5 Essential Summer Gardening Tips

The sun is out, spring flowers are at their peak, and summer is on its way! With June just around the corner, learn how to keep your garden looking beautiful all-season long with our top 5 essential summer gardening tips.

1. Watch the Weeds!

Weeds can be inevitable, even in the most well-kept gardens. As the weather gets warmer, the weeds come out, but there are ways of deterring them from growing in your garden. We recommend:

  • Applying mulch
  • Weed after it rains when the soil is moist
  • Cultivating

2. Fertilise

There are many types of fertiliser on the market, so make sure to find a fertiliser will work best in your garden. The healthiest gardens use some type of fertiliser because most soil does not provide an adequate amount of nutrients to plants and flowers. A mid-summer application to boost the colour and condition during the hottest months

3. Watering Schedule

The very best time to water plants is in the early morning or late evening, while it is still cool. This will allow the water to run down into the soil and reach the roots of the plant without too much excess water lost to evaporation.

4. Pruning Shrubs

Early summer is the time to prune many of the spring-flowering shrubs such as Philadelphus and Weigela. Prune off growth that has just finished flowering down to an outward facing bud, along with any damaged or crossing branches within the shrub, which should be removed either to suitable growth or completely. 

5. Finish Planting Annual Bedding Plants

If you didn’t have time to plant out your tender bedding plants in May, there’s still time to get them into the ground or their new containers as soon as you can in June. Make sure to place them in good light, so they do not become drawn and spindly in the shade.

Throughout summer, regular deadheading will keep them looking fresh and neat and you will quickly realise what brilliant value for money bedding plants are.Have a happy, flower-filled summer.

How to Create Privacy in Small Gardens

Small urban gardens can be overlooked by other houses, which means privacy can be rare. To prevent neighbours being able to see into your garden or to just create your own private sanctuary of peace, check out our top tips for how to achieve privacy in a small urban space.

1. Block Sight Lines

An arbour, pergola or gazebo are all easy ways of increasing privacy if you’re overlooked by upper windows. Cover any of these structures with beautiful trailing plants to truly create your own natural private space. Another tip is to plant small trees near your terrace; they will give you more privacy than a taller tree further away.

Our recommendations:

Honeysuckle ‘American Beauty’
Bougainvillea ‘Lilac’

2. Bushy Pot Plants

Growing bushy potted plants gives you the cover you need, and they’re mobile so you can move them around whenever you like. It’s an easy way to improve privacy that also adds a good dose of foliage to your outdoor space. Grab plants that have a good width spread to grow a private wall of foliage.

Our recommendations:

Photinia ‘Red Robin’
Buddleia ‘Sugar Plum’

3. Beautiful Bamboo

Growing Bamboo in pots is a great way to leave your privacy concerns behind. These plants provide a well-concealed look as well as the lush greenery.

Our recommendations:

Hardy Bamboo
Fargesia ‘Asian Wonder’

4. Cover up with Climbers

If you want to cover your garden fences or railings in a balcony or rooftop, climbing plants are a great option. Ivy plants would be a top choice, as they’re fast growing and evergreen; the perfect all-year-round cover.

Our recommendations:

Boston Ivy
Clematis ‘Montana Elizabeth’

5. Ornamental Grasses

Grasses can be used so easily to create internal screens or hedges that flower beautifully, move in the slightest breeze, and need little care during the summer months. Their fast growth rate makes ornamental grasses ideal for privacy hedges because new plants can rapidly fill in any gaps.

Our recommendations:

Phalaris Arundinacea Feesey
Grass Ornamental Collection

5 Gardening tips from the Chelsea Flower Show 2020

Usually held in the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea, the RHS Chelsea Flower Show has gone digital this year! From virtual garden tours from RHS judges and top garden designers to gardening experts sharing planting tips and tricks, there has been plenty to enjoy from this year’s show.

We’ve rounded up our favourite Chelsea-approved gardening tips, so that you can create your own prize-winning garden at home.

1. Working with Small Spaces

With many of us stuck at home at the moment and with many people living in urban spaces, you can still enjoy a bounty of plants, no matter the size. Create new levels with hanging plants, experiment with mobile potted plants and elevate plants with shelving or ladders.

We recommend:

Bacopa Scopia Mixed
Lady Fern

2. Create a Chelsea Inspired Bouquet

Nikki Tibbles, founder of British florists Wild at Heart, gave us a crafty tutorial on how to create our very own Chelsea-inspired bouquets with flowers from our garden. Combine the delicately coloured flowers of pale Peonies, pastel Delphiniums and Clematis flowers to create your own award -winning vase displays and bouquets.

Our recommendations:

Delphinium Summer Skies
Clematis Aromatica

3. Healing Gardens

Garden designer Robert Myers shared his top tips for designing a healing garden. Now more than ever, our gardens are a haven to bring calm to our lives and help with our mental/physical well being. Restore calm with plenty of textured, multi-layered natural greenery, and add a sensory experience with scented plants around seating areas.

Our recommendations:

Leylandii Hedging
Lavender Munstead

4. Create a Mini Allotment

The Skinny Jean Gardener, Lee Connelly, shared his top tips for getting you and the kids growing your own edible produce. Lee says “grow something that you love to eat” and to keep it simple and easy with low maintenance fruit and veg. With space often being an issue for gardeners, Lee shares that you can create a mini allotment with just a window sill or washing up bowl!

Our recommendations:

Blueberry Spartan
Goji Berry

5. Think about Wildlife

Designer Tom Massey shared with us how to encourage wildlife by growing a mini-meadow. To create a meadow planting scheme, mix ornamental grasses with perennials to add both colour and movement to your displays.

Our recommendations:

Pennisetum ‘Hameln’
Allium ‘Drumsticks’

Check out our customers #mychelseagarden photos!

Top Plants for an Evergreen Garden

Providing foliage all-year-round, evergreen plants are perfect for adding colour, structure and height to any outdoor space. Get inspired to create your own green oasis with this amazing selection of evergreen plants, shrubs and climbers.

Heuchera ‘Palace Purple’

A glossy purple evergreen plant that blooms with small, pink flowers throughout the summer. Ideal for pots, borders and providing a colour contrast against light-coloured plants.

Ensete ‘Maurelii’

An award-winning exotic, evergreen beauty. Eye-catching green/bronze leaves upon a strong dark red stem. Perfect for adding height to am outdoor space in pots and containers. 

Clematis ‘Apple Blossom’

One of the most popular evergreen climbers on the market. Flourishing with romantic pink spring flowers, plant by a doorway or seating area, where you can enjoy their almond scent.

Euonymus ‘Paloma Blanca’

A compact bi-coloured evergreen shrub. The stunning foliage emerges greenish- white and darkens to a rich deep green with age. Ideal for pots, window boxes and borders.

Ornamental Grass Collection

Ornamental grasses have become a big trend for modern gardens. These eye-catching collection of evergreen grasses add texture, colour and height to borders, containers and rockeries.

Escallonia ‘Pink Elle’

Add a burst of colour with this fantastic, compact shrub. These evergreen shrubs have glossy, leathery leaves and burst with an abundance of white, pink and red flower clusters in the summertime.

Gardenia ‘Crown Jewel’

A sensational scented, evergreen shrub. The glossy forest green leaves provide a beautiful contrast against the pearly white, star-shaped summer flowers. Great for borders or containers.

Italian Cypress Totem Pole

If you have some space to play with, these luscious conifers add luxurious height to borders or large containers. Its columnar habit makes it ideal as a focal point in the garden.

The Perfect Climbers for Every Season

Add elegant colour, cover bare walls, or add height and interest to the garden, there’s so much that climbing plants can do for the garden. Whether you’re looking for gorgeous fragrance or a visual impact, in this blog post we’ve narrowed down the best climber for every season.

Climbers for summer interest ☀

Honeysuckle Gold Flame

A strong climber with a beautiful perfume. Their cartwheel-shaped red and orange flowers are perfect for growing over a wall or fence.

Clematis florida Sieboldii

Clematis are one of the most popular climbers around. These creamy white flowers with bright purple centres are ideal for walls or trellises.

Star Jasmine

A decedent climber with rich, creamy flowers. Blooming from June through to September, enjoy their fragrance all summer long.

Climbers for autumn interest 🍂

Virginia creeper

A rustic and rich coloured climber. This carefree perennial bursts with autumnal colours and looks perfect along walls and fences.

Clematis Princess Diana

Add a touch of royalty to the garden with the rich pink flowers of Clematis Princess Diana. Perfect for walls and containers.

Passiflora Edulis

Hardy, evergreen and exotic, this stunning climber blooms from summer through to October. A real eye-catching sight in containers on the patio.

Climbers for winter interest ❄

Clematis Jingle Bells

Add a touch of festive cheer to the garden with these snow white blooms. Perfect for adding height to the back of a bed or border.

Winter Jasmine

A cheery sight to brighten up the dull days of winter in the garden. Easy to grow and highly fragrant, these vibrant yellow flowers are ideal for pots or around a trellis.

Pyracantha Golden Charmer

Also known as Firethorn, this versatile climbing shrub produces stunning white flowers in the spring and vibrant berries in the autumn.

Climbers for spring interest 🌸

Chocolate Vine

Producing sweet-scented, violet flowers followed by sweet tasting fruit, bring your spring garden to life with this vigorous climber.

Clematis Apple Blossom

One of the most popular evergreen climbers around. Add romance to the garden with these pink flushed spring flowers. Perfect for cascading over walls and fences.

Clematis montana Elizabeth

Blooming with masses of blush pink flowers, this springtime beauty is perfect for covering fences and walls. Great for wildlife too!

Our Hanging Basket Favourites

Bursting with colourful flowers or vibrant foliage, hanging baskets are the perfect addition to any garden, big or small. With so many plant options for hanging baskets, it can be tough to know where to start, so we’ve made things simple.

From cascading fruit to hardy flowers, discover our hanging basket favourites to fill your outdoor space with life this summer.

Begonia ‘Funky Pink’

Think pink with this strikingly unique Begonia. Easy to grow and weather tolerant, these large double blooms are a great basket choice.

Strawberry ‘Malling Centenary’

Try growing your own in hanging baskets with this delicious, trailing strawberry. A perfect plant for beginner gardeners!

Surfinia ‘Blue’

Surfinias are one of the most popular kids on the block when it comes to basket plants. Add a burst of freshness with this beautiful blue variety.

Bidens ‘Goldita’

A burst of summertime sunshine! This trailing Biden blooms with cheery yellow flowers that stand out in any outdoor space.

Harts Tongue Fern

Feeling foliage? This award-winning Fern is easy to grow and dazzles with it’s glossy green foliage. A year-round beauty for the garden.

Begonia ‘Apricot Shades’

A summer staple. This shimmering Begonia blooms with cascading flowers in an array of apricot, amber and lemon shades. Great for shade.

Hanging Basket Mix

Having trouble choosing plants? Our sensational mix of assorted basket plants are perfect for beginner gardeners or those that simply can’t decide.

Pre-Planted Fuchsia Basket

Bright, bold and beautiful. Easy to grow and to maintain, grab this stunning mix of Fuchsias in one of our rustic ratten baskets.

Tips for Growing Garden Ready Plants

Easy to grow and perfect for beginners, garden ready plants are an excellent, value for money way of filling your garden with glorious colour. 

Our Garden-ready plug plants are well-established plants in pots and can be planted straight out into the garden. Before you pick your plants for summer, check out our top tips for getting the absolute best performance out of your garden ready plants.

Tip 1 – Potting Up

Garden ready plants, like smaller plants, can benefit from being grown on for a few weeks in a large pot, for sturdier roots, before planting out in the garden.

Tip 2 – TLC on Arrival

Water your plants so they are just moist. The best way to do this is to place them in a container of water and allow them to soak it up from the roots.

Tip 3 – Time Crunch

If you don’t have time to plant them straight away, stand in a light, warm place and make sure the soil is moist; this will keep them happy and healthy before you plant them out.

Tip 4 – Watering

Water them well 1-2 hours before planting out, and again when in position. Once in the ground, water regularly, especially in dry sunny spells.

Tip 5 – Deadhead

Don’t forget to deadhead any dying flowers as required to ensure further growth spurts.

Complete Guide to Planting Hydrangeas

Irresistible summer shrubs. Hydrangeas showcase large, billowy blooms in an array of bright and beautiful colours and never fail to bring the wow factor to the summer garden. Easy to grow and vigorous growers, they are an easy way to create a wonderful summer display.

In this blog, discover our essential Hydrangea planting guide, from planting to aftercare, as well as our top Hydrangea varieties to plant for summer.

Where can I plant Hydrangeas?

With so many Hydrangeas on the market, from large shrubs to compact varieties, there aren’t many places these plants can’t go. For location, our advice is to plant them where they well receive morning sun and afternoon shade.  Here are some ideas for where you can plant Hydrangeas:

  • Shrub borders
  • Potted plants on the patio
  • Pathways
  • Large containers

How do I plant Hydrangeas?

Our potted Hydrangea plants can be planted straight away upon arrival. Here are our step-by-step planting instructions:

  • Plant in Spring or Autumn.
  • Plant in well-drained soil (if soil is heavy, add roughage such as pine bark mulch).
  • Dig a planting hole 2 feet wider than the plant (keep the depth of the hole consistent with the size of the plant so your plant sits level with or just higher than the surrounding soil).
  • Do not over water, esp. in clay soil. This can lead to root rot.

How do I care for Hydrangeas?

  • Water at a rate of 1 inch per week throughout the growing season. Deeply water 3 times a week to encourage root growth. Big leaf and smooth hydrangeas require more water, but all varieties benefit from consistent moisture. Watering in the morning will help prevent hydrangeas from wilting during hot days.
  • Add mulch underneath your hydrangeas to help keep the soil moist and cool. An organic mulch breaks down over time, adding nutrients and improving soil texture.
  • Apply fertiliser based on your specific hydrangeas. Each variety has different needs and will benefit from different application timing.
    • Big leaf hydrangeas need several light fertiliser applications in March, May and June.
    • Oakleaf and panicle hydrangeas do best with two applications in April and June.
    • Smooth hydrangea plants only need fertilisation once, in late winter.
  • Prune in late winter and early spring. Prune as far back as you want right above the first leaf joints. It will grow from that point onward, getting larger each year.

Looking for recommendations?

Check out our favourite Hydrangeas that will make eye-catching additions in any garden.

Hydrangea ‘Miss Saori’
Hydrangea ‘Confetti’
Hydrangea ‘Revolution Blue’
Hydrangea petiolaris

White Garden: Best Plants for White Flowers

There is a timeless elegance in white flowers that will never fade. They brighten up dull spots, add contrast to colourful plants and add a subtle glow to the garden in the evenings.

Here are our favourite white bloomers to fill your garden with ethereal beauty all year round.

For hanging baskets:

These stunning flowers create a real eye-catching effect in summer hanging baskets. 

Scaevola Albanico ‘White’
Fuchsia ‘Hawkshead’
Surfinia ‘White’
Million Bells ‘White’

For flower pots:

Our perfect pot partners bloom with masses of white flowers to cheer up any patio pot, porch or garden space.

Dahlia ‘Toto’
Heuchera ‘White Cloud’
Hydrangea ‘Confetti’
Echinacea ‘Milkshake’

For beds & borders:

For a carpet of snowy blooms or large and in charge feature plants, these are our top picks for white-flowering beds and borders.

Lily ‘Pretty Woman’
Dianthus ‘Confetti White’
Gypsophila ‘White’
Gaura ‘Whirling Butterflies’

For shrubs:

Add beauty year-round with these amazing pure white blooming shrubs.

Pearl Bush
Buddleia ‘White Swan’
Snowball Bush
Euonymus ‘Paloma Blanca’

5 Great Summer Plants for Shade

Finding plants that can thrive in shade can be tricky, but there are plenty of beautiful options available. Instead of you searching the internet for shaded plants, we’ve done the hard work for you and compiled a selection of our favourite shade-loving plants.

From colourful bloomers to fresh foliage, discover our top five plants to brighten up those difficult shaded corners of the summer garden.

1. Viburnum

Many Viburnums are perfect for shady spots. They’re great for wildlife, produce gorgeous flowers and fruit and make a fantastic focal point in beds and borders.

We recommend:

Snowball Tree
Viburnum Kilimanjaro

2. Hardy Fuchsias

Hardy Fuchsias are a hanging basket staple in the summertime. Their elegant drooping blooms brighten up baskets and window boxes, and thankfully, they can be planted in shade! Since they don’t like too much heat, these tender perennials can be placed in partial/full shade.

We recommend:

Fuchsia ‘Heidi Anne’
Hardy Fuchsia Mixed

3. Heucheras

These fabulous shade-tolerant beauties are some of the best-kept secrets in the garden. You can easily set a shady spot alight with colour by planting bright and beautiful Heucheras. What’s more, these foliage plants perform all year round too, making them a magnificent choice for so many spots in the garden. 

We recommend:

Heuchera sanguinea ‘Firefly’
Heuchera ‘Fire Chief’

4. Hydrangeas

Can Hydrangeas grow in shade? Absolutely. In fact, many of the most common varieties of these bright and beautiful shrubs, like mophead and lacecap, are perfect for shaded environments.

We recommend:

Hydrangea ‘Runaway Bride’
Hydrangea Magical ‘Revolution Blue’

5. Ferns

Ornamental foliage plants have become a big trend in modern gardens. Low maintenance and high performing, they add bring a fresh and natural look to the summer garden. Ferns thrive in the shade, so they’re the perfect plants for growing fantastic displays in pots and borders.

We recommend:

Japanese Painted Lady Fern
Hardy Fern Collection