How to Train Climbers

Clematis Mr President
Clematis The President

Climbers are magical plants. They can be used to quickly transform a bare fence or wall in to a stunning, foliage or floral display. When buying young plants, they need careful training to ensure they grow in to happy and healthy established plants. If you’re looking to grow amazing Ivy or maybe a colourful Clematis, keep reading to discover how to properly train climbers and grow the garden of your dreams.

Clematis Apple Blossom

Start with Supports

Plant supports in the desired area prior to planting. Always fix your supports approx 5cm away from the desired surface (wall or fence).

Support ideas:

  • Vertical wires: Space them 30-45cm apart with the lowest wire 30cm above soil level.
  • Wooden trellis: place the bottom 30cm above soil level to prevent plant rot.
Clematis Piilu

Training

To grow a climber or shrub to a wall/fence, horizontal wires are the best way to go. Keep read below to find out how to train you climber against a wall or fence.

How to Train Climbers:

  1. Planting

    Plant the climber around 30-45cm from the base of the wall/fence. This will allow enough room for room development.

  2. Remove ties

    Remove all ties provided upon delivery from the supplier. Use scissors to cut off any ties that hold the climber to its bamboo support cane.

  3. Start your support

    Select three bamboo canes to train the climber at an angle up to the wire supports on the wall. Place the bamboo canes under the wires to hold them in place, adjusting the positioning to create a fan shape. 

  4. Fix the supports

    Tie in the main shoot vertically to the wires, then fan out the side branches and tie in too. 

  5. Give your plant some TLC

    Once the plant is secured to the training structure, give your climber an initial prune and remove any weak growth with secateurs.

Our bestselling climbers:

Clematis Aromatica
Honeysuckle American Beauty
Clematis Prince William

Check out our competition – 3 days left to go!

What Bulbs to Plant in September

Easy to grow and extremely versatile, flower bulbs are a blessing for gardeners. With autumn-planting season just around the corner, discover what bulbs to plant in September and grow your very own spring garden paradise.

Daffodils

September is the perfect month for popping your Daffodil bulbs in the ground. These cheery, versatile flowers are easy to grow, bloom from March onwards and look great in pots, borders or naturalising in the grass. Perfect for any amateur and experienced gardener.

Daffodil ‘Golden Ducat
Daffodil and Narcissi Mixed

Crocus

Plant a carpet of jewel-like flowers for spring with Crocus bulbs. Easy to grow and perfect for naturalising under trees, shrubs and in lawns, fill your garden with these popular spring flowers. These delightful early spring flowers bloom from February into March.

Crocus Grand Maitre
Winter Crocus Species Mixed

Muscari

Compact plants that truly pack a punch. Easy to grow and bursting with vibrant colour, Muscari is the perfect plant for any garden. Flowering from March into April, plant them alone in pots and borders for a clustered look or pair them alongside Tulips and Daffodils to add a pop of colour to your spring displays.

Muscari Armeniacum
Muscari Cupido

Hyacinths

With rich colours and a heavenly fragrance, September is the perfect time to plant Hyacinths for March/April flowers. Plant them where you can enjoy their gorgeous scent: around walkways, in borders or on a patio.

Hyacinth Jan Bos
Hyacinth Miss Saigon

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How to Plant Muscari

Muscari with bee

Fragrant, wildlife-friendly and easy to grow, Muscari is the perfect spring flower for gardens of all sizes. Commonly known as Grape Hyacinths, these spring-flowering bulbs can be used to cover a lawn in pretty blooms, fill containers and borders with vibrant colour and add colour to any tricky, shaded spot. These highly versatile plants know no bounds, so keep reading to discover how to plant Muscari bulbs this autumn.

When do you plant Muscari?

Muscari bulbs

Our Muscari is supplied as top-quality bulbs. Plant Muscari bulbs in the autumn for spring flowers. You can plant them right up until the ground starts to freeze over. Once planted, they are great for naturalising for years of joy.

How do you plant Muscari?

Muscari pot

For containers:

Plant your bulbs around 10cm deep and space them approximately 8cm apart. The dimensions of the pot do not really matter as long as they are spaced correctly.

Plant in groups of 10 or more in the ground, and at a depth of twice the height of the bulb. They look great planted amongst other perennial plants. Tip

Muscari and Tulips

In the ground:

Plant in groups of 10 or more in the ground, and at a depth of twice the height of the bulb. They look great planted amongst other perennial plants. Tip

How and When to Prune Lavender

Pruning Lavender

Loved for their decadent, aromatic fragrance, Lavender is one of the most versatile and beautiful summer-flowering plants. These fast-growing perennials require little upkeep and are very easy to grow. However, they do benefit from an annual prune as this will help maximise flowering and keep your plants looking nice and healthy.

Keep reading our gardening guide to discover exactly when and how to prune lavender.

When should I prune Lavender?

Bee on lavender

Late summer through to early autumn is the perfect time to trim your lavender plants. When the last flush of flowers has faded, that’s the signal to get out the secateurs and do some pruning.

How do I prune lavender?

Cutting lavender

Using secateurs or scissors, simply prune the plant stems down to about an inch above the wood. This cut will help with air circulation. Also, trim away any dead or damaged stems for a tidier look.

Here are even more reasons why pruning lavender is important

  • When left to their own devices, lavender can become woody and less productive over time.
  • If you want your lavender to flower along with other plants, prune their stems to delay their flowering time.
  • Expand their flowering time throughout the whole season.

Check out our best-selling varieties:

Lavender munstead
Lavender ‘Munstead’
Lavender hidcote
Lavender ‘Hidcote’
Lavender rosea
Lavender ‘Rosea’

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What to Grow in a North Facing Garden

North facing cottage garden

Planting in north facing garden can be a real struggle. Since these gardens usually in shade for most of the day, it’s important to learn about which plants will be able to thrive in a north facing garden.

Keep reading to discover our selection of plants that will prosper in any environment with little sunshine.

Is my garden north facing?

To find out if you have a north facing garden, you need to find out the aspect of your garden – the direction that it faces. You can find this out one of two ways:

  • Go to your front door and open the compass app on your phone. With your phone facing forward, read the direction that the compass is measuring. If the reading is between 270° and 90°, your house is northfacing.
  • Simply by standing in the garden and looking where the sun is.

1. Hostas

Hostas

Hostas are versatile and well-loved foliage plants. This family of plants thrive in shade, so they are perfect for gardens that don’t receive much sunlight. Ideal plants for pots or borders.

Our top picks:

Hosta So Sweet
Hosta Collection

2. Snowdrops

Woodland plants are perfect for north facing gardens. Since woodland native plants are adapted to surviving in dark, damp areas, plants such as beautiful Snowdrops are a perfect shade-loving plant for spring.

Our top picks:

Double flowering Snowdrops
Russian Snowdrops

3. Ivy

The fast growing and reliable nature of Ivy, make them the perfect climbing plants for any north facing walls or fences. Available in a range of green, red and yellow tones, they are the perfect leafy climbers to brighten up dark spaces.

Our top picks:

Boston ivy
Boston Ivy
Virginia Creeper ivy
Virginia Creeper

4. Euonymus

One of the best things about these ultra-reliable shrubs is that they’re so easy to grow. Perfect for creating hedging or for growing in pots for a modern look. Euonymus tolerate most soils and almost any amount of sun.

Our top picks:

Euonymus Goldy
Euonymus Alatus

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How to Deadhead Flowers

Deadheading Roses

Deadheading spent flowers is essential for maintaining a neat and tidy garden. With summer now in high gear, deadheading is one of the best things you can do for your garden right now. Removing dead flowers and unruly stems helps to improve plant health and encourages more blooms.

Here’s our guide to deadheading everything in the garden.

How to Deadhead Plants

As the blooms on summer-flowering bulbs & perennials start to wilt, simply pinch off spent flowers with its stalk. Dahlias, Cosmos and Buddleias in particular benefit from a good deadheading session to encourage a longer bloom cycle.

How to Deadhead Shrubs/Climbers

To deadhead shrubs, climbers, and those tougher plants, use secateurs to cut off any spent flowers or unruly stems back to 1/4 inch above a new lateral bud.

Tip – For Roses, deadhead the individual blooms as soon as the petals begin to fall.

Q: Do all plants need deadheading?

A: No, you don’t need to deadhead all your plants. Certain plants shouldn’t be deadheaded as their spent blooms and seedheads are a great source of food for wildlife in the colder months.

Check out our deadheading tutorial on our Instagram page!

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How Much Value Does a Garden add to a Property?

House garden

The housing market is quickly rebounding post-lockdown, with house sales running 28% above pre-lockdown levels according to the latest Zoopla House Price Index, and the need for outdoor space has come a popular trend for buyers and renters.

The Office for National Statistic suggests that around 1.7 million people have been working mainly from home during lockdown, and since many people have not had the luxury of escaping into a garden, there is now a surge in people looking to move out of the city to more rural areas and get closer to nature. According to Rightmove, rental searches for gardens were up 16% this June compared to the average seen in January and February, which shows that the need for outdoor spaces has become an important factor for many people looking to move home.

Does a Garden add Value to a Property?

According to PropertyPriceAdvice, the potential value of a garden on property value can be up to 10%. Whether your property has a garden, decking or just a patio, with some simple maintenance you can transform your outdoor space into an asset for your property.

How can I add value with my garden?

According to new research from Post Office Money, landscaping your garden could increase your property value by 77%. So to help grab attention from potential buyers, here are some simple home improvements to upgrade your garden

1. Cut the grass

A simple, freshly cut lawn is a great way to make a good first impression with potential buyers. Since the lawn is the first thing anyone sees when stepping on to a property,  a tidy, well maintained lawn gives the impression that the whole home is maintained.

2. Potted plants

potted plants in the garden

Versatile and mobile, potted plants are great for giving any garden a face-lift.  Give your garden a fresh and presentable look for showing with bright, fresh flowers like white Tulips in the springtime, or grow modern foliage Hostas for summer pots.

3. Weeding

Weeding plants

When showing a garden, presentation is a priority. Make sure to clean up the garden by tidying up and pulling out any pesky weeds to keep your garden looking its best.

4. Create garden zones

Garden seating area

If you have enough outdoor space, why not create some secluded zones to add a unique touch to your garden. By adding a garden shed or throwing up an outdoor screen to create a seating area, you can transform a standard garden into an interesting space for relaxation and entertainment.

5. Keep it Simple

Fern plant

According to Garden Design, low maintenance plants have become a big trend in 2020, especially foliage plants. Plants like Heucheras and Ferns are ideal for amateur and experienced gardeners alike as they require very little maintenance, as well as less watering and pruning than other plants.

Wildlife Garden Competition

With summer in full swing, now is the prime time to see bees, butterflies and other little pollinators enjoying the summer flowers. So this August, get out your cameras as we’re throwing a Wildlife Garden Competition!

What can I win?

Just sit back in the garden and snap photos of your garden visitors, and one lucky winner will WIN A WILDLIFE FLOWER BULB BUNDLE (WORTH £50)!

Here’s how to enter:

  • Send us your best wildlife garden photos (entrants can send in multiple entries).

How do I enter?

To enter our Wildlife Garden Competition, send your photos in via our social media channels:

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

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

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

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

SEND IN YOUR ENTRIES BY AUG 30TH 2020

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 Wildlife Garden Competition entries must be sent in before midnight on Aug 30th 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.

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.

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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