Add class and colour to your summer garden with some pretty purple perennials! Take a look at a selection of our favourite purple, violet, mauve and lilac perennial plants below and spruce up your garden.
Calla Lilies, also known as Zantedeschia, are beautiful flowers which offer an attractive colour range, are easy to cultivate and are suitable to be grown outdoors or as houseplants inside. These irresistible flowers produce blooms from May all the way through to October, and make excellent cut flowers as they have a long vase life of up to 2 weeks.
Zantedeschia grow best in full sun or partial shade and in organically rich, moist, well-drained soil. They are well suited for bog or marsh gardens, for planting near ponds and streams, or as border plants or for containers. When to plant: any time between Feb and June, but only after any danger of frost has passed.
IN THE GROUND
Choose a sheltered position and add some well-rotted organic matter before planting.
Plant the Zantedeschia tubers 10cm deep and about 30cm apart.
Set the tubers with the growing tips facing up. Cover them with soil and water as needed. Mulch to keep down weeds and conserve soil moisture.
Provide consistent moisture during the growing season and do not allow the soil to dry out.
Calla Lilies can grow as tall as 2 to 4 feet, so a tall, narrow pot is better container than a wide, shallow one.
Place the tuber so it is lying horizontally, with the eyes facing upwards.
Cover the bulb loosely and give it enough water just to dampen the soil.
Set your tall pots in a sunny spot where they will get a bit of shade in the afternoon and fill the saucer under the pot with water.
Feed with a balanced liquid fertiliser once a month until the flowers have faded.
Mulch annually in autumn with well rotted garden compost or manure.
Snip off blossoms as they start to fade, using clean and sterilised gardening shears.
February invites the first signs of spring into our gardens; days are lengthening, bulbs begin to emerge from the ground, and colour in the garden is just around the corner. This month is about cleansing (after the Latin word februum which means purification), and there’s no better time than now to give your garden a little TLC in preparation for spring.
Remove faded flowers, such as Winter Pansies and Violas, from containers to encourage them to flower more during spring and prevent from going to seed.
Deadhead early flowering plants such as Primulas regularly to encourage fresh flowers.
Remove any dead or decaying leaves from container plants to avoid encouraging slugs and snails in early spring.
Deciduous grasses which have been left unpruned over winter should now be cut back to the ground.
Remove dead material from evergreen grasses to make space for new growth in the coming months.
Tidy up decaying material around perennials and remove any leaf litter to discourage the slugs and snails as they arrive in early spring.
Prepare your cut flower beds by removing any stubborn perennial weeds, such as brambles or bindweed, which may be hiding.
If the soil is particularly stony, it can be sieved and raked until the texture is nice and fine.
Borders can also be given a boost by adding organic feed such as chicken manure and seaweed.
Looking after your lawn:
Remember to keep off the grass when there’s a frost, as the blades are more susceptible to damage which could lead to lawn diseases and other problems.
Ensure you brush off any debris or leaves which have fallen onto your lawn, as they can smother and cause discolouration to the grass.
Towards the end of the month, if the grass has produced some growth, you may be able to give your lawn a light trim with the lawnmower.
Planting Summer Bulbs
There are many lovely late-spring and summer bulbs which although usually planted in the autumn, if you missed that slot, early spring provides another opportunity. Below are some beautiful bulbs suitable for planting this month.
Adding colour to your summer garden could not be easier with our exciting range of 10 premium UK-grown hanging baskets. These summer flower baskets have been pre-planted to save you time and effort, meaning they’re ready-to-hang for an immediate display.
On arrival simply unpack our pre-filled hanging baskets, hang them up securely in their chosen location and then after watering they are ready to go. A simple, easy and carefree approach that is quickly becoming all the rage. Buy online now for £19.99 each or order two of one mixture for only £29.98, saving £10.00 off RRP.
Hanging baskets typically need more water than flowers in a garden, as any excess water drains from the bottom of the basket – meaning it is fairly hard to overwater them. How much you water your baskets will depend on temperature and time of year. In spring, watering your baskets
As the flowers die, make sure to remove them by pinching them off where they meet the stem. Not only does this make your baskets look better, but it will also promote the formation of new flowers.
Fertiliser will replenish any nutrients in the soil which are depleted with watering and will help to keep full, healthy looking baskets. Make sure you fertilise when the soil is moist, not when the plants are wilting, and follow the directions on the specific fertiliser you’re using.
If your plants are starting to look a little straggly, don’t be afraid to trim them back once or twice a season. Trimming your hanging plants will increase denser new growth and create a fuller looking basket for the rest of summer.
ROTATE YOUR BASKETS:
It can be a good idea to rotate the location of your hanging baskets occasionally – particularly if one spot receives more sunlight than another. Swapping their location every week or so can ensure that when having multiple baskets, they each receive equal opportunity for sunlight and growth.
With Valentine’s Day on the horizon, there are flowers in every shop and supermarket. Why not grow your own for next year? Anyone can grow cut flowers! It’s a personal, economical and rewarding way to show love to your family and friends.
Roses are the flower most associated with love and romance. In Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, Juliet says to her lover “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” to express that love has no boundaries. The rose has also been England’s national flower since The War of the Roses in the fifteenth century.
The name Dianthus comes from the Greek words ‘dios’ (god’) and ‘anthos’ (‘flower’). The common name ‘Carnation’ was derived from the Latin word ‘incarnation’, meaning the incarnation of God. It symbolises admiration, passion, affection, love and gratitude. One of the world’s oldest cultivated flowers, the popularity of Dianthus has remained throughout many centuries.
The Iris’s history dates back to Ancient Greek times when the Greek Goddess Iris, the messenger of the gods and the personification of the rainbow, acted as the link between heaven and earth. It was said that the flowers had the power to bring bliss and favour to earth and the people living on it. They symbolise faith, hope, wisdom and royalty.
The flower symbolises love, beauty, good luck and purity. Jasmine has always been considered a symbol of eternal beauty. In parts of India many people believe that jasmine can purify an individual, specifically when they grow into different life stages, which is why it is also symbolic of hope and spirituality. This makes it an ideal gift for a loved one, especially a partner.
The Bleeding Heart plant symbolises speaking about your emotions, passionate love, compassion and unconditional love, and spiritual connection. This flower got its name from its peculiar appearance, so does its scientific name. Known as Dicentra Spectabilis which translates to two spectacular spurs. In literal translation it means two spurs worth looking at, which fits the flower beautifully as it really is eye-catching.
If space allows, dedicate a part of the garden to growing just cut flowers. The advantage of a cutting garden over picking from borders is that it avoids depleting beds and borders, as well as providing a more productive planned area for the cut flower gardener.
No room for a big garden? You can squeeze about 20 plants into a 3ft x 6ft raised bed.
Plant or sow in rows; this makes weeding, staking and picking a much easier task.
Pick your flowers often; the more you pick, the more flowers the plant will produce.
Enjoy the rewards of growing your own, personalised cut-flower displays!