy Willow)

Let your garden come alive with the unique claw-like blooms of Black Pussy Willow. Boasting with rich purple and black winter stems, this mounded willow will make a bewitching focal point in the spring border.

Click here to view online.

Folklore: Willow leaves act as charms against jealousy.

Cephalanthus occidentalis (Button Bush)

 

The ball-shaped, spiky blooms of the Button bush as a sight to behold. These sweetly-scented cream flowers will certainly bring a touch of uniqueness to the garden.

Click here to view online.

 

 

Folklore: The bark was chewed to relieve toothaches.

Dicentra ‘Burning Hearts’

Cast a love spell over your garden with the romantic, heart-shaped flowers of Dicentra ‘Burning Hearts’. These enchantingly pretty blooms are so vibrant and eye-catching that it is almost impossible not to fall in love with them.

Click here to view online.

 

Folklore: Dicentra flowers are known to symbolise a connection that goes between life and death.

Halloween Tips:

Pumpkin Plant Pots

Why not upcycle some old plant pots with a dose of acrylic paint and transform them into spooky pumpkin planters? A group of these little ghouls around the porch look amazing!

 

Floral Pumpkin centerpiece

No idea what to do with your pumpkin after Halloween? Make the most of your pumpkin by turning your jack-o-lantern into a vase for a floral display?

 

Little Leaf Ghosts

Create some DIY decorations this Halloween by gathering up fallen leaves from the garden and turn them into little ghostly ghouls. All you need is some white paint and a marker, and abracadabra!

 

 

Halloween Pumpkin Carving Contest

GET YOUR GOURDS READY BECAUSE HALLOWEEN IS JUST AROUND THE CORNER…

In celebration of Halloween, we are kicking off a week-long PUMPKIN CARVING CONTEST. By just carving a pumpkin, you have the chance to win a fantastic J.Parker’s voucher worth £25 and entering couldn’t be simpler! All you need to do is carve a pumpkin and upload a picture of it to enter your creation into the competition.

🎃🎃HOW TO ENTER 🎃🎃

  • Firstly, carve your own special pumpkin creation. You can create any design you like, using any variety of pumpkin! Think of unique, fun and clever designs for your pumpkins.
  • Don’t be afraid to think outside the box, feel free to use paint, pen and anything you think will stand out.
  • Once you have completed your pumpkin design, snap a photo and submit it into the competition. SUBMIT YOUR PHOTOS BY OCTOBER 31ST 📆
  • To enter, simply follow the instructions below.

Share your photos on our FACEBOOK PAGE 

Share your photos on our TWITTER PAGE and tag #ParkersPumpkin

Share your photos on our INSTAGRAM PAGE and tag #ParkersPumpkin

Or send your entries by email to competition@jparkers.co.uk (email under 5mb)

  • The WINNER will be announced on Friday 1st November and will receive their prize shortly after by post.

Donate this Halloween…

Our team at J.Parker’s are hosting our own Pumpkin competition as a part of our fundraiser for Children In Need 2019. So, if you would like to join in with giving this October and help disadvantaged children across the UK, simply click the link to donate below. Donate here: https://www.donate.bbcchildreninneed.co.uk

TERMS AND CONDITIONS

  • We will view all entries and the entry which meets the criteria outlined below will be considered for the £25 voucher prize.
  • All entries using photographs 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 social media or in print.
  • Entrants agree that their names may be published with their entry. No other details will be shared with any third parties.
  • The winning entry will be judged on both the quality of the plant and the image.
  • The winner will receive a £25 voucher to spend on any products currently offered by J. Parker’s. This cannot be exchanged for cash and there is no substitution for this prize.
  • Send your entries by email to competition@jparkers.co.uk (email under 5mb) or you can share it with us on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.
  • All entries will be considered, and you can enter as many times as you wish. Competition closes 31st October 2019. The winner will be notified on the 1st November 2019.

The Benefits of Garden Ready Plug Plants

 

Light up your garden this winter with colourful winter/spring bedding plants. These hardy plants are perfect for brightening up those cold and cloudy winter months with their vibrant rainbow of blooms.

Throughout this blog, we will share the benefits, planting guides and top varieties of our amazing Winter/Spring garden ready plants, so you can bring long lasting, bright blooms back into the garden this winter.

What are Garden Ready plants?

Our easy to grow Garden Ready plants are ready to be planted on arrival. They’re ideal for people who don’t have a greenhouse or want instant results in a short growing season. After planting they establish quickly, so you can sit back and enjoy their flowers.

Top Varieties

Pansies

Pansies are one of our most popular bedding plants, being an indispensable plant for a winter bedding scheme when most other plants are dormant. Colourful and compact, Pansy plants are certain to produce a delightful display in any garden border, pot or window box

Pansy Can can

A stunning, double-flowering Pansy. With dazzling, layered wavy blooms, Pansy Can Can is a radiant addition to the winter garden due to their bright, rainbow blooms. This fun and unusual variety will add a touch of joy to window boxes, containers and garden borders.

Click here to view online. 

Pansy Cool Wave

These delightful pansies are strong growers and prolific bloomers. This new Pansy has exceptional overwintering performance and is the first to re-bloom in spring. Fill your hanging baskets, window boxes and pots with them for a sensational winter/spring display.

Click here to view online. 

Pansy Winter/Spring Mixed

A reliable, high performing mixture of Pansies. Blooming in a bold variation of beautiful shades, these  hardy plants carry on flowering from winter and last throughout spring. For those who like it bright in winter, this mixture of classic Pansy colours will bring nothing but cheerful colour to your winter garden.

Click here to view online. 

Primula

Primula flowers provide you with bold and vibrant colours all through winter and spring. Blooming for weeks, these easy to grow flowers are a fantastic, versatile bedding plant.

Primula Colour Carnival

Create a wonderful display with this sensational mixture of bi-coloured Primula. Plant these flowers where you can enjoy their beautiful fragrance, such as window boxes or in containers by the front door for greeting guests. They are also perfect for attracting bees and butterflies to the garden.

Click here to view online. 

 

Primula Primlet

Almost resembling a mass of miniature roses, Primula Primlet bloom with stunning double and semi-double flowers in a variation of pretty yellow, red and violet shades. These vibrant, hardy perennials may look delicate, but they will thrive all throughout the tough late winter weather.

Click here to view online. 

Primula Wanda Mixed

This compact and semi evergreen perennial bears masses of vibrant flowers with contrasting yellow centres. Enjoy their fragrant flowers in patio containers or plant them as a bright showstopper in the front of the border. This versatile plant is also perfect for edging or under-planting shrubs and roses.

Click here to view online. 

Violas

A modern favourite of the British gardener. Viola are spectacular performing trailing plants that flower in bright, vivid colours and really make an impact in any garden. Free flowering with a soft fragrance they are perfect for winter hanging baskets and containers where their trailing habit will thrive.

Viola Teardrop Mixed

Create a cascade of bright colour in the winter garden with the beautiful clustered flowers in our Viola Teardrop mixture. The scented blooms, each looking rather like a smiling face,  will cascade over the edge of your pots and baskets from October to April, an absolute delight to behold.

Click here to view online. 

Planting Guide

  • Plant in well-drained soil.
  • For Pansies, plant plain-faced types en masse in beds and borders, and bicolours and whiskered types along paths where you can appreciate the delicacy of their pretty patterns.
  • Water and feed regularly during the growing season.
  • Deadhead as required to ensure further growth spurts is facilitated.

  • Plant straight away upon arrival into pots and use either freshly prepared soil (with organic matter) or a balanced potting compost.
  • Water regularly and make sure soil does not become too dry. This will also help to produce a bigger plant with greater flowering potential.

  • Placing your empty hanging basket on a bucket so it is held firmly in place whilst you add the plants.
  • Fit basket with liner and trim off any excess material that protrudes above the rim.
  • Use a balanced potting compost and fill your basket until it is level with the first layer of slits and gently firm the compost down.
  • Insert your trailing plants by pushing the plants head-first from the inside through the slits.
  • Continue to plant until all the slits have been filled, and then gently tease out the roots of the plants.
  • Add more compost and work it around the roots of the plants until the basket is almost full.
  • Fill in around the roots with further compost mix; aiming to keep the soil surface an inch below the rim of the basket to prevent compost spilling out when watering.
  • To finish, water your hanging basket thoroughly.

RHS Award-Winning Bulbs to Inspire your Garden

The RHS Award of Garden Merit is given to plants that have been tested and proven to be good garden worthy plants through a number of factors including: flowering performance, strength and disease and pest resistance.

We have a huge selection of award-winning bulbs and in our blog this week, we will be going through a selection of award-winning varieties, from Tulips to Alliums and Daffodils.

Popular Award-Winning Varieties

Alliums (Ornamental Onions)

A pollinator favourite that deserves a place in any garden. Easy to grow and undemanding, these late spring/early summer flowers have a great range of colours, shapes and height, so there’s an Allium for any garden.

Planting time: September-December 🏡

Flowering time: May – June 🌸

Position: Full Sun/Partial Shade

Allium Sphaerocephalon (Drumsticks)

A truly unique Allium. This little showstopper was a popular choice at the Tatton Park Flower Show this year. With two toned purple and crimson blooms, these vibrant flower heads are great for the garden and as a cut flower for the home.  Click here to view online.

Allium Gladiator

Bring some glorious height to your beds and borders with these big clustered blooms. Their rosy-purple flowers form a large cloud-like ball of colour that can make a great feature in the summer border. Click here to view online.

Allium Mount everest

A stunning pure white variety. ‘Mount Everest’ towers above the rest with its enormous compact clusters of star-shaped flowers. Great for the back of the border. They will also bring wildlife flocking to the summer garden! Click here to view online.

Crocus

One of the first signs of spring. Crocus blooms bring the first bit of warmth to the new year, and autumn-flowering Crocus brighten up the garden once the summer blooms begin to fade.

Planting time: September – December 🏡

Flowering time: February – March 🌸

Position: Full Sun/Partial Shade/Shade

Crocus Sternbergia Lutea

Fill your garden with waves of rich golden colour with Crocus Sternbergia Lutea. Blooming with distinct, golden cup-shaped blooms, these flowers are perfect for naturalising in the garden for a carpet of golden colour. Click here to view online.

Crocus Dorothy

These cheery golden flowers will bring the sunshine to the late winter garden. A herald of the brighter days to come with the spring season. Perfect for naturalising in rockeries, borders or containers. Click here to view online.

Crocus Tricolor

A stunning tri-coloured Crocus. With lilac petals surrounding a white base and pretty yellow centre, these compact ‘Snow Crocus’ flowers will brighten up the winter garden when little else is in flower. Click here to view online.

Daffodil/Narcissi

Narcissi, a firm favourite of the British spring garden. With a wide range of shapes, colours and sizes, they are perfect for beds, borders and containers in gardens, big or small.

Planting time: September-December 🏡

Flowering time: March – April 🌸

Position: Full Sun/Partial Shade

Daffodil Carlton

Bring some modern beauty to the spring garden with Daffodil Carlton. With large, two-toned yellow flowers, they make a very effective addition to the border or in pots on the patio. Easy to grow and produce a lovely sweet scent. Click here to view online.

Daffodil Cheerfulness Mixed

Create a garden bursting with spring cheer with our combination of Cheerfulness Daffodils. With showy blooms and a sweet fragrance, these flowers will make a real impact in the border. They also make excellent, scented cut flowers. Click here to view online.

Narcissi Elka

These little award winners showcase long trumpets of creamy pale lemon flowers. A perfect compact variety for mass planting in rockeries or growing pots and containers. A reliable Narcissi for brightening up the spring garden. Click here to view online.

Hyacinths

Richly coloured and heavily fragrant, Hyacinths are beautiful spring-flowering bulbs that bloom in a rainbow of delightfully vibrant shades.

Planting time: September-December 🏡

Flowering time: March – April 🌸

Position: Full Sun/Partial Shade

Hyacinth Delft Blue

A beautiful highly fragrant bloomer with a unique blue hue. Their large star-shaped blooms are the perfect choice for planting in patio pots, window boxes or in the garden border. You can even force them indoors as a scented Christmas feature. Click here to view online.

Hyacinth Jan Bos

With its distinct reddish pink colour, Jan Bos is a very cheerful and impressive sight. These dense, starry dark pink florets are best planted where you will be able to enjoy their perfume daily, either near a door way or along a path. Click here to view online.

Hyacinth Miss Saigon

Bring a cheerful sight to the dull days of winter with these vibrant and rich purple blooms. Easy to grow and brightly coloured, these pretty purple flowers are great for boasting in the garden border or as an indoor display within the home. Click here to view online.

Tulips

A true symbol of spring. No matter what the colour, Tulips will brighten up your garden with weeks of cheerful colour, patterns and shapes.

Planting time: September-December 🏡

Flowering time: March – May 🌷

Position: Full Sun/Partial Shade

Tulip Calypso (Greigii)

Create a mesmerising sight in the spring garden with the bright and beautiful pink and orange shades of Tulip Calypso. This compact variety packs a punch through their large and showy flower heads. Easy to grow and will come back each year. Click here to view online.

Tulip Kingsblood

Add some romance to the garden with these cherry red flowers. This single late Tulip is ideal for a dramatic display of colour in the border and looks amazing as part of a cut flower display for the home. Click here to view online.

Tulip lambada

This Tulip is sure to bring a blaze of colour to the spring border. ‘Lambada’ showcases velvety coral red petals with fiery yellow-orange edges with a fringed detail, which are a real eye-catcher in the garden. A vibrant single late Tulip. Click here to view online.

Check out our spring-flowering bulb planting tutorials here…

How to Plant Greigii Tulips: Spring Garden Guide
How to Plant Greigii Tulips: Spring Garden Guide
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Liven Up Winter/Spring Beds with Colourful Primulas

Lift your spirits in the dull days of winter with the bright colours of Primulas. No garden is complete without these cheerful and hardy perennials as they are available in a wide range of sizes, shapes and come in every colour imaginable. These easy to grow blooms are perfect any type of garden, whether you need to fill some ground space or adding some wonderful colour to the front of the border.

In this blog post, we will guide you through our favourite Primula varieties, planting tips and aftercare, so that you can grow a rainbow of beautiful Primulas even during those cold, winter months.

Top varieties

Primula Colour Carnival

Packed with vibrant shades, our ‘Colour Carnival’ are an exciting mixture of bi-coloured Primula. Their fragrant blooms are perfect for attracting pollinators to the spring garden. Easy to grow, robust plants for beds and borders.

Click here to view online.

Primula Husky Raspberry Punch

Brighten up the winter garden with the bursting brilliant pink hues of Primula ‘Raspberry Punch’. Flowering from January through to April, these cheery flowers will add a kick of colour to borders, pots, or why not plant them en-masse for a real eye-catching feature.

Click here to view online.

 Primula Primlet

Producing masses of stunning double and semi-double flowers, these blooms almost resemble a miniature rose in the midst of the winter/spring season. From yellows to violet hues, these hardy perennials are ideal for creating a rainbow in the winter border.

Click here to view online.

 Primula Showstopper Lime/Cream

A bright and delicate perennial. Our beautiful new ‘Showstopper’ is a pure delight in the late winter garden when their lime tinted cream flowers are on show. Ideal for the border, beds and containers.

Click here to view online.

Primula Wanda

Fill the winter garden with the beautiful fragrance of Primula Wanda. Plant them where you can enjoy their scent, such as in patio containers or the front of the border. Wanda is a beautiful mixture of vibrant, ruffled flowers that are perfect for any garden.

Click here to view online.

 

There are many benefits to growing Primulas:

  • A wide range of colours are available. 🌸
  • Fragrant varieties available.
  • Versatile plants – great for beds, borders or containers. 🏡
  • Varied flowering times – winter/spring/early summer  ☀❄

Planting Guide

Planting Time: August – October 📆

Flowering Time: February – May 🌸

Soil Type: Fertile, moist, well-drained soil. 🏡

Position: Full Sun/Partial Shade ☀

Beds/Borders

  • Best results are achieved by potting up into 9cm pots for 2-3 weeks upon arrival.
  • Allow them to establish a good root system.
  • Gradually harden them off before planting outside.
  • Water well after planting.

Containers

  • Using a good quality, peat-free, multi-purpose compost, fill a pot around 10cm from the rim with compost.
  • Plant them so the top of the rootball and compost are level.
  • Fill in any gaps between the plant with more compost.

Aftercare Tips

  • Water regularly.
  • Prune dead leaves and spent blooms regularly.
  • For potted Primulas, transplant them to your borders in the spring, where they will flower gain next year.
  • For container Primulas, feed with a high potash feed every fortnight.
  • Keep them moist but not sodden to avoid moulding.

Allium Guide: When and How to Plant Them

Alliums are plants of exquisite beauty that deserve a place in perennial gardens. Easy to grow and undemanding, these ornamental bulbs come in a diverse range of colour, height and bloom times, to give you beautiful blooms from spring all the way through till summer.

Throughout this Allium blog, we will guide you through our most popular varieties, planting partners, a full planting guide and even video planting tutorials to get you ready for your autumn bulb planting.

Top Varieties

Allium Graceful Beauty

A striking new variety. This elegant Allium will dazzle in the summer garden with their white and pink flushed flowers. Easy to grow and compact, this bloomer will dazzle at the front of the border. Also they are perfect for attracting wildlife!

Click here to view online.

Allium Drumsticks

A lovely addition to the border. Add interest and movement to the late-spring garden with these unique and vibrant egg-shaped flower heads.  As well as being long lasting and pollinator-friendly, these Alliums make beautiful cut flowers!

Click here to view online.

Allium Gladiator

An RHS Garden Merit Award-Winner. Allium Gladiator showcases dozens of small star-shaped purple blooms which are long lasting and naturalise easily for years of pleasure. Spectacular in large, sweeping drifts.

Click here to view online.

 Allium Globemaster

Boasting massive spherical violet heads, this award-winning Allium is a great tall addition to beds and borders. This showstopper naturalises easily and they are perfect for bringing butterflies fluttering to the garden.

Click here to view online.

Alliums look beautiful alongside…

Forming a succulent mat of foliage around the base, then springing into flower some time after the Alliums have faded. Click here to view our Sedum Range.

Partner the taller Allium varieties alongside delphiniums for a border filled with architectural beauty and height. Click here to view our Delphinium Range.

Create a border rich in colour and shapes. Poppies and Alliums both excel in the garden as elegant vertical accents with architectural interest. Click here to view our Poppy Range.

Planting Guide

Planting time: September – December 📆

Location: Full Sun/Partial Shade ☀

Flowering Time: Late-Spring-July 🌸

Soil Type: Fertile, well-drained soil 🏡

For ground planting:

  1. Remove any weeds before planting.
  2. Plant at 3-4 times the depth of the bulb and approx 10cm-15cm apart. Position the bulbs with the pointed end facing upwards.
  3. Fill in the holes and tread down lightly.
  4. Feed regularly in poor soils.
  5. After flowering, remove the leaves when they have withered.

For container planting:

  1. Make sure to use a deep and fairly large pot for large Allium bulbs.
  2. Use a good-quality potting compost.
  3. Plant the bulbs three times deeper than the height of the bulb and as far apart as you can.
  4. Water sufficiently after planting.
  5. For frost protection, use bubble wrap or garden fleece.

Tutorials

How to Plant Allium Superglobe: Summer Garden Guide
How to Plant Allium Superglobe: Summer Garden Guide
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October Plant of the Month: Heather

A terrific plant that deserves a spot in any garden. They may be small, but Heather are inexpensive, evergreen plants that provide colour even in the coldest months. Originating from the Scottish Hylands, transform any garden border, patio or rockery with the vibrant floral clusters of Heather and turn any garden into a carpet of dazzling colour.

To celebrate Heather as our plant of the month, we have selected our best Heather mixtures and collections on offer, as well as ideal planting partners, a planting guide and even some traditional folklore about Scotland’s national flower.

Top Varieties

Winter Flowering Collection

These small Heathers make a big impact with their masses of tiny blooms that flower all winter long into the spring. This collection of low-growing evergreen shrubs make excellent and colourful ground cover.

Click here to view online.

Winter Mixed (Erica)

One of the hardiest of the Heathers. This wonderful mix of Erica Heather are low and quick growers, which will form eye-catching mats of pink, white, purple of red blooms. The perfect plant to compliment early spring bulbs.

Click here to view online.

Summer/Winter Collection

Fill your garden with beauty all year round with this collection. Our summer Heathers bloom from July-October, while our winter Heathers flower from December to February. Plant en masse on a slope and an impressionist’s landscape will burst into life.

Click here to view online.

Summer Mixed (Calluna)

Among the most hardiest and most varied of all Heathers. Appearing from mid-late summer, these showy flowers practically glow with their bright and beautiful shades. An easy to grow contender for adding to cottage gardens or as ground cover.

Click here to view online.

Looking for some floral inspiration? Here are some tips on companion planting with Heather…

When planted en masse, Heathers and Heaths make a swath of tones and foliage with easy appeal and graceful texture. Adding some dimension to such plantings further enhances the garden area and increases interest year around.

Rhododendrons & Azaleas

A classic Heather companion. They crave the same acidic soil and consistent moisture on which Heather thrive. You can even feed Heather with a Rhododendron fertiliser.

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Pansies

When planting Heather in containers, keep it simple by accenting them with beautiful hardy Pansies. An excellent pot plant that grow well with Heather.

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Lavender

Smaller flowering plants compliment Heather and bloom at different times, thereby extending the bloom show. The look of Lavender and Heather together is a real showstopper.

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Planting Guide

Planting Time: Autumn-Early Spring 📆

Soil Type: Well drained, lime-free soil 🏡

Location: Full Sun/Partial Shade ☀

Flowering Time: July-October & December-February 🌸

  • Space Heathers as far apart as their mature width and at least 60cm away from other shrubs (to ensure good air circulation).
  • Dig a hole about twice as wide as the plug and half again as deep.
  • Firm the soil around the plant and water-in.
  • Water the plant once or twice a week when the soil is dry throughout the first season.
  • Mulch after planting.
  • Trim faded flower stems back to bases straight after flowering.

  • Plant them in a large, wide pot with good drainage holes in the bottom.
  • Use ericaceous potting mix (they enjoy highly acidic soil).
  • Shelter from strong winds and water when the two-inch later of soil is dry.
  • Protect from frosts by moving small pots indoors or cover the plant with polystyrene foam, then mulch the plant heavily.

Folklore 🌟

Here are some fascinating tales about these wild blooms.

Create a Wonderful Winter Haven for Birds

Birds can play a vital role in the garden’s ecosystem, from natural pest controllers to simply bringing joy and life to the garden. By choosing the right plants, you can produce both food and cover for garden birds all year round. There are lots of ways to give bird populations a boost, from creating nesting shelters to planting shrubs rich in berries.

In this week’s blog, we have listed the top bird-friendly shrubs to provide bird food and shelter to handy and simple crafts and tips to attract these wild visitors to the garden.

Top Bird-Friendly Shrubs

Holly Blue Angel

A classic winter wonder. Holly Blue Angel produces shiny evergreen foliage with an unusual blue tinge on the leaves and masses of red berries in the winter. When birds need a source of food in the winter, Holly berries are the perfect snack.

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Holly Hedging (Ilex aquifolium)

A brilliant evergreen hedging plant. It is slow growing, low maintenance and acts as a deterrent with its dense prickly barrier. With bright red and orange berries in winter, this native plant is a great source of food and shelter for birds.

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Pyracantha Victory

A robust Pyracantha. Producing masses of red berries in summer and clusters of white blossoms in summer, this decorative shrub adds plenty of interest for wildlife as a spot for nesting birds and they contain an abundance of pollen for bees.

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Pyracantha Golden Charmer

A beautiful and useful shrub. With sprinklings of white June blossoms followed by masses of golden berries, this multi-tasking plant is a great climbing, specimen or screening plant and is also well-loved by birds in the winter.

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Quickthorn/Hawthorn Hedging

This popular British Native hedge can withstand harsh winds and temperatures and the thick and thorny branches make an excellent barrier. Red berries appear during the autumn months to tempt hungry birds to the garden.

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Crataegus Pauls Scarlet

This robust little shrub blooms with beautiful pink spring blossoms amongst bright green foliage. Even in the winter, the stout, interweaving branches and their red berries act as a nesting sight and food source for birds.

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Virginia Creeper

This climbing vine is perfect for adding autumn colour to the garden. At different times of the year, this vigorous creeper provides fruit, caterpillars and nesting material for birds. Its dense leafy cover also makes great shelter.

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Boston Ivy

You won’t find a more dramatic sight in autumn than a Boston Ivy. Their leaves change from a summer green to a bright crimson in the autumn. This variety produces clusters of dark blue berries that are a perfect food source for hungry birds.

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Lonicera ‘Winter Beauty’

This winter-flowering Honeysuckle produces masses of fragrant, creamy-white flowers. In autumn, it provides berries and shelter for birds and in summer, the scented flowers attract insects; a great food source for birds.

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Lonicera Kamtschatica (Honeyberry)

When ripened in late-spring to early summer, Honeyberry fruit is a treat that shouldn’t be missed. This hardy, edible Honeysuckle is loved by birds and other wildlife for their delicious berries.

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Bird Gardening Tips

It’s easy to attract birds to the garden, here are some bird-friendly gardening tips that you can do in any outdoor space, big or small.

DIY Bird feeders/boxes

Turn your garden into a desirable home for birds from winter through to spring with a cosy nestbox. You can even make your own  mini nature reserve for them if you’re handy. The best weatherproof and secure material for constructing your own is wood.

Install feeders

Garden birds benefit  from feeding all year round. Place feeders high off the ground. Use wire mesh feeders for peanuts and seed feeders for other seed. Where cats are a problem, use a bird table where cats cannot reach. You can even make your own by simply using sticking bird seed to a toilet paper roll using peanut butter and using string to hang them from a branch.

Bird baths

Many birds will use bird baths and ponds for bathing, so urge birds to seek out your garden as their one-stop shop for their daily routines. Keep an eye on your bird bath over winter to ensure they don’t freeze over in the cold temperatures.

Winter/Spring Bedding Plants for a Colourful Garden

Our range of winter/spring bedding plants will breathe life, colour and interest into your garden wherever you decide to plant them. Perfect for beds and borders, winter bedding plants are ideal for adding to plant pots and containers on the patio. With our amazing maxi plug plant range, you won’t find cheaper top quality winter bedding plants to fill your garden with bright blooms to chase away the cold winter weather.

Also, check out our planting guide below on tips and tricks on how to plant and grow plug plants and view our informative plug planting videos.

Primulas

Lift your spirits with the bright colours of Primulas. Hardy and easy to grow, these cheerful perennials provide a wide range of shapes and sizes in almost every colour imaginable and are perfect for any  garden, big or small.

Primula Cottage Cream

With their beautiful cream/white petals with orange centres, Cottage Cream Primula are an old-fashioned, much loved Primrose. These flowers are best planted in patio pots, containers or at the front of the garden border.

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Primula Emotions Mixed

Our new Primula mix will give you an amazing rainbow of colours until the late spring. Easy to grow, they make the ideal plant for borders, patio pots and containers. Slightly scented, these amazing flowers will bloom from January all the way through to April.

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Primula Husky Raspberry Punch

A new and colourful Primula. Producing pretty pink flowers with a bright yellow centre, they will give the garden a burst of joy through the gloomy winter months from January until April. Perfect for dazzling in the front of the border.

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Pansies

Pansies are the colourful flowers with “faces.” A cool-weather favourite, pansies are great for both autumn and spring gardens! Pansies have heart-shaped, overlapping petals and one of the widest ranges of bright, pretty colours and patterns.

Pansy Trailing Cool Wave

The Best Trailing Pansy Ever! This amazing large-flowered series keeps flowering all winter long, and well into spring too. Endless waves of simply gorgeous flowers in shades of golden yellow, violet, mauve, berry purple and white.

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Pansy Can Can

A stunning double winter flowering plant. Can Can is a fun and unusual variety with frilly, layered blooms of wavy and vibrant petals. These beautiful bedding plants will provide long-lasting colour throughout winter.

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Pansy Winter/Spring Mixed

A well-loved high performer. Creating a splendid display of colour, Pansies carry on flowering right through to spring and in such a beautiful variation of colours. Also, these super hardy plants can withstand a dusting of snow in the winter.

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Polyanthus

One of the most popular bedding plant varieties on the market. Blooming their hearts out for weeks and brightening the dullest days, the highly versatile Polyanthus are perfect for creating impressive floral displays from autumn and throughout spring.

Polyanthus Fire dragon

Fire Dragon is a beautiful rosette-forming flower that produces large, yellow petals which are flamed and frilled orange-red at the edges. A delightful sight at the front of the border. What is unusual about this variety is its amazing scent.

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Polyanthus Crescendo Spring Fever Mix

Create brilliant colour with our Polyanthus Crescendo Spring Fever Mix. Blooming with cheerful orange, yellow and white flowers throughout autumn and spring, they are ideal for brightening up containers and borders.

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Polyanthus Crescendo Rainbow Mixed

Paint a rainbow with the bold splashes of colour in this mixture of Polyanthus flowers. Flowering from autumn and providing vibrant flowers right through to spring, where it will compliment your bulb display beautifully.

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Violas

These little shining showstoppers are a beautiful modern flower for any garden. Free flowering and with a soft fragrance, Violas are perfect for adding something unique to the garden that provides a big impact.

Viola teardrops pink blush

Bring a touch of romance to the garden with Pink Blush. Their soft pink flowers with cheerful yellow centres are ideal for winter/spring baskets and window boxes. Flowering from January-April, enjoy this Viola’s lovely soft spring fragrance.

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viola teardrops yellow jump up

Create a cascade of winter colour with these yellow and purple flowers. This free-flowering Viola is ideal for winter and spring baskets, containers and window boxes, flowering from January through to April.

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Viola Teardrops Mixed

The perfect solution for brightening up the garden in the winter months. This semi-trailing bloomer showcases a range of bright and bold colours and is the perfect plant for winter and spring hanging baskets and containers.

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Continue reading Winter/Spring Bedding Plants for a Colourful Garden