How late to plant spring-flowering bulbs

Many believe that early-mid autumn is the only time window for planting spring-flowering bulbs, but the truth is, if you miss this timeframe, don’t worry; there’s still plenty of time to plant bulbs. Keep reading to view our tips for planting spring-flowering bulbs in late autumn and winter.

When should you stop planting spring bulbs?

Tulips, Daffodils and all other spring flowering bulbs are normally planted throughout September, October and November. However, if you still have spring bulbs to plant, you can still plant them in December, as long as the ground isn’t frozen. A good rule of thumb is as long as it’s still mild, it isn’t too late. You can even keep planting tulip bulbs into January if the weather allows!

What do you do if the ground is frozen?

If the ground is frozen, there’s another option. Plant your remaining bulbs in pots using potting soil and store them in a dark, cool place over winter (e.g. garage or cellar), until the ground becomes workable again.

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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

The Most Iconic Flowers in Film

Watch Big Fish | Prime Video
Big Fish, 2003

Flowers in film take on brand new meanings. From representing love, innocence or rage, flowers have taken an important supporting role in films for decades. Keep reading to discover some of the most iconic floral moments in cinema.

City Lights
City Lights, 1931

The story of Charlie Chaplin’s Tramp and how he falls in love with a blind flower girl. Throughout the film we see the Tramp with a flower that he received from the Flower Girl on the street. The flower symbolizes beauty and the Tramp’s love for the Flower Girl.

The Wizard of Oz
Image
The Wizard of Oz, 1939

The classic movie The Wizard of Oz was the first Hollywood film released in Technicolour. There’s no end to the displays of beautiful flowers shown throughout the film, however one of the most vibrant scenes of the film is when Dorothy is found sleeping in a large field of scarlet poppies, which have long been used to represent sleep and peace throughout history.

Vertigo
Vertigo - Flower Shop — Reel SF
Vertigo, 1959

Flowers are a recurring motif in Hitchcock’s masterpiece Vertigo. At the beginning of the movie, Madeleine enters a magnificent florist and buys a beautiful and delicate bunch of nosegay flowers. The bouquet appears again several times, most notably when Madeleine stands at the edge of San Francisco Bay, plucking petals from the flowers and tossing them into the water. The destruction of the bouquet mirrors Madeleine’s fixation on self-destruction.

Big Fish
Big Fish, 2004

The mesmerising daffodil field in the 2003 iconic film, Big Fish, is one of the most iconic use of flowers in film. Upon opening the window to Edward Bloom standing in a sea of sunshine-yellow daffodils, Sandra realises that every flower was planted for her.

Alice in Wonderland
Alice in Wonderland, 2010

From roses, iris, daisies, pansies, tulips and sweetpeas, there is no shortage of flowers in Alice in Wonderland. When Alice chases the White Rabbit, she runs into a flower garden where she meets a large group of beautiful flowers. The Flowers of Wonderland who live near the White Rabbit’s House are sentient beings who love to sing. 

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.

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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 be Safe on Bonfire Night

Guy Fawkes night is back again! With many of us celebrating bonfire night at home this year, here are some helpful tips and tricks for keeping you, your loved ones, and the local wildlife safe during the celebrations.

Keep Water Nearby

If you’re throwing a garden firework display this year, make sure you keep a bucket of water nearby. Soak both spent and unused fireworks in water for a few hours before discarding. Never go back to a lit firework, even if it fails to go off.

Distance is Essential

When lighting fireworks, light them at arm’s length with a taper and stand well back. When watching your beautiful sparkly displays, always keep a safe distance (around 5-8 meters). Then grab a blanket, kick back and watch the fireworks show.

Wildlife Safety

If you’re making a bonfire this November, try and make your bonfires on the same day you’ll be lighting them to avoid small wildlife making their home inside them. It is important to check bonfires for any sleeping wildlife before lighting!

Also, animals are a lot more sensitive to big flashes and loud bangs than we are. So make sure to keep your pets away from the display to keep them as comfortable and calm as possible.

Be Safe With Sparklers

Though great fun for kids and adults alike, a few simple safety tips can keep sparklers fun. Always wear gloves with sparklers, preferably leather ones. Hold it at arm’s length when lit and always use in a clear space away from others. 

Now you know what precautions you need to make, here are some ideas on how to celebrate bonfire night this year:

  • Make some traditional bonfire night treats (treacle toffee cake, toffee apples, smores)
  • Play some board games indoors
  • Light some sparklers in the garden

Check out some of our other blogs!

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!

How Gardening Helps the Environment

Whatever the size, our gardens can help the environment in lots of ways. To help reduce the human impact on the environment and the world we live in, here are some fantastic environmental gardening tips to bring into your outdoor space.

Helps tackle pollution

Planting particular trees has been shown to improve local air quality. Garden trees do a great job trapping pollution particles, absorbing toxic gases and producing oxygen; this helps to mitigate the harmful air pollution that’s released from the engines of our cars and machines. The best trees to plant to help reduce pollution are maples including ornamental acers, silver birch, alder and conifers. Acers are a great choice for those with little outdoor space, as dwarf varieties are perfect for patios and pots.

Reduces noise pollution

Since many homes in the UK are close to busy roads, we have a few methods for soundproofing your garden and reducing unwanted noise pollution. Planting shrubs is one of the effective ways to lessen the noise in your garden. For instance, shrubs like Hollies and Junipers have thick branches at ground level, which can help reduce traffic noise. Once these shrubs reach maturity, they will create a barrier to stop noise travelling.

Why not try encouraging wildlife into your outdoor space? Plant pollinator-friendly plants and you’ll be joined by an abundance of pleasant, natural sound — which is a great distraction from external noise.

Protects natural habitats

Birds and squirrels need a natural habitat in which they can thrive — and the garden can be the perfect place for them. Planting trees and hedging is an easy environmental gardening technique to create natural homes for all the small local mammals. Fragrant flowers like spring-flowering Muscari or Roses also attract butterflies and bees, which are great pollinators who benefit the environment.

Reduces urban “heat islands”

As cities grow, natural greenery is replaced with concrete. These building materials become impermeable and dry, which causes cities to heat up, creating “heat islands”. Since gardens in London are 26% smaller than the national average, according to the Office of National Statistics, many city dwellers need to be practical when it comes to gardening. A rooftop garden can have amazing environmental and social benefits. Green roofs provide shade, remove heat from the air, and reduce temperatures of the roof surface. Using green roofs in built-up environments with limited vegetation can moderate the heat island effect, particularly during the day. 

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The Best Autumn Woodland Walks in the North

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is shutterstock_705750727.jpg

With the leaves changing colour and birds singing, autumn is the perfect season to go and enjoy the wonderful beauty of nature. So if you’re looking for a nice place to go and wander, here’s our favourite natural beauty spots in the North of England to go to this autumn.

Dunham Massey, Greater Manchester

Escape the hustle and bustle of the city and head to this delightful village for a breath of fresh air. This easy walking route follows a circular route around the impressive grounds of Dunham Massey Hall. Spend a frosty morning or sunny autumn afternoon trailing through the magnificent deer park with its 17th century mill and the tranquil Island and Smithy pools.

Allen Banks Ancient Woodland, Northumberland

Set on the steep valley sides of the river Allen, go on a spontaneous day out and explore the woods and see what wildlife you can spot on this gentle riverside walk. It’s the largest area of ancient woodland in Northumberland and has been here since at least medieval times.

Formby Woodland Walk, Merseyside

UK coastal walks: Formby – is this Britain's most exhilarating coastal  landscape?

Take a leisurely stroll through the pine woodland of Formby. With many different paths to take, look out for red squirrels, sweeping coastal pinewoods, prehistoric footprints and dramatic sand dunes are just waiting to be discovered.

Wallington River Walk, Northumberland

Enjoy the river walk around the beautiful Wallington Hall grounds. With the trees changing colour, take a tranquil walk along the banks of the River Wansbeck, crossing over bridges, stepping stones and enjoying the local wildlife as you go. The perfect walk for any season.

Alderly Edge Woodland Walk, Cheshire

Alderley Edge picked as one of the most romantic destinations in the UK |  Knutsford Guardian

There are many different walks to take around Alderly Edge. Enjoy the stunning views from The Edge while avoiding the crowds at this popular tourist spot, or head south from Alderley Edge and explore quiet lanes, mixed woodland, field paths and find the remnants of the Birtles estate.