When to Plant Crocus

The jewel-like tones of Crocus flowers are just one of the many reasons why these plants are loved by gardeners. Autumn crocus add a rainbow of colour to the garden as summer flowers start to fade, and Spring Crocus are one of the earliest plants to flower in late Winter. Since Autumn Crocus and Spring Crocus bloom during different seasons in the year, these corms need to be planted at their correct times. 

Discover exactly when and how to plant Crocus corms and fill your garden with stunning Crocus flowers for most of the year.

What are Crocus corms?

Corms are very similar to bulbs, but corms are specialised sections of the stem. The appearance of corms differs from bulbs as corms tend to have a flattened shape.

When to Plant Autumn Crocus:

The best time to plant autumn-flowering Crocus is late July to September. Plant the corms around 4 inches deep in gritty, well-drained soil. These plants are perfect for pots and borders and will flower from September into November.

Tip – Plant Crocus corms in drifts in grassy areas or around other plants for a naturalistic look.

Here are some of our favourite Autumn Crocus varieties:

Crocus ‘Sativus’
Crocus ‘Kotschyanus’
Crocus Sternbergia ‘Lutea’

When to Plant Spring Crocus:

Spring Crocus bloom from late February into spring, so the best time to get these corms planted is September-November, just before the ground freezes in Winter. Plant Crocus corms around 4 inches deep in gritty, well-drained soil.

Here are some of our favourite Spring Crocus varieties:

Crocus ‘Orange Monarch’
Crocus ‘Fuscotinctus’
Crocus ‘Grand Maitre’

Spring bulbs for Shade

It can be a tricky task finding plants to fill those dark, unloved spots in the garden that do not get much sun. With so many flowers needing a bright sunny spot to flourish in, there are a wide range of plants that can withstand a shady spot.

With Autumn bulb planting season on the horizon, we have done all the hard work for you and narrowed down an assortment of shade-loving flowers that are perfect for those hard to grow spots in the garden. Discover our list of shade-loving bulbs below and start prepping your autumn wish lists.

Narcissi:

You wouldn’t think these cheery flowers could flourish in shade, but these tough Narcissi varieties are perfect for shaded borders, underneath trees and shrubs, and planting in pots.

Daffodil ‘Actaea’
Narcissi ‘Jack Snipe’

Snowdrops:

Native to woodlands, Snowdrops are well accustomed to growing under the shade of trees and other plants. These bright little spring blooms are perfect for naturalising in grass or planted around trees and shrubs.

Galanthus nivalis (Single flowering Snowdrop)
Galanthus elwesii (Giant flowering Snowdrops)

Anemones:

With many Anemones native to woodland areas, these are one of the best plants to grow in shade. Low-growing with colourful, daisy-like blooms, these pretty little plants are perfect for ground cover and rock gardens.

Anemone Nemerosa
Anemone blanda ‘White Splendour’

Cyclamen:

One of the first blooms to appear in Spring; Cyclamen are one of the few plants that can tackle almost any challenging areas in the garden. They even thrive in dry shade. These easy to grow, colourful plants are perfect for covering shaded banks, borders or plant them under trees for a natural look.

Cyclamen Hederifolium ‘Alba’
Cyclamen Collection

Scilla:

These attractive perennials bloom with star-shaped flowers in a dazzling assortment of colours. Although Scilla are not suitable for deep shade, these pretty spring blooms are perfect for areas in partial or dappled shade (e.g. around trees or shrubs).

Scilla Siberica
Scilla Mischtshenkoana

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Lockdown Garden Giveaway!

With so many of us stuck at home during lockdown and our holidays cancelled, our gardens have been a haven for stress relief, relaxation, and enjoyment. That is why this July, we are hosting a Lockdown Garden Giveaway!

Whether you have a garden, balcony, or just a window box, we want to know how your outdoor space has brought you joy during lockdown for the chance to WIN an amazing Autumn bulb bundle (worth £100)!

Here’s how to enter:

  • Send us a photo of your garden
  • Along with the photo, sum up in 1 sentence how your garden has helped you during lockdown

(Entrants can only send in one entry each)

What can I win?

One lucky winner will receive a selection of mixed spring-flowering bulbs worth £100!

Where do I enter?

For a chance to win, simply send in your lockdown garden entry via these channels:

FACEBOOK – Post your entries on our page for a chance to win!

TWITTER – Tag us in your photos with the hashtag #lockdowngiveaway

INSTAGRAM– Tag us in your photos with the hashtag #lockdowngiveaway

Or EMAIL us at competition@jparkers.co.uk (Entry must be under 5mb – please include your name and postcode)

COMPETITION CLOSES ON JULY 31st

Terms and Conditions:

  • Send your entries by email to competition@jparkers.co.uk (email under 5mb) or you can share it with us on our Facebook, Twitter or Instagram pages.
  • All entries must be sent in before midnight on July 31st 2020.
  • 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 or may not 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 image and their written text. The Judge’s decision is final.

New Introductions in our Autumn Range

Our Autumn 2020 range has landed! Filled with an amazing array of bulbs, plants and shrubs, our new range has everything you need to transform your garden this Autumn.

With so many new, beautiful varieties added to our plant range this year, we’ve selected an assortment of our favourite new introductions to kick off your autumn-planting wish list!

Sidalcea ‘Brilliant’

A bright and modern plant for adding colour to summer borders. Producing pink/red, saucer-like flowers, this Sidalcea blooms all summer long in to autumn.

Liriope Muscari ‘Okina’

Add life to the garden all year round with this striking evergreen plant. These amazing leaves go from white in spring to mottled green in autumn, and purple spiked flowers bloom in the summertime.

Deutzia ‘Mont Rose’

A beautiful compact shrub. This pretty Deutzia blooms with elegant rose coloured flowers. A perfect shrub for containers and smaller gardens.

Hosta ‘Wide Brim’

With foliage plants gaining popularity in modern gardens, this striking, streaked Hosta is the perfect modern foliage plant. They also produce beautiful lilac flowers in the summer too!

Hebe ‘Red Edge’

A marvellous RHS award winning shrub. With stunning blue-grey, evergreen foliage and vibrant lilac summer flowers, attract pollinators to the garden with this eye-catching Hebe.

Uncinia ‘Everflame’

Grasses are the perfect plants for low maintenance gardens. This evergreen, bronze coloured grass is perfect for bringing life to rockeries, pots and borders.

Euphorbia ‘Black Pearl’

Euphorbias are great, drought resistant plants, which make them perfect for summer gardens. This variety produces unique black detailing and makes for a great feature plant.

Hydrangea ‘Phantom’

This stunning Paniculata Hydrangea is drought resistant and award-winning. Producing pretty white cone flowers in summer, ‘Phantom’ is perfect for summer borders or containers.

Pansy Cool Wave ‘White’

An elegant trailing Pansy. These snowy-white blooms are perfect for hanging baskets and bloom all the way from February to May!

Pansy Cool Wave ‘Raspberry Swirl’

Low maintenance and produces masses of blooms, this stunning trailing Pansy showcases stunning purple flowers. Perfect for hanging baskets and pots.

Check out some of our other blogs:

When to Prune Clematis

Loved for their long lasting presence and rich colours, is it any wonder that Clematis plants are one of the most popular climbers on the market. To ensure healthy growth and encourage more flowers, pruning is an important part of Clematis care.

When it comes to pruning it can be hard to know where to start, so we’ve compiled an easy gardening guide to show you when and how to prune Clematis plants.

When does your Clematis flower?

The key to knowing when to prune your Clematis is knowing when your plant blooms. If you’re unsure, wait until your plant blooms and then match your Clematis to the correct flowering season.

When to Prune Clematis?

For young Clematis plants, give a hard pruning to one or two of the healthy base stems in the first spring after planting.

Here’s our seasonal pruning guide for established plants:

Winter/Spring Flowering:

Prune the vines right after they finish flowering in spring. The new stems that grow will then have enough time to make flower buds for the following year.

Winter/Spring flowering Clematis plants:

Clematis ‘Jingle Bells’
Clematis ‘Freckles’
Clematis ‘Winter Beauty’

Spring/Summer Flowering:

Thin out and disentangle stems before growth begins in late winter or early spring. In late spring or early summer, go over the plant again after the earliest flowers fade and severely shorten the stems that produced flowers. 

Spring/Summer flowering Clematis plants:

Clematis ‘Elizabeth’
Clematis ‘armandii’
Clematis ‘Apple Blossom’

Summer/Autumn Flowering:

Late Summer/Autumn flowering Clematis need a hard pruning annually. Cut back all old stems to the first pair of healthy buds (around 15-30cm above ground level). If left without any pruning, these Clematis will become top-heavy and produce very few flowers.

Summer/Autumn flowering Clematis:

Clematis ‘Sieboldii’
Clematis ‘Aromatica’
Clematis ‘Madame Julia Correvon’

Check out some of our other blogs:

Drought Resistant Plants for Your Garden

Agapanthus flowers

Do you find watering the summer garden time consuming? With British summers getting hotter and drier, drought tolerant plants are the answer to growing a beautiful garden that can withstand the summer heat.

Check out our favourite drought tolerant plants that will best adapt to the prolonged dry season.

Agapanthus Melbourne

Agapanthus

Native to South Africa, these hardy perennials are perfect for tackling the summer heat. Incredibly drought tolerant and loved by bees and butterflies, Agapanthus plants are a summer garden must-have.

Our recommendations:

Agapanthus 'Silver Baby'
Agapanthus ‘Silver Baby’
Agapanthus ‘Midnight Cascade’

Panicle Hydrangeas

Panicle Hydrangeas, or Hydrangea Paniculatas, are one of the hardiest shrubs around and they’re surprisingly drought tolerant! Beautiful big blooms for summer garden borders.

Our recommendations:

Hydrangea ‘Limelight’
Hydrangea ‘Vanilla Fraise’
Echinacea 'After Midnight'

Echinacea (Coneflowers)

Drought, heat, humidity and poor soil tolerant! These tough, easy to grow plants are perfect for filling your garden with vibrant colour all summer long.

Our recommendations:

Echinacea ‘Hot Summer’
Echinacea ‘Pink Double Delight’

Sedums

Add never ending interest to your garden with hardy Sedums. These easy to grow, drought tolerant perennials are perfect for creeping borders or gravel gardens.

Our recommendations:

Sedum ‘Kamtschaticum’
Sedum ‘Summer Glory’

Salvia

Loved by bees and butterflies, these hardy Perennials are the perfect low maintenance summer plants. Wonderfully drought tolerant and flowers profusely all summer.

Our recommendations:

Salvia Nemerosa ‘Rose Queen’
Salvia Nemerosa ‘White’

Euphorbia

Why grow Euphorbia? These drought tolerant and low maintenance perennials add structure and colour to garden borders. Perfect for spring and summer gardens.

Our recommendations:

Euphorbia Ascot ‘Rainbow’
Euphorbia ‘Bonfire’

Check out these other blogs:

How to Plant Bare Root Roses

Beautiful and fragrant, Roses are a staple of the British summer garden. From climbing to compact varieties, Roses can be grown to fill pots, create hedging or climb walls and fences; the possibilities are endless!

Many of our Roses are supplied in bare root form, and those unfamiliar with bare root Roses can be taken aback when first encountering them. To make your gardening jobs easier, we’ve created this essential guide to planting bare root Roses, and what time of year to do so.

What is a bare root Rose?

Sourced from the best growers, our selection of Bare root Roses are supplied dormant without foliage or flowers and without soil or pot.

When do you plant bare root Roses?

Late autumn, late winter and early spring are the best times for planting bare root Roses. These times allow the Rose to establish in the ground before their growth resumes in the spring season. 

Tip: Avoid planting bare root Roses in the late winter when the ground is frozen.

How do you plant bare root Roses?

Learn how to grow beautiful summer Roses with our step by step planting guide:

  1. Position

    Roses love growing in full sun, but most will thrive and bloom happily with four hours or more of good sun daily.

  2. Soil preparation

    Make sure that the hole is wide enough for the roots to comfortably spread out and deep enough so that the graft point will be about an inch below soil level.

  3. Add compost

    Add some well-rotted manure/compost to the bottom of the hole and add fertiliser of your choice.

  4. Planting

    Place the bare root Rose into the hole and firm it in (make sure that graft is at soil level).

  5. Keep on top of watering

    Water well after planting, and then water at least once a week after growth commences.

  6. Prune

    Trim or remove any thin, weak stems that can effect the Rose’s growth.

Late Spring-Flowering Roses:

Winners of the Spring Photo Competition 2020

Our annual spring photo competition has come to an end!

We challenged you with sending us your best spring-flowering J.Parker plant photos, and you certainly did not disappoint. We were astounded by the amount of amazing photos we received, so we want to give a BIG thank you from all of us at J.Parkers to everyone who entered.

Now let’s begin the countdown of our 10 prize winners for 2020!

Here are our runners up, who each win a £25 voucher

Now, in 3rd place is…

Our £50 voucher goes to Cornelia F. for this magical photo of these bearded Iris in bloom.

In 2nd place is…

Our £75 voucher goes to Deborah F. for her photo of these stunning red Tulips.

and this year’s 1st place goes to…

The star £100 voucher prize goes to Kerry L. for this beautiful Tulip shining in the spring sunshine!

Our Favourite Entries From Previous Years…


Choose the Best Hydrangeas for Your Garden

If you’re looking to grow a garden filled with beauty, you can never go wrong with Hydrangeas. Long-flowering and easy to grow, these billowy blooms come in an assortment of colours, shapes and sizes, making them perfect for any garden.

Keep reading to discover which Hydrangeas are perfect for your garden with our Hydrangea garden guide.

Hydrangeas for compact gardens:

A small space doesn't mean you can't enjoy beautiful Hydrangeas. Whether you have a small town garden or just a balcony to work with, there are many prolific blooming Hydrangeas for the tightest of spaces.

One of our favourite compact varieties is Hydrangea paniculata ‘Confetti; a gorgeous white flowering shrub with sweet scented flowers that look spectacular in pots on the patio, terrace or balcony. Looking for some bold colour? Our Hydrangea ‘Blue Boogie Woogie’ blooms with showstopping vibrant blue flowers, and make a great display in patio pots. They also make stunning cut flowers too!

Hydrangeas for large gardens:

Need to create a privacy screen or cover unsightly bare fences? Our Paniculata Hydrangeas and climbing Hydrangeas are the perfect choice.

Award-winning, pollinator-friendly and fast growing, our Hydrangea petiolaris does it all. This climbing Hydrangea showcases classic white flowers and is the perfect shrub for growing up walls, fences or around pergolas. If you’re looking for a touch of elegance, our colour-changing Hydrangea paniculata ‘Vanilla Fraise produces white/raspberry pink cone-shaped flowers that transform to a red shade in the autumn.

Hydrangeas for sunny spots:

If you're looking for a Hydrangea that can handle the heat, Hydrangea Paniculata shrubs can soak up the sun all day and they are the hardiest type of Hydrangeas on the market.

Renowned for it’s reliable performance, Hydrangea ‘Limelight’ is a champion in the summer sun and produces gorgeous cone-shaped flowers in a stunning lime-green shade. Perfect for sunny spots in the border or in patio pots.

Hydrangeas for shaded spots:

While most varieties grow beautifully in partial shade, here are our favourite Hydrangeas for brightening up those dull shaded spots in the garden.

Hydrangea macrophyllas, commonly known as ‘Big Leaf Hydrangeas‘ are ideal for shady spots. Our Hydrangea ‘Lady in Red’ is adored for it’s pink, lace-cap flowers and dense foliage, and makes a stunning addition to a shaded border. If you’re looking for something for pots, our Hydrangea ‘Music Deep Purple Dance’ is the one for you. Boasting velvety purple flowers in large clusters, ‘Music Deep Purple Dance’ is ideal for adding rich colour to pots and containers.

When and How to Plant Allium Bulbs

Easy to grow and versatile, Alliums (otherwise known as Ornamental Onions) have become a popular plant for modern gardens. Available in an assortment of shades and sizes, these versatile plants are perfect for any garden, big or small.

To grow these eye-catching blooms for the late Spring/early Summer garden, Allium bulbs should be planted in early Autumn (September-October).

How to Plant Allium bulbs

  1. Pick your location

    Alliums thrive in sheltered areas that receive full sun. They do not like to be exposed fully to the elements. Depending on the height of the allium, tall alliums look great at the back of a border and small varieties are well-suited for containers.

  2. Soil type

    Alliums will grow perfectly well in a well-drained soil. They hate waterlogged soil.

  3. Planting in the ground

    Plant the bulbs at a depth of roughly 3-4 times the size of the bulb. Space larger bulbs approx. 15cm apart but smaller bulbs can be spaced about 10cm apart.

  4. Planting in pots/containers

    Deep pots are most suitable for Alliums. Simply use a multi-purpose compost in a pot with adequate drainage, and water well.

    Tip – Broken pots or stones placed in the bottom of the pot will help improve drainage.

Common Allium questions:

When should I feed Alliums?

Feed your Alliums in the spring with a potash-rich fertiliser.

How long do Alliums flower for?

Alliums usually flower for around 3-4 weeks.

What do I do with Alliums after they flower?

After the foliage dies down, you can cut the plants down to the ground and leave them or divide them.

Tip: Leave Allium seed heads after they’ve finished flowering for the garden birds to enjoy!

Our favourite Allium varieties:

Allium ‘White Cloud’
Allium ‘Summer Drummer’
Allium ‘Gladiator’