Top Ten Garden Quotes

For when you need a little inspiration…

From the inspiring and profound, to the practical or the downright silly! We’ve collected some of our favourite quotes to feed your enthusiasm and get you out into your gardens.

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A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.

– Greek proverb

Man-and-Boy-planting-tree

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Remember that children, marriages, and flower gardens reflect the kind of care they get.

– H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

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Doug-Larson

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One of the least arduous but most productive of gardening jobs, the magic of deadheading never fails to delight me. It was a revelation when the principle was explained to me: that flowers are the attempt by the plant to reproduce itself. So if you cut the heads off before the flower turns into seeds, the plant will continue to flower.

– Tom Hodgkinson

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Clive-Anderson

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Plant and your spouse plants with you; weed and you weed alone.

– Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Butterflies--duo

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My garden is my most beautiful masterpiece.

– Claude Monet

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Shrubs_Horizontal

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Gardens are not made by singing ‘Oh, how beautiful,’ and sitting in the shade.

– Rudyard Kipling

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Top 10 Exotic Plants for your Garden

Our top ten exotic plants to liven up your patio and garden displays in 2017.

There’s nothing like bringing a taste of the exotic to your garden in summer, and when these plants come to life they cannot be beaten for vibrancy and interest!

1. Bird of paradise (Strelitzia reginae)

Bird-of-paradise-flower-shutterstock

Where better to start than with this attractive ornamental plant, also known as a Crain flowers for its tropical bird like shape. Surprisingly easy to grow, they hold an RHS Award of garden merit.

2. Datura Hybrids or Brugmansia

Datura

These impressive patio plants are also known as Angel’s Trumpets. The magnificent flowers on this tree like plant are perfect for growing in large tubs on a sunny patio. Best to move indoors or to a greenhouse in winter.

3. Passiflora

Passiflora

An amazing sight on a summers day – these climbing plants, commonly known as Passion Flowers, produce a constant flow of exotic shaped flowers throughout summer. The summer fruit is edible and can be used for making jam, for a good crop grow in a greenhouse.

4. Zantedeschia

calla-2

An increasingly popular choice, these distinctive flowers, known as Calla Lilies, are an expensive treat that can be grown indoors, or outside.

5. Mimosa Acacia

Acacia-Mimosa-

This fragrant beauty is heavy with masses of dainty yellow flowers bubbling over its feathered foliage. Only when its growing on your patio will you appreciate why its name was given to a very popular cocktail!

6. Dipladenia Sundaville

Sundaville-Red-and-Pink-Mandevilla

Sensational patio or conservatory plants that can also be trained up a trellis. They will flower from spring to October outdoors and up to Christmas in a conservatory.

7. Callistemon Citrinus ‘Splendens’

Bottle_brush_Callistemon-Citrinus

Add a dramatic flash of colour to your garden with this vibrant red flowered plant, also known as the Red Bottle brush plant.

8. Bougainvillea

Bougainvillea

These stunning flowering plants have become an increasingly popular patio choice, producing an abundance of bright tubular flowers in summer and autumn.

9. Canna Tropicanna®

Tropicanna

These vigorous growing Canna grow really well in the UK. The spears of foliage are an amazing sight caught in sunlight, with tropical flowers simply an added bonus!

10. Patio and Greenhouse Fruit

Grape-Cabernet-Sauvignon

Ever thought of growing your own Grapes? They are a magnificent treat and will grow really well in a greenhouse. Or if you don’t have a greenhouse and are a little short on space we have a whole range of Dwarf Fruit Trees that will make an excellent addition to your patios or conservatory. For exotic flavours try Figs, Limes, Lemons, Mandarins, or our new Pepino Melon.

Top Ten – Ground Cover Perennials

Top ten ground cover plants to get you covered in 2017!

We’ve picked our top ten choices for this year – including some reliable old favourites and some exciting new varieties. Sorted in order of flowering season.

1. Phlox subulata

Phlox-Subulata-

Flowers April-May. Also known as creeping Phlox these are invaluable groundcover, ideal for trailing over walls or rockeries. No pruning required!

2. AubrietaAubrieta

Flowers April-May. Left to spread naturally Aubrieta are a delight in early spring.

3. Brunnera macrophylla Jack Frost

Brunnera-Macrophylla-Jack-Frost-

Flowers April-May. Expansive silvery foliage with sprays of pretty blue flowers – this is a great option for a shaded spot that needs a bit of cover. Good pest resistance.

4. Helianthemum (Sun Rose)

Helianthemum

Flowers May-June. Also known as the Rock Rose, these sun loving sprawling plants flower prolifically through the summer, each bloom lasting only one day.

5. Sedum Kamtschaticum

Sedum-Kamtschaticum-Rock-Creeper-

Flowers May-July. A mound of glossy green foliage with buttery yellow flowers in summer.

6. Campanula Carpatica

Campanula-carpatica

Flowers May-August. Masses of stunning violet blue bellflowers formed in clumps – an RHS Award of Garden Merit winner and perfect for suppressing weeds.

7. Sedum pulchellum Sea Star

Sedum-pulchellum

Flowers May-August. Robust and unusual low growing perennial. Sprays of thin glossy green leaves cover in pale pink star-shaped flowers.

8. Lewisia Cotyledon Mixed

 

Lewisia-cotyledon

Flowers May-August. A colourful, hardy perennial also known as bitter root. They like good drainage and full sun – perfect for rockeries.

9. Prunella Grandiflora

Prunella-grandiflora

 

Flowers June-July. Evergreen foliage with pink or white flowers in June and July, very effective as ground cover.

10. Aster ericoides Snow Flurry

 

Aster-Snowflurry

Flowers September-October. A new aster that makes great ground cover, smothering weeds with the dense needle like foliage and producing masses of daisy like flowers. Very tough and easy to grow.

To browse our full range of Ground Cover Plants please click here

Plug Plants in Trays – Which size should you choose?

A selection of our top quality bedding and basket plants are available in a choice of up to three different plug sizes. We’ve compiled this handy guide to help you choose which one is best for you.

Rapid Plugs

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These are the smallest plugs we offer and the earliest to be delivered. Exceptional value, we supply these in trays of 120, each robust 4-7cm plug has strong roots.

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Care

All our rapid plugs are delivered from March/early April.

They require potting on in a light humid atmosphere at a temperature above 15C while they establish, and can be planted out into their final location once rick of frost has passed, these plugs are supplied at a height of 4-7cm and plug diameter of 1.7cm.

Click on the link below to watch our helpful how to video tutorial with our garden expert Jeff Turner on planting Petunia Frenzy supplied as Rapid Plugs.

Maxi Plug Plant Trays

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These incredibly popular plug high quality plants are grown in Maxi Trays of either 33 or 66 plants, each plant measuring from 6 to 8cm in length, depending on the variety, the plug itself is 3.7cm in height as illustrated.

Our specially designed blister packs are delivered in a specially designed sleeve for added protection to get them to you nursery fresh.

 

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Care

Plant straight away upon arrival into pots or containers. Pot up for a number of weeks (minimum of two-three) and then plant out into final position once the roots have become established. Water regularly and make sure soil does not become too dry. Perfect for pots, containers, borders or window displays. Only plant outside when all risk of frost has passed.

Click to watch our helpful how to video tutorial with our garden expert Jeff Turner on planting Dianthus barbatus / Sweet William supplied as Maxi Plugs.

Garden Ready Plant Trays

at-a-glance-garden-ready

This year we are introducing a new plug plant option to our budding range, the garden ready plug.

These premium plants are out easiest to grow, and are supplied in trays of 30 at a height of up to 15cm. Each plug plan measures 5cm in diameter. These are delivered individually and later than our Rapid or Maxi Plugs – from mid-May.

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Care

They are ready to be planted straight into their final location on arrival. This makes them the best choice for novice gardeners as they don’t require the same time and effort as smaller plugs.

Jumbo Plug Plants

Many of our summer bedding and basket plants are supplied as jumbo plugs, please see in catalogue or in the copy of individual varieties on our website to check this. Where this is the case, you will receive our quality jumbo plugs which are between 7 and 11cm from base to tip, ready for planting straight into baskets, borders and pots.

Care

Please see individual varieties for extra planting tips, but we recommend you plant 3 or 4 in an average 30cm basket or pot and put outside from early May. If the weather is cool on arrival, pot on for 2/3 weeks before transplanting in to a basket outside.

Winter Favourites

winter-birdbath

When autumn leaves are falling, there’s a chill in the air. Gardeners across the country are frantically trying to get the last of that years plants in the ground. Right before a frost settles in you know that winter is well on its way!

With some careful planning there is no reason for the cold winter months to mean the drab winter months in your garden!

Our favourite Winter Shrubs

This is a rundown of our favourite winter flowering shrubs guaranteed to breathe some life and colour back into a winter garden.

Viburnum

Very hardy, deciduous shrubs which produce dense clusters of richly perfumed flowers, often followed by berries. There are a dizzying array of viburnum varieties, with huge variations in leaf shape and forms of flower heads. Some are evergreen and some deciduous, some flower in winter. Others late in spring! The variety and versatility make them invaluable for gardeners seeking all year round interest. Viburnums are our 2016 November Plant of the month – you can find that article HERE.

Our Top choice Viburnum | Viburnum x bodnantense Dawn

viburnum-bodnantense-dawn

A very hardy, deciduous shrub which produces dense clusters of richly perfumed, deep rose pink flowers which eventually fade to candyfloss pink. They eventually white by late spring. In summer, attractive round purple berries are produced. Foliage is huge, ovate and toothed, with deeply scored veins. It has an almost quilted look. It boasts a particularly long season of interest, one of the many reasons it was awarded the prestigious RHS Award of Garden Merit.

Skimmia

Fairly compact evergreen shrub that flowers from spring into early summer. Known for being hardy they are equally happy in a border or in containers on a patio. With a compact habit they are fairly low maintenance, perfect for growing in borders or containers on a patio.

Sarcococca (Christmas Box)

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Amazingly easy to grow, dense and reliable evergreen. It has slender, tapering shiny leaves and produces sweetly fragranced flowers from December to February. After flowering, Christmas Box produces an abundance of attractive berries. Excellent in partial shade, even in drier soils.

Ilex (Holly)

Evergreen Hollies (or Ilex) will give all year round pleasure from the vivid new growth in spring and early summer to the berries in winter. When birds can’t find anything else to eat they will flock to the holly bush. Stems of holly are ideal for winter floral arrangements, and look particularly dazzling when painted silver or white. English Holly (Ilex aquifolium) is our December Plant of the Month.

Edgeworthia chrysantha

Edgeworthia chrysantha

This winter flowering gem was named after Michael Pakenham Edgeworth. It was collected it in the Himalayas and brought it back to Britain in the mid-1800s. Cinnamon coloured branches provide a stunning contrast to the clusters of fragrant, tubular yellow flowers. A great plant for the winter garden, they rarely succumb to pests and diseases, but will need a sheltered spot.

Chinese Witch Hazel

Exotic Chinese witch hazel (also known as Hamamelis) are deciduous, winter flowering shrubs that produce clusters of sweetly scented. Crinkled flowers in a range of fiery shades, bursting into life like mini firework displays from December to March.

Corylus avellana Contorta (Corkscrew Hazel)

corylus-contorta-with-catkins

A real conversation piece. This unusual and resilient deciduous shrub has the most amazing twisted stems and branches earning it the common name corkscrew hazel. In summer the branches bear a tangle of broadly ovate green leaves followed later by nuts. In late winter and early spring a mass of weeping yellow catkins unfurl. This curious variety has gained the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit. A great architectural plant and an ideal choice for creating a wildlife garden attracting moths, butterflies and a variety of insects as well as birds and squirrels. A slow growing shrub, it will reach around 1.8-2m after ten years.

Chimonanthus praecox

Chimonanthus praecox - Wintersweet

These are a truly striking sight, producing unusual pendant yellow flowers on leafless branches in winter. The flowers have a strong spicy fragrance, and last from November until February. It will grow into a good sized rounded shrub, or can it can be trained to grow against a trellis or wall. Introduced from China it is also known as ‘wintersweet’ or ‘Japanese Allspice’. They are hardy and noted for being able to survive a frost. Although will appreciated a sunny, sheltered spot in the garden where they will make the most of the summer heat, ripening in winter where, after a good summer they will produce abundant flowers. These are a real winter beauty, and will not carry the same impact when it has lost its flowers. So it is worth considering their position carefully where space is at a premium – although its brilliant fragrance and particular beauty in the winter make it well worth growing.

Dogwood (Cornus)

Spectacular bushy shrubs, ideal for creating a showy feature in the garden, they bring a burst of colour that is particularly valuable in a drab winter garden. The shoots can also be used as part of an imaginative indoor cut-flower display, perhaps even spraying them gold and silver for a festive look. We’d recommend planting in groups of three for a truly fantastic show in winter once all the other colour is gone.

Our top Cornus Choice: Cornus Midwinter Fire

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Cornus Midwinter Fire (commonly known as dogwood) is a shrub which produces ovate, mid-green leaves and small, cream/white flowers in May and June. However, the flowers are not the star of this show. In autumn, Cornus Midwinter Fire stays true to it s namesake, slowly revealing brilliant flame-coloured stems as the leaves fall away. Shoots begin a yellow-orange, with the tips turning a brilliant red as the season goes on, giving the shrub a flaming look.

Lonicera purpusii Winter Beauty

honeysuckle-lonicera-purpusii

Also known as the winter flowering honeysuckle. Masses of creamy-white, fragrant flowers are produced in midwinter. This plant flowers reliably by Christmas year after year, flowers lasting until early spring. Sprigs can be used for scented winter flower arrangements. We’d recommend planting Winter Beauty as a standalone specimen in the border, but it can also be trained up a wall or fence.

Mahonia

Fabulous evergreen shrubs producing large leaves, autumn flowers followed by colourful berries all throughout the winter months. With their compact habits they will work well in a mixed border, ideal for partnering with over evergreen shrubs such as Buxus, Camellia or a Photinia Red Robin.

Our Top Mahonia Choice | Charity Cabaret

The Mahonia Nitens Cabaret also known as Oregon Grape, is an amazing new introduction to the Mahonia range. It will produce the usual glossy holly like evergreen leaves you would expect from a Mahonia. It is a compact variety and produces its flowers from the end of summer and right through the autumn, with stunning oranges and reds. After the flowers have bloomed, blue berries will form, these work wonderfully with the winter foliage.

Jasmine

This marvellous fragrant shrub will flower throughout the summer and into the winter months. It presents gorgeous dainty star shaped flowers, usually pure white, pale buttery yellow or very rarely deep pink. A stunning adornment for any trellis, fence or wall, the pretty flowers bring a distinctive sweet scent. It will do well in most soils, can be pruned in early spring to keep to a tidy shape and keep it nice and healthy for repeated stunning displays year after year.

Our Top Choice | Trachelospermum jasminoides (Jasmine)

Trachelospermum jasminoides. Star Jasmin

A highly fragrant, vigorous climber that produces clusters of beautiful, star shaped pure white flowers from June throughout the summer months, which turn to cream with age. It has dark green leaves which turn bronze in winter. It is best to grow Trachelospermum jasminoides against a warm, sunny wall. Can climb to 8m, however prune after flowering to size required. This Jasmine is a stunning addition, for a wonderful display throughout the summer months perfuming the air with its sweet fragrance.

Callicarpia profusion

callicarpa-profusion

Also known as ‘Beauty berry’, it is a beautiful eye-catching medium sized deciduous shrub which produces masses of tiny star shaped lilac flowers in summer. When pollinated, these start to form the outstanding clusters of vibrant purple, almost metallic berries we see in autumn and winter. Not only do these berries bring a welcome splash of colour at a time when there is very little, they also provide a valuable source of food for birds during the colder months which they will thank you for. It is not just the berries that are showy- young leaves begin a bronzy purple colour, maturing to deep green in summer and fading to lime green, then eventually plum purple in autumn. We’d recommend planting in groups of three.

Gardening for Shaded Areas


Shade Gardening

If you find that your garden has limited access to natural light then fear not, there are still many plants available for growing in partial or even fully shaded areas.

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Highly shaded areas need not be a deterrent to getting active in the garden and are in fact increasing becoming more popular as gardeners in many urban areas are finding ways of making the most of every possible little piece of space. Be creative and you will easily find something that can fill almost every little corner of the garden.

Balcony in Ang Mo Kio area. Growing flowers and herbs in hanging pots balcony/corridor is very popular in Singapore .
Balcony in Ang Mo Kio area. Growing flowers and herbs in hanging pots in a balcony or corridor is very popular in Singapore.

Creating your own border when light is restricted can actually be an easy process and doesn’t differ too much from planning a sunny border.

But first!

Two essential considerations when selecting shade loving plants….

  • Good drainage
  • Make sure the soil receives a good level of nutrients

During the wetter periods of the year and in particular when little light is present to absorb the extra moisture on the surface, good drainage will help maintain a good growing environment and provide the best chance possible for the roots. Because the sun is restricted then you can help the plants in shaded areas by adding a natural organic substance or fertiliser to the soil to help enrich the soil. This will help replace the nutrients that may be missing and hopefully help avoid the soil from drying out.

shadey garden path

Creating your own border when light is limited can be an easy process. When choosing plants have a check to see if they will tolerate partial shade or full shade, then let your own preference be the guide. Have a look now at some of our suggested plants and bulbs, all suitable for planting now in preparation for flowering next year.

Perennials

The range of perennial plants and shrubs available is quite extensive and there is sure to be something for everyone.

Hosta

Hosata smaller

Designer Hostas are a popular choice because of the wonderful foliage they offer and can really add a touch of class to the border.

Ferns

Mixed ferns

Ferns will prosper beautifully and come in such a variety of colours that they must be worth a try.

Tricyrtis

Toad lilies

Tricyrtis (Toad Lilies) can also be used to add an unusual effect with their truly amazing spotted flowers in autumn.

Heuchera

Heuchera

The front of a border can benefit from the stunning foliage that Heuchera can bring, particularly since recent developments in breeding have introduced new colourful varieties such as ‘Autumn Leaves’ (bright ruby red foliage) and ‘Plum Royale’ (shiny purple foliage). These low-growing plants will easily fill gaps and spaces in the border that may be left between larger trees and shrubs.

Convallaria Bordeaux

4.1.2

If you would like to add little fragrance in spring then we suggest trying the very reliable Convallaria Bordeaux (Giant Lily of the Valley), great for planting in groups where the white flowers show themselves from the middle of spring on wards.

Monarda

Monarda

Monarda are a superb choice for fragrance in summer and autumn, where the spiky head flowers are complimented by a wonderful mint aroma.

Bergenia Erioca

Bergenia Erioca

A new improved version of the more common Bergenia. The hardiness of Bergenia makes it suitable for gardens all over the country, even in some of the colder parts of northeast Scotland.

Shrubs

Popular shrubs for a shade-loving border come in all shapes and sizes. Some can be grown as stand-alone items in a border, while all those listed below will work side-by-side with many perennials and shrubs to add a really varied showing.

Big leaf Hydrangea

Hydrangea Magical Revolution Blue

The big leaf varieties will do well in shade. Our pick is Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Magical Revolution Blue,’ which will tolerate even fully shaded areas where almost no natural light gets in. This variety produces large headed blue flowers, which actually turn deep purple as the flowers mature.

Juniper Sky Rocket

Juniper Rocket Juniperus

A marvellous narrow conifer tree that can grow up to 3m, and because of its slender column shape it will not restrict light for other areas of the garden.

Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia Creeper)

Parthenocissus quinquefolia - Virginia Creeper growng with Hedera - Ivy on house wall

If you have a south-facing or a wall where light is obstructed then why not try growing a climber up the wall, with Virginia Creeper the ideal candidate because of its remarkable leaf colourings, especially in autumn.

Vinca major ‘Variegata’

Vinca Major Variegata

A great variegated leafed evergreen shrub that will grow in almost any garden soil and location. Wonderful for growing underneath trees as well, where the blue flowers appearing in spring can last up until autumn.

Pachysandra terminalis

Pachysandra terminalis

For year around appeal you could also try the increasingly popular Pachysandra terminalis, which will save hours of intensive garden labour by suppressing weeds and acting as a ground cover shrub. The vivid green, succulent foliage is a real sight when planted in rows and can act as a low growing path boundary or screen.

Bulbs

A good way to make the most of shaded areas under trees and large shrubs is the introduction of naturalising bulbs, which left undisturbed over time will often multiply to create a beautiful woodland effect.

English grown Daffodils and Narcissi bulbs

Narcissi

Many varieties are suitable to grow is shaded areas and our favourites to give a try are ‘Cheerfulness’ (Showy double white variety), ‘St. Patrick’s Day’ (Lemon yellow blooms) and the original native UK Daffodil ‘Obvallaris’, fondly known as the Tenby Daffodil. (Illustrated in order mentioned from left to right).

Crocus and Miscellaneous bulbs

misc bulbs

Great for planting en masse and leaving to multiply in highly shaded areas. The dwarf nature of these perennial bulbs make they great for adding a little bit of colour where needed. For some spring colour try planting Crocus ‘Prince Claus’ (colourful blend of white and blue) or the wonderful yellow Crocus ‘Fuscotinctus’. Iris reticulata ‘Cantab’ will offer an enchanting pale blue display or the popular Muscari armeniacum will create a sea of lavender blue/purple.

Bluebells

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The perfect flower to round up our list. Coming across bluebells in the wild is a real treat and many people like to grow their own. They love being planted under trees and are a real delight in dappled shade. Also supply these in the green for easy transplantation and reliable results.

How to: Attract Wildlife to the Garden

butterfly on violet scabiosa
Wild butterfly on a violet scabiosa

You can easily attract various wildlife to your garden all year around by allocating just a little bit of time and space to your garden this Autumn. For many people wildlife is a welcomed addition to the garden providing extra character. Also the knowledge that they are doing their bit to help with British conservation.

Online now you will find many varieties of plants and shrubs which will help you along the way, by both attracting and providing food/shelter for various forms of wildlife. Composting and letting a few patches of your garden grow a little wild will help to encourage visitors (and what gardener needs to be told the virtues of compost!).

If you have the space grow trees and big shrubs. By devoting even the smallest part of your garden to attracting wildlife you can turn it into a paradise for beneficial birds, mammals and insects.

bird hanging under peanut birdfeeder (goldfinch)Birds

Birds are attracted to areas where they find both food and shelter. A good way of doing so in the autumn/winter is by planting up shrubs and trees which produce berries, such as Ilex (Holly), Pyracantha or Gaultheria. Not only will they produce valuable food but they also produce some much needed ornamental value in the Winter months. A bird table is also a fantastic way of enticing birds into a specific area of the garden. Ornamental grasses are also a popular way of making the garden appealing to seed eating birds.

Butterflies

They will visit most gardens, especially if they find plants in sunny or sheltered locations. The secret here is to make available nectar rich, fragrant flowers which are colourful and from which they feed.

Perennail strip for Blog pollinatoors
Lavender, Buddleia, Syringa, Forsythia and Echinacea are just a few fantastic garden favourites for attracting butterflies and all look great in the garden!

SquirrelSquirrels

Of course, they are fascinating wildlife to watch as they scurry around during the day. They feed off acorns, buds, nuts, berries and seeds. They will initially appear scared and frightened but with regular feeding they will soon feel at home in your garden. They are easily found around woodland areas, large trees, beech tress. Squirrels are especially attracted to your bird feeders, although take caution as they can damage them over time.

Toads

Provide water and shelter for Toads! These are great for keeping unwanted pests at bay and if you have a pond or one nearby its likely you already have Frogs and Toads living nearby. (If you have a dog remember Toads will release skin secretions which are toxic to dogs).

Hedgehogs

A pile of old logs or bricks, some overgrown grass or turned over empty pots can all help with providing shelter for animals. Hedgehogs will happily take advantage of your hospitality and thank you by eating pesky slugs and snails. An ideal natural defender of you Hosta plants!


The Amazing Colour Changing Hydrangea!

Hydrangea paniculata Vanilla Fraise. Pure white cones of flowers, gradually maturing to a delicious shade of raspberry pink and then to red in autumn.
Hydrangea paniculata Vanilla Fraise. Pure white cones of flowers, gradually maturing to a delicious shade of raspberry pink and then to red in autumn.

These big beautiful shrubs are hugely popular and why not? Lush broad foliage with huge clusters of flowers that change colour in different soils – what’s not to love! Most Hydrangeas like the morning sun and will thrive if planted in a shady or partially shaded area – especially the big leaf varieties.

The big bold “flowers” on the mophead are actually colourful leaves so in a botanical sense aren’t flowers at all. Beautiful to look at BUT not as useful to anyone creating a garden with wildlife in mind. For that you need the lace-cap varieties which are loaded with pollen so great for bees, butterflies and other useful insects.

Colour changes:

Colour changes in hydrangeas occur naturally as the plants mature – but the PH levels of your soil will affect blue and pink varieties especially the big leaf varieties.

Back Camera
Simply put:

 

If the pH level of your soil is more acidic then Hydrangeas will turn blue, going mauve in neutral soils and pink in alkaline. (Neutral is pH 7.0)

Know your soils! – you can buy tests to check the pH levels of you garden soil from most garden centres OR if you’re lucky enough to be living next door to a keen gardener make friends with them and you might pick up a bit of local knowledge!

Hydrangea Mixed Collection Mophead 1005707

Urban myth or amazing fact?

Rusty nails will turn a Hydrangea blue!

Sorry but we couldn’t possibly go around dispelling advice passed down for generations here! However if you do decide to try this make sure you:

  • DON’T damage the root of the Hydrangea when you add your nails
  • DO plant the nails 8-10 inches away from the base of the Hydrangea
  • DO plant the nails at 8-10 inches intervals around the base of the Hydrangea
  • DON’T do it at all if you have inquisitive pets (or children) who might dig them up and hurt themselves!

Confusing fact!

White and green flowered Hydrangeas will generally keep their colour regardless of soil PH – although the pink and blue varieties that do change colour often will mature to white and green!

An easy way to keep your Hydrangea’s true to their colour is to grow them in containers or raised flower beds. Hard water from taps can also effect a change in colour so use rainwater to water your hydrangeas where you can. Saving and using rainwater has the added bonus of saving money on your water bills and being great for the environment!

Read more about creating an Eco friendly garden here.

HYDRANGEA TEXT

Our Top Pick

Hydrangea Change Colour Collection

A superb collection of two premium, colour changing Hydrangeas which really do make the ultimate statement in the summer garden, from July to October. You will receive one each of Magical Amethyst (lime-green and Pink) and Magical Revolution (blue and purple).

 

Some simple ways to create an eco-friendly garden

With economic difficulties over the past few years and with an increased attention given to environmental issues (both domestically and around the world) now is a great time to take stock and evaluate exactly how environmentally friendly (eco-friendly) our gardens actually are.

Eco
Eco Friendly Gardening is all the rage

We may never reach the scales of the popular 70’s BBC show ‘The Good Life’ but we can all do a little here and there to help. Regardless of whether your garden has an aesthetic focus (ornamental only) or a productive (food producing) focus there are many small, simple to implement and relatively low cost techniques which can easily be introduce to improve the overall friendliness of the garden.

Reduce, Reuse and Recycle – The overall goal should be to create a wonderful garden; somewhere you can easily relax and enjoy the rewards of all your hard work. Simultaneously this should be done with one eye on the environment! Eco-gardening is a way of making the garden more self-sustainable by reducing the energy /water the garden uses up, improving air circulation, promoting recycling, attracting wildlife and in essence being less wasteful.

Saving on water is a great way to get started – One of the best ways to get start is to look at ways in which you can reduce the amount of water used in the garden around the year. By using water from the mains less and less you will help significantly to reduce the overall national water use rate, but on a domestic level you should see the yearly household water bill come down (which can be no bad thing). Some key ways to reduce water used are as follows :

  • Water plants early in the morning or late at night. Watering during hot periods (such as lunchtime and early afternoon) when the sun is at its strongest will waste water due to evaporation and will be less beneficial to the plants themselves.
  • Watering
    Watering at the right times can reduce water waste

    Install a water butt and re-use rainwater. Why not, it’s free and will reduce your water bills? Water butts can be an efficient and cost effective way to collect and reuse natural rainwater. The beauty of living in a country like Britain is that we get plenty of rainfall throughout the year. The thought that we do not collect and reuse this, instead being depending on water from the tap can be a little hard to understand at times. Some very large water butts can store over 24,000 litres of water (although there are plenty to choose from to suit all garden sizes) and can easily be transferred to the water can for use around the garden.

  • Introduce drought-resistant plants. There are many great drought resistant plants which can be introduced to the garden and will thus reduce the dependence on manual watering during dry periods. For more advice on drought resistant plant visit the RHS website for their comprehensive list of recommended plants.

Improve air circulation and quality

Planting trees in the garden – To improve the purity of air you could try planting some larger trees such as conifers, Betula, Beech trees and Magnolia. Not only will they look beautiful through the year they will help improve the circulation and quality of air. This is even more important in urban areas where the actual air is more likely to become polluted because of increased exposure to chemicals and gasses.The role of trees is not one to underestimate. They produce the oxygen we need to survive and also help to remove particles from the air that could potentially be harmful. They also act as protection to other plants, provide a cooling shade in the summer and also can help reduce noise for your garden.

tRANQUIL
Create a space for peace and tranquility

Create a water feature or pond. You could also look at introducing a water feature into the garden area to improve purity of air. A steady stream and flow of water, not only adds a sense of tranquillity and beauty but also helps to remove harmful pollutants from the air. This along with some well positioned trees will help create an environment of lovely fresh air and help the plants, soil and your own health as well.

Reduce Electricity used in the garden. By reducing the overall amount of electricity the garden uses your bills will come down and you will be using less national resources. This can only be a good thing, and combined with the work done by wind farms and solar panels we should see an overall reduction in usage from the national grid.

Use solar garden lighting – Instead of using large outdoor lighting you could try to introduce some solar garden lights. They come in many shapes, sizes and budgets and can easily be installed. They will store energy from the natural light during the day and release this when needed at night time. They have become much more reliable in the past ten years as an alternative and are certainly an area to explore.

Choose alternatives to chemicals/pesticides – Where allowable we suggest using organic pesticides and products in and around the garden. Choose the right product for the job and make sure it will not have any detrimental effect on other insects around the garden. You could try using some alternatives to pesticides such as crushed egg shells or grounded coffee beans to deter slugs and snails or by planting marigolds in your flowerbeds (they are known to deter insects and pests).

Strong smelling perennials such as Lavender and Rosemary can also have the effect of keeping pests away from you borders so introducing a number of these will help avoid using chemicals. Many people choose to actually introduce certain insects into the garden as a way of scaring off those pests that will do damage to plants. Lady bugs are great at eating aphids and will help preserve your plants.

Recycling will help create an organic compost or mulch You can create your own organic compost by recycling gardening waste, food waste and fall leaves. By recycling this waste we will be helping to keep it out of the ever increasing landfills and also will in turn create a moisture retentive and rich compost or mulch that can used around the garden. The plants will benefit hugely from this natural and organic addition to the soil and also will save you buying manure or compost the following year.

Animals
Attracting and caring for Wildlife is key

The choice of goods to use in the compost bin or heap is almost endless and getting the balance right may take a number of attempts. Luckily the internet can be your friend and will the popularity growing hugely in this area, there are many good gardening forums and websites to offer advice. Some of the most popular, everyday items from the household to find their way onto the compost heap include raw vegetables, crushed egg shells, fruit peelings, newspapers, cardboard and even teabags. Gardening waste such as fallen leaves, wood cuttings, grass cuttings, old bedding plants and plant foliage are also used regularly.

Make the garden wildlife friendly – A key feature to creating a garden that is in touch with nature is to make sure that it is attractive to wildlife. By allocating just a little bit of time and space to your garden, you can easily attract various wildlife to your garden all year around. For many people wildlife is a welcomed addition to the garden providing extra character and also the knowledge that they are doing their bit to help with British conservation.

Make sure you have an area to enjoy and relax – Make sure that you allow an area for enjoyment. Creating a garden full of colour and fresh fruit/vegetables is great and highly rewarding, but one key aspect to making sure your love for gardening lasts a lifetime is getting out and enjoying the garden. Have an area where you and your family/friends can sit around and enjoy the fresh air and beauty you have worked so hard to create.

Gardening should be enjoyable and relaxing

Many people love the summer barbeque as it allows people to gather together outdoors and enjoy their surroundings, with some good food. These great moments are vital to enjoying the garden and the summertime. Get out there and enjoy it! Getting in touch with your own little piece of the environment is critical to becoming an environmental gardener.

 

Grow your own fruit, vegetables and herbs – Growing your own fruit, vegetables and herbs is a fun, rewarding and can be a great step towards being less dependent on supermarkets. Even in gardens when space is at a premium you can easily grow strawberries, raspberries and blueberries in pots or containers.

If you have the space available why not allocate a patch or raised bed towards growing some potatoes, carrots, asparagus, beans or whatever vegetables take your fancy. You could also look at planting some fruit trees which not only produce great tasting fruit but will add ornamental blossom on spring.

How to Plant: Summer Geranium Bedding

Geraniums1
Trailing Geranium Plants

Creating a colourful summer garden display is one of the best challenges facing the contemporary gardener. One of life’s most enjoyable experiences is to sit out in a well preserved and colourful garden during the warmer summer weather, simply divine!Summer is a time to reap the endless pleasure of months of hard work and sit back, relax and enjoy your surroundings. With the right choice of plants which compliment each other perfectly, then this can easily be achieved.

Geraniums are a popular choice for the summer garden

One of the most popular summer bedding plants and one of the easiest to succeed with is Pelargoniums, or more commonly known as tender Geranium plants. These are not to be confused with the hardy perennial types who share the same name.

Because these are tender young plants and are raised from either seeds or cuttings they are fantastic value for money. Their popularity stems from the wonderful range of colours available at relatively low costs, compared to more expensive pot grown varieties

Border, Patio or Trailing Geraniums look superb in the summer

Aristo
Patio Aristo Geranium Collection

The benefit of incorporating Geraniums into the summer garden is their usability in various areas. We have a range of items to order online now that can be used in pots, tubs, borders, or in trailing baskets and window boxes. Why not get creative and try growing them in unique or unusual places.

We have had many customers send us photos over the years, where they have been growing summer bedding plants in some unique ways such as in wheelbarrows, slippers, wellington boots, old teapots, etc. Get thinking of some other great places and make a statement that few others will be able to boast of.

How are Summer Bedding Geraniums supplied ?

Our great range of Geraniums (Pelargoniums) are supplied in one of three ways as follows

mAXI
Maxi Plug Plants As Supplied

Maxi plug plantsOur award winning Maxi plus plants are supplied in trays of 33 or 66. They produce unbeatable value, with a volume per tray of up to 50% more than competitors. They are garden ready, for planting into their final location on arrival. Alternatively they can potted up for a number of weeks to enable the roots to become even stronger.

 

Rapid plug plants – Trays of 120 young seed raised plants which are fantastic value for money. They are smaller than Maxi plugs but can be potted up in advance of planting outdoors in their final location. All delivered from March, through early May.

Jumbo plug plants – Supplied as large 3cm or 4cm diameter plugs which are ready for planting straight into the border or patio pots. Available in packs of six per variety or in some great money saving collections. Delivery is made from April, through early May.

How to Plant: Summer Geranium plants

  • Your Geranium (Pelargoniums) are despatched by first class post in strong and sturdy packaging to help keep them safe during their travels Immediately upon arrival the plants should be unpacked and allowed to breathe. If the weather is dry, give the plugs a little water on arrival and they will be ready to pot up or plant out within 48 hours.
  • Once ready for potting up we recommend that you use a well-balanced compost mixture, such as John Innes Number 2. It is best to avoid a mixture that is too peaty as this often means the soil can become crusty/dry and thus will repel water.
  • Make sure the soil is well watered and make a hole deep enough to firmly hold the root ball of the Geranium. Make sure during the late spring and early summer that the plants are kept watered (but take care not to over-water) and if growing in pots, make sure that the pots allow for good drainage. It often can help to raise the pots off ground level to maximise drainage.
  • Plant in areas with as much light as possible to assist with healthy flower development. Once buds begin to appear you can consider applying a liquid feed once a week, such as a high potash feed. This should help to encourage more colourful flowers.
  • It is beneficial during the summer months to deadhead the plants to help encourage and improve growth. Remove dead flowers heads to allow for new growth to push through and to keep looking tidy and healthy

How-to Tutorials

Geranium Monarda

Geranium Century

Trailing Geraniums

Unbeatable Value for Money on summer bedding plants

Geraniums_111
Double Flowering Geraniums

We at J Parkers have been working hard to bring our loyal customers some unbeatable half price collections and some great money saving offers. A great way to add colour to the summer garden, without breaking the bank. This of course is not at the expense of quality, as we only source the best UK grown plugs so you get the best display for your money.

 

Geranium Double Trailing Collection

 

Trailing Geraniums – Trailing ivy leafed double geraniums ideal for hanging baskets. An enduringly popular choice of gardeners everywhere, the humble Geranium really has earned its place as a staple of the British garden.Trail 60-70cm.

 

 

 

Geranium Grandeur CollectionA premium range of upright geraniums produce strong and sturdy flowers. A must for growing on the patio

 

 

Geranium SIngle Trailing Collection

 

 

 

Trailing Geranium Collection – A rainbow of colour in summer, with single flowering Geraniums. Trails 60-70cm.

 

 

 

You can also order the follow varieties and collections with some great money off deals to be had :

 

 

Aristo Geraniums Collection – Perpetual flowering Regal Geraniums from July-October on 25cm plants. Great for the patio.

 

 

 

 

Geranium F1 Collection – A collection F1 Geraniums, the best quality seed possible. A great flower for patio pots or in window boxes. This collection includes 33 each of Geranium Century Red, White, Rose and Coral. Flowers June to September.

 

 

Geranium F1 Mixed – A mixture of F1 Geraniums, supplied as Rapid plug plants. Superb value for money and wonderful mixture of colours. This collection includes 33 Mixed Geraniums (red, white rose coral) and 33 rich scarlet Reds, that sit above palmately lobed foliage.

 

 

Geranium Odorata Perfume – A new variety for 2016, this fragrant Geranium plant is perfect for patio borders and containers. The Geranium odorata Perfume also produces distinctive, frilly foliage and ornate, pansy-like blooms of deep magenta edged with palest pink. Height and spread 25-30cm.

 

 

Click HERE to view our full Geranium range!