What to Plant in December

With the start of December comes colder weather and shorter days, but will that put us off pottering around the garden? Absolutely not! There’s plenty to do, so if you’re wondering what to plant in December, you’re in the right place.

From summer bulbs, to hardy shrubs, there’s lots to do and plant this month in your garden.

Begonias

Begonias are a summer staple. Now that you’ve decided what you want to plant for your spring garden, it’s time to give some thought to your summer garden! Begonias are colourful and bright – the perfect addition to any summer garden that are sure to give you that summer feeling.

Begonia Samba Mixed
Begonia ordorata Pink Delight

Tulips

Forgot to plant your tulips? Never mind, there’s still time to get them in the ground before the first winter frost. The former part of December can be just warm enough for the bulbs without causing any damage. Perfect for when you’re at a push!

Triumph Tulip Collection
Tulip Lasting Love

Strawberries

If you’re planning on growing your own fruit next year, then December is the perfect time to plant your strawberry plants in the ground. A brilliant choice for those with allotments. (Note: Our range of Strawberry plants are currently out of stock, but please check back in

Strawberry All Season Collection
Strawberry Everbearer Albion

Indoor Bulbs

If you’re still unsure of what to plant in December and none of the above tickles your fancy, then indoor bulbs could be your saving grace. These beauties are perfect for planting around September to December and you’ll see them appear in mid-late winter, depending on when initially planted.

Amaryllis Magic Green
Narcissi Erlicheer

Read More from J Parker’s

Fabulously Festive Cranberry Sauce Recipe

We don’t know about you, but Christmas dinner just isn’t complete without a side of cranberry sauce ready and waiting on the table! This delicious cranberry sauce recipe is not only easy, but it tastes amazing too. Give it a go throughout this festive season.


Servings: 8

Time: 15 minutes


You will need:

  • 1 small pan

Ingredients:

  • 250g fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 100g light muscovado sugar
  • 100ml orange juice (carton is fine)

Instructions:

  • Step 1
    On a medium heat, add the orange juice and light muscovado sugar to your pan and stir to combine. Bring mix to boil.
  • Step 2
    Add your cranberries and let stew until soft and tender, but are still holding their shape. This will take around 5-10 minutes depending on whether you use frozen or fresh berries.
  • Step 3
    Take off the heat once the cranberries are soft but slightly intact. The sauce will thicken when cooling. Will keep well in the fridge for a week. Warm up to room temperature before serving.

Tips

  • Is there a difference between using fresh cranberries or frozen?

The only difference between fresh and frozen cranberries can be seen in the time it takes for each to get soft and tender when simmering. If using frozen cranberries, the process may only take 5 minutes, whereas using fresh berries may take longer (8-10 minutes). Its all just personal preference!

  • Should the sauce be made to use on the day?

This sauce can be kept within the fridge for up to a week. Keep in a tight lidded container to remain extra fresh! Remove on the day of your dinner and leave on the side to achieve a room temperature before serving.

Liked this recipe? We recommend these!

How to Create a Japanese Inspired Garden

japanese themed gardens

Japanese themed gardens create a calming space to unwind after a long day. Using a combination of simple elements and spiritual design creates an impressive tranquil haven, perfect for any size of garden.

If you’re looking to create your own zen garden, follow our tips for inspiration.

Paths and Bridges

japanese themed gardens bridge

Bridges and stoned pathways are often used within Japanese themed gardens. The stone symbolises the element, whereas bridges insinuate peace and serenity. Depending on the space you have to work with, a small bridge can be perfect to easily separate two areas.

Water Features

japanese themed gardens fountain

Similar to the use of bridges, water features bring a sense of tranquility and peace. However, less is always more! Make your water feature the main focus of your garden to achieve an authentic design.

Let’s Talk Plants

japanese themed gardens plants

Japanese themed gardens are often styled to one colour scheme. Reds, greens, and whites are most common. When it comes to picking which plants to use in your garden, Azaleas and Peonies are perfect!

Each plant’s used for their calming colours, an essential aspect for any zen garden.

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Can Gardening Be a Good Form of Exercise?

Exercise is essential to everyday life. However, going to the gym every morning just isn’t possible for many of us. To keep fit and healthy, all you need is 30 minutes of non-stop activity a day…

That’s right. Just 30 minutes (or longer!) of gardening a day is enough to keep the doctor away. Activities such as weeding, mowing the grass, and planting bulbs can do wonders for the old ticker. Not only does it raise your heart-rate and gets your body pumping, but it also helps you get much needed fresh air and vitamin D.

According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, just 30 minutes of pushing the lawn-mower around the garden is just as vigorous as riding a bike or playing doubles in tennis. Perfect for those not used to more intense of a work out.

Like any workout, you want to make sure you’re taking the necessary precautions before pottering in the garden. This includes light stretching and building up your activities from light to moderate to ensure you don’t hurt or injure yourself. Any sudden movements or twisting of the body can cause more harm than good.

Gardening is a great form of exercise, and any amount of time you have in the garden is time well spent. Be safe when starting any task and always ask for help if you feel that you’re over-stepping your abilities. Better to be safe than sorry later!

Read More From J Parker’s

Preparing Your Garden for Winter

preparing your garden for winter

Preparing your garden for winter is probably the last thing you want to do as the air gets colder and the days get shorter. However, if you spend just a few hours a day getting everything prepared before the first frosts of the season, it could save your plants from facing an early demise.

Ready to get started? Read on to find out how.

Border Maintenance

prepping your garden borders

Cut back your perennials and dying plants closer to the ground as they start to die down. Tidy your borders by removing any weeds and debris so there’s less work come spring.

Give Shrubs and Trees Some Love

fruit trees

Prune unruly shrubs into your preferred shape and cut back any damaged branches from trees. This helps them to be in the best possible shape they can before winter hits.

Plant Protection

protecting plants for winter

If you have access to a green house, move potted plants in for the duration of winter. If you’re worried about deciduous trees and shrubs, their bare roots can be lifted and stored until spring to avoid the root dying through any frost.

Take a Well Deserved Break

taking a break with a cup of tea after preparing your garden for winter

And finally, once you’re done preparing your garden for winter, take a well deserved break! This year especially has taken its toll on all of us, and in the run up to winter it’ll be more important than ever to look after ourselves.

Read More Blogs from J Parker’s

How to Create Your Own Sustainable Garden

Creating a sustainable garden has become increasingly popular over the last couple of years, and it’s easy to see why. Not only will it make it easier and cheaper to maintain your garden, it can also make a positive impression on the environment.

Thinking of starting your own sustainable garden? Here are some helpful tips to get you started.

DIY Compost

First things first: Kitchen waste. According to Wrap.org, we throw away a shocking 6.6 million tonnes of food each year. Instead of throwing your scraps into the bin that will just be wasted in landfill, you could create your own compost!

Not only is it easy to do, but it’s great as an extra additive to your flower beds. To start your own compost pile, find a shady area of the garden to place your bin. Creating the perfectly balanced compost takes a variation of additives, not just kitchen waste. Regularly supply your compost bin with grass clippings, weeds, prunings, and manure to feed the micro-organisms.

Save Your Water

Instead of using the main water supply to keep your garden hydrated, use collected rain water. Not only is this great for the planet, but it’s easy on your water bill too! Leave a few buckets out in the garden to collect what would otherwise be wasted rain water and use it on your garden beds and planters.

Keep It Organic

Using organic compost and fertilizer is more important than you might think. Organic fertilizers release nutrients as they break down, which soaks into the soil and improves the soil’s ability to hold water and nutrients.
Over time, this will make your plants healthier and much more hardy.

But, that’s not all. Non-organic soil and fertilizer can be incredibly damaging to your gardens environment. Soil without organic matter is all man-made, lacking in the necessary nutrients to help your plants thrive. Filled with damaging materials like Rockwool, Perlite, and expanded clay aggregate, it’s clear to see that non-organic soil and compost should be avoided where possible.

A Plant for Life

Trees are a brilliant investment for both your pocket and your health. Firstly, planting a tree is a great way to improve your immediate environment. Not only do plants and trees improve air quality and soil quality, but they also help reduce your overall carbon footprint.

Trees can last for decades. They provide homes for wildlife, offer food sources to pollinators and are beautiful additions to any garden. Do your future self a favour and plant a tree.

Perfect for Pollinators

And lastly, our final tip for creating a sustainable garden is to grow the perfect plants and flowers for pollinators. Wildlife such as bees and butterflies use the energy from flowers like Lavender and Alliums to get from A to B, so it’s essential to give them the opportunity to fuel up before taking off on their next adventure.

Want to Learn More About Your Garden? Read Our Related Articles

Top Tips for a Pet Friendly Garden

Keeping your furry friends safe is always a first priority, and when it comes to your garden, you want to make sure that they will be safe and happy outdoors. When it comes to create a pet friendly garden, there are a few things to know before you get started.

From avoiding potentially harmful plants to discovering pet-friendly garden hacks, we’ve got everything you need to know to create the perfect pet-safe garden.

Research Harmful Plants and Flowers

Before putting anything in the ground, it’s best to research on the plants to avoid having in your garden. For example, if your family dog likes to dig up your flowerbeds, then it’s best to avoid plants and bulbs such as Hyacinths, Daffodils, Crocus, etc.

However, if you have a cat that likes to chew on your indoor flowers, try to avoid picking plants like Irises, Lilies, and Ferns. There are quite a few toxic plants and flowers to avoid, so do your research before starting your displays.

Safety is Key

Before letting your pet outside, it’s best to assess the overall safety of your garden. Is there a pool? A shed filled with dangerous tools? Reduce access to these areas with a fence.

It’s also a great idea to use organic or pet-safe mulch and fertilisers when gardening. If your pet ingested anything else, it could cause serious harm.

Protect Your Borders

If, like many cats, yours likes to do its business in flowerbeds… it’s time for that to change. To avoid this, you can designate an area of the garden for your cat to use. Establish this early on when the cat is young to ensure it doesn’t get stuck in a habit.

If your dog loves to dig up your newly planted bulbs, try raising your beds out of their reach. That way, they can’t get to your plants, and it’s less of a worry when you let them out.

Wildlife Protection

Cats are natural hunters. They love to jump and chase and catch, but unfortunately, this isn’t great for local wildlife. If you’re cat is an outdoor cat and you have bird feeders or bird baths in your garden, try putting them elsewhere.

This could be higher up on a tree or anywhere that your cat could easily reach.

Learn More Great Garden Hacks on Our Blog!

What to do in the Garden this November

what to do in the garden in november

It’s official, winter is coming! To help you go from one month to the next, we’ve put together a list of what to do in the garden this November.
Even though the evenings are shorter and the weather is wetter, there’s plenty to be getting on with in your garden.

Do your future self a favour by getting everything ticked off your to-do list before it’s too late!

Aerate Your Grass

This might seem like a pointless task, but if you want your grass to thrive then it’s essential. Take a gardening fork and drive it into the ground to leave holes across the grass. Wait to do this after a spell of rain, as this will make the process easier.

Why do we aerate our grass? Long story short, it helps promote growth throughout the spring and summer months and helps to fill those annoying and patchy areas of grass. Aeration helps your grass to take in essential nutrients, and even helps your bulbs and plants grow more efficiently.

Clear Fallen Leaves

Another essential task to tick off your list this month is raking up fallen leaves from the garden floor. Not only can they hide things like slugs and snails (which are dangerous for dogs if ingested), but can also be used as a compost additive.

If you have the space, you could collect fallen leaves to use on your annual bonfire! (Just make sure the leaves are dry before throwing them on the pile…).

Lift Corms and Tubers

Concentrating more on the plant side of our to-do list now – It’s last calls for lifting your Dahlia tubers, begonias, and Gladiolas corms. Store somewhere dry over the winter to stop them from dying.

Remove dead foliage before storing and place somewhere dry and warm throughout winter.

Keep Track of Your Plants

Before your plants completely die back, take a picture of where they’re located in your beds. Come spring, you’ll know exactly where they’re hiding so you don’t accidentally damage the roots when you next dig in that area.

This trick also works for when you plant your spring and summer bulbs. Take a quick snap before you cover your bulbs so you know where they are when you want to lift them before winter.

Edge the Lawn

Edging your lawn before winter makes the area look much cleaner and well-kept. It also makes maintenance easier throughout the year!

Now you know what to do in the garden this November, why not read more?

How to Create a DIY Vertical Garden

Vertical garden

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

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

Pick and Plan

DIY vertical herb garden

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

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

Choose Your Plants

DIY Vertical garden with potted plants

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

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

Time to DIY

Creating your vertical garden

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

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

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

What to Plant in November

November Garden

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

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

Daffodils

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

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

Tulips

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

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

Bare Root Roses

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

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

Pansies

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

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

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