12 Designs for Spectacular Spring Borders

Since we are now going into the last month of Summer, now is the perfect time to start planning your spring displays in time for bulb planting season. From delightful Daffodils and Narcissi to deep, dark Tulips, we have a fun and colourful planting idea to suit any spring garden border.

Here are our 12 spectacular spring planting ideas…

1. Fantastically Fragrant

Recreate this boldly colourful spring theme with vibrant yellow Narcissi and blue Muscari for a fragrant, clustered, show-stopping display.

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Narcissi Jetfire

A real British favourite. This sweet-scented clump-forming Daffodil produces bright yellow petals with a deep orange trumpet. Surrounded by purple flowers, such as Muscari and Crocus, for an extraordinary spring display.

 

Muscari Armeniacum

This RHS Award-winning Muscari variety blooms with electric deep violet-blue pea-like flowers and is guaranteed to make a real feature in the garden, especially when planted in groups. An additional benefit is its lovely fragrance. The more you plant, the more fragrance you get!

2. Fiery

By blending warm shades of orange, pink and peach together, you can create a beautiful fiery and fragrant display of spring colour.

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Hyacinth Jan Bos

An RHS Award-Winning Hyacinth. With its distinct bold reddish/pink colour, ‘Jan Bos’s’ floral spikes are a perfect fragrant addition to mid spring beds, borders or along walkways. They will even naturalize beautifully in the right spot.

 

 

Tulip Suncatcher

A true symbol of spring. Tulip ‘Suncatcher’ produces bright golden yellow blooms that are detailed with fiery scarlet edging, that are sure to bring the warmth to your spring borders with their intense colouring.

Hyacinth Apricot Passion

This uniquely coloured Hyacinth produces star-shaped flowers in soft, warm apricot and pink tones. Enjoy these highly perfumed blooms in pots, containers or garden border and beds.

 

 

Muscari Blue Magic

With their densely packed flower spikes, Muscari Blue Magic are perfect for adding a contrasting accent to this fiery themed border. ‘Blue Magic’ blooms in mid spring with a stunning royal blue colour. Best planted in groups for an amazing visual impact.

 

3. Dramatic & Bold

Add a touch of drama to your borders with this monochromatic scheme. A simple blend of colours that provides a big impact.

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Tulip Queen of Night

Extremely popular and considered as one of the top ten prettiest deep purple cultivars, the RHS Award-winning Tulip ‘Queen of Night’. Known as the blackest Tulip ever bred, their impressive, velvety dark maroon blooms are the perfect show-stoppers in any spring border.

 

Tulip Alabaster

Blooming with the purest white flowers, and alongside ‘Queen of Night’, Tulip ‘Alabaster’ creates the most striking spring display. Paired together, these Tulips will blend together for a fantastic checkerboard-like-effect.

4. Pastel

Pastel flowers look beautiful in the bright spring sunshine, but also stand out in shade gardens and can brighten up especially dark areas. For a peaceful and relaxing space, try this sweet shop themed Tulip and Muscari mixture.

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Muscari Peppermint

Scented blooms of this Muscari bloom in shades of cool, pale blues which fade to white towards the tip. This pretty variety is robust with a delightful sweet fragrance that is perfect for naturalizing in a woodland garden at the front of the border or in containers.

 

Tulip Huis Ten Bosch

With a huge cream base and candy pink edging, the delicate edges of Tulip Huis Ten Bosch look as though they are made from spun sugar – and it’s no surprise why this Tulip is known as the ‘Candy Floss Tulip’.

5. Wonderful White

A timeless and sophisticated colour scheme. Brighten up your borders with crisp, clean white Tulips.

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Tulip Clearwater

With neatly formed, cup-shaped blooms in the purest white, Tulip ‘Clearwater’ will create a sophisticated and modern look when planted en-masse in the spring border. They tend to look best at dawn and dusk, when they practically glow in the half-light.

6. Bright & Cheerful

Let your creativity flow and inject some life into the spring garden with bright, bold colours.  If you’re looking for something that packs a punch, this combination is for you.

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Tulip Saxatilis

An RHS Award-Winning Tulip. Blooming with soft lilac petals surrounding a bright sunny yellow center, this colourful compact variety makes a wonderful addition to spring beds and borders, or even for naturalizing in groups in grassy areas for maximum impact.

 

Narcissi Tete-a-Tete

This early spring bloomer is quite possible the most renowned scented dwarf Daffodil on the market. These RHS Award-Winning perennials boast perfectly formed, fragrant flowers with pale yellow petals and bright yellow trumpets. Plant en masse or with other flowers for visual impact.

 

Muscari Blue Magic

Along with the vibrant shades of the yellow Narcissi and pink Tulips, the bold tones of Muscari ‘Blue Magic’ are perfect for adding compact accents of rich blue to the spring border.

7. Glowing

Light up your garden with warm tones of yellow, orange and red.

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Tulip Verandi & Narcissus Falconet

‘Verandi’ offers glowing deep red blooms with brilliant thin edge of yellow. Whilst Narcissus ‘Falconet’ is a cheerful bright yellow flower with deep orange cups in the center. A stunning display that will shine in the spring time when planted together.

8. Cool and Tranquil

 For a fresh, clean combination, try this simple yet eye-catching colour scheme.

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Tulip Hakuun

Also known as ‘White Cloud’, this Darwin Hybrid Tulip boasts large snowy blooms that will gleam in the spring garden, and are guaranteed to bring borders to life. This long lasting mid-season variety will create a soothing effect when planted against blue spring flowers for a cool, calming border.

 

Muscari Blue Magic

Featuring eye-catching grape-like clusters of sky blue flowers, this Grape Hyacinth looks truly magical planted alongside white spring-flowering bulbs. They’re hardy, easy to grow and go with so many planting schemes – no garden should be without them.

 

9. Early Season Sunshine

The most striking combinations are complimentary colours, e.g. purple and yellow. Bring the sunshine to your garden with this cheerful plant combo.

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Crocus Flower Record

These deep violet flowers with contrasting orange stems are a pure delight in early spring. Bearing large, cup-like flowers, this vigorous variety is perfect for naturalizing against Daffodils for a stunning and vibrant border display. Spectacular when planted in large, sweeping drifts.

 

Narcissi Lemon Sailboat

The perfect match for planting alongside purple Crocus blooms are the lemony-yellow flowers of Narcissi ‘Lemon Sailboat’. The petals on these delicate blooms are swept back like sail on a boat, hence their name. Their sweetly scented blooms are ideal for naturalizing in the spring garden.

 

10. Colour Block

Make a real statement with texture and shape with this simple colour blocking display style.

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Tulip Red Blend Mixed

Plant this sultry mixture of red Tulips, from light crimson to deep dusky reds, to create a terrific, multi-textured spring display. Perfect flowers for planting en masse for maximum effect, or in pots and containers. Mixtures are also available in other shades, including orange, pink and purple.

11. Dreamy

Add some romance to your garden using charming shades of pink, purple and white with this fresh and classic cottage garden style.

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Tulip Tom Pouce

Named for the lusciously sweet Dutch pastry (kind of like a pink Napoleon), ‘Tom Pouce’ is especially enchanting in the spring sunshine. This lovely Tulip is a sweet combination of bright pink that fades into a soft, creamy yellow towards the base. An ideal choice for mid-spring borders.

 

Tulip Purple Bouquet

Also known as ‘Bouquet Tulip’, ‘Purple Bouquet’ produces pretty purple flowers that have multiple blooms per stem. Paired alongside pink spring flowers, these are the perfect companions for designing a magical cottage garden-like border display.

 

Tulip Clearwater

These pure white blooms are perfect for creating the most attractive mid to late spring flowering combinations. Along with pink and purple varieties, this graceful yet striking Tulip is perfect for planting en masse in a border to add a flash of crystal clear white colour.

12. Complementary Colours

Intensify your spring garden with an excitingly bold and beautiful colour palette.

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Tulip Golden Apeldoorn

Known for their colossal and reliable blooms, this popular Tulip will bring the sunshine in spring with their deep, golden yellow blooms. This bold and beautiful Darwin Tulip is fantastic for the border to brighten up the spring garden. Pair alongside purple flowers for a show-stopping display.

Pansy Ocean Breeze Mixed

The best, large flowered pansy on the market. This gorgeous mix of cool, soft blues and violet pansies are the perfect long-lasting flowers to accent a contrasting yellow Tulip in spring borders. Plant en masse with spring flowering bulbs for an impressive display of colour.

Planting Tips

Trends from the Tatton Park Flower Show 2019

The Tatton Park Flower Show took place last week, and we sent a few members of the J Parkers team to scope out the top trends, flowers and planting companions at the 2019 show.

So let’s have a look at some of the gardening styles at this year’s show that you can try out in your own garden.

Popular Flowers

Here are 3 of the most popular and showcased flowers on display around the show and the show gardens.

Verbena Bonariensis

Verbena Bonariensis featured in ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar Garden’ by Simon Tetlow

Verbena Bonariensis were dotted around almost every show garden on display this year. Whether as a background plant for a wild border or used as a centerpiece plant with their long stems, these beautiful purple flowers were definitely in the spotlight this year.  A fantastic summer border plant with good pest resistance.

Echinacea

Echinacea featured in ‘The Mindful Garden’ by Ki Tong.

One of our favourite summer flowering perennials were heavily featured this year, the Echinacea. Also known as Coneflowers, they will flower from summer through late autumn, often still in flower as late as October. They make a bright and bold addition to the modern garden, look larger than life at the back of the border, and are a great way to attract butterflies and bees to the UK garden.

Alliums

Allium Drumsticks featured in ‘The Phytosanctuary Garden’.

The beautiful giant blooms of Alliums took a center stage this year. Large varieties were spread all around the show, whilst smaller flowering varieties such as Allium Drumsticks and the half-spherical blooms of Allium Miami were featured in this year’s show gardens. An easy to grow and versatile range of plants that can work in any garden.

Garden Trends

 1. Pollinator Pals (Alliums,Achillea, Agapanthus)

Alliums, Achillea and Agapanthus were strongly featured in the show gardens at this year’s show. The show had a strong theme of pollinator-friendly planting and when it comes to looking after wildlife in the garden, these varieties are well-loved by bees and other pollinators.

Agapanthus are great showy plants with exotic looking flowers, Alliums are easy to grow, stylish plants with tall stems and large pom pom heads of flowers and Achillea are a stunning flowering herbaceous perennial with each flower head containing of hundreds of long lasting, tiny flowers. So, it’s easy to see how these beautiful summer contenders have been a popular choice this year.

Click here to view Alliums

Click here to view Achillea

Click here to view Agapanthus

2. Multi-layered Borders

Another big trend seen around the show gardens is creating layers of a variety of border plants. Ass seen with the brightly colours florals in the ‘Let’s Go Fly a Kite Garden’, the subtle contrasting tones in ‘The Perfumer’s Garden’ and the wild themed grassy border in the ‘Baroque Garden’.

Creating a layered garden soothes the eye while enhancing other aspects of the garden. Planting a garden in layers considers both vertical and horizontal eye appeal but also the aspect in which we view the area and seasonal interest. Planting a garden in layers will ensure that the highest plants are at the farthest eye point of the garden with medium sized in the middle and the lowest growing at the front.

Repeated patterns, colours, forms and textures throughout a border can create unique patterns in the landscape.

 

3. Harmonising Hostas

A key trend that was prominent in almost every show garden at this year event was Hostas.

Originating from China and Japan, Hostas are one of the best perennials for shade in the garden, grown in either pots, containers or borders. Renowned for the amazing foliage they produce and have become a common addition for the modern garden designer. Hosta plants are a great perennial plant which is often chosen for their attractive shaped leaves and summer flowers.

Hostas are ideal to add texture and colour to a garden planting scheme. They can be used to complement other plants by adding a contrasting look and style that enhances the overall interest and aesthetic of the scheme. There is a huge choice of varieties available to buy, covering all shapes, colours, and sizes for all tastes.

Click here to view our Hosta range online

4. Glorious Grasses

Ornamental grasses made their presence known in many show gardens this year. A range of herbaceous perennials and grasses were featured in ‘The Mindful Garden’,  such as Festuca. The silvery needles of Festuca glauca were featured in the monochrome palette of the ‘Every Cloud has a Silver Lining Garden’, and long and varied grasses were displayed in the ‘Trail of Thoughts Garden’ to represent the fading of memory with colourful flowers giving way to a grassier and more muted landscape.

Grasses have long since proved their value in the landscape, moving from what was once considered a craze to one that is a solid cultural shift. As gardens have shifted toward lower maintenance and nature friendly, ornamental grasses have fit every bill that today’s gardener demands — while providing the contrast, texture and form that designers crave.

Click here to view our Grasses and Bamboo

5. Heavenly Hydrangeas

Who can forget the ever-changing blooms of hydrangeas. The use of beautiful fragrant shrubs were used for structure in a variety of the show gardens this year. The once overlooked hydrangeas of the past are now the trend setting plants of today.

With immense flower heads, Hydrangeas flaunt an old-fashioned charm that is hard to resist. Unrivaled in the shrub world for beautiful flowers, they are easy to cultivate, tolerate almost any soil, and produce abundant blooms. Hydrangeas are excellent for a range of garden sites from group plantings to shrub borders to containers.

Click here to view our Hydrangea range

 

Chelsea Flower Show 2019: 5 Trends to Try at Home

If you missed the Chelsea Flower Show last week, the gardens showcased everything from wildlife havens, wildflower fields to woodland wonderlands. To help you discover the top gardening trends from the 2019 gardens, we’ve compiled a guide to the best themes that you can get inspired by and recreate in your very own garden.

Here are some of the popular garden themes to inspire you…

 

 

 

 

The Welcome to Yorkshire Garden by Mark Gregory

Wildflowers made a huge appearance at this year’s Chelsea Flower Show. Sprinkled with lovely blue Camassias, lupins and grasses, Mark Gregory’s Welcome to Yorkshire garden showcased the beauty and freshness of a perennial spring meadow in a garden setting. Here are some of our recommendations for adding some natural beauty to the garden.

 

Camassia Esculenta

The bright blue spiky flowers of this Esculenta make this beautiful hardy plant a perfect choice to naturalise in your gardens. Blooming in summer, these beautiful vibrant flowers will form clumps of bright blue linear leaves and leave you with a spectacular wild garden look.

 

Lupin Band of Nobles The Governor

With their mass of pea-like flowers, these Lupins are very easy to grow for beautiful flowers year after year. This variety showcases elegant violet-blue blooms above a base of star-shaped green foliage that is a true showstopper in the summer border.


Digitalis Hardy Ambigua Yellow 

This RHS Garden Merit Award winner is a true delight for a cottage garden look. This Foxglove’s stunning creamy yellow bell-shaped flowers are great for attracting butterflies and bees to the garden to liven up the summer garden.

 

 

The Roots in Finland Kyrö Garden by Tiana Suonio

Even in a small town garden, Finnish designer Tiana Suonio shows how to create a wildlife haven retreat. The theme of planting fragrant and diverse perennials was a recurring theme this year, with flowers to attract pollinators. Suonio creates a multi-layered meadow of plants from Lily of the Valley (Finnish National Flower) and strong Willows that can handle the demanding Finnish growing conditions.

Salix caprea pendula

The lovely tumbling branches of this Salix caprea will provide your garden will year round interest. Their silver, fuzzy catkins open up in the spring to become soft silky flowers with yellow anthers before lush, hanging foliage appears.

 

Leucanthemum superbum Snow Lady

Within Suonio’s Finish landscape, the informal garden’s style featured meadow planting with daisies. Loved by butterflies and bees, the giant white daisy-like flowers of the ‘Snow Lady’ will create a sight to behold in the summer time.

 

Peony Sarah Bernhardt

Peonies were a delightful addition to the show gardens this year, providing a pop of summer colour. Our fragrant Peony Sarah Bernhardt will add a beautiful flush of candy-pink colour in their frilly, delicate blooms that is hard to miss.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The M & G Garden by Andy Sturgeon

The predominant colour for almost all gardens this year is green. From lush foliage to green flowers and tall grasses. Andy Sturgeon’s M&G Garden focused on nature’s regenerative power in a woodland landscape and used predominately green plants to get his message across and provide an ancient quality.

 

Euphorbia Wulfenii

This stunning Euphorbia produces bright, upright stems smothered in bright green and yellow flowers. They create a fabulous and unique summer display when added to a herbaceous border or patio containers.

 

 

Hakonechloa macra ‘Allgold’

This bright and beautiful grass will create a gorgeous lush green garden look. This dwarf mound-forming variety produces masses of thin, spiky golden yellow leaves for a vibrant yet natural dash of colour in the summer garden.

 

Camassia Leichtlinii Alba

These perfect naturalisers produce creamy-white blooms, densely set on very long stems. Whether planted in beds or borders, this Camassia variety are an amazing addition en-masse in any wild garden.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Walker’s Forgotten Quarry garden by Graham Bodle

Unlikely materials, industrial features and rubble provided inspiration for a whole planting scheme this year with Graham Bodle’s garden. Pines, textured foliage and natural accents against the industrial landscape were added to provide a relaxing garden space. The M&G Garden features a delicate planting selection of fiery Geums, Primulas and Digitalis.

 

Geum Queen of Orange

Bodle’s garden featured a myriad of fiery coloured Geums, so get the look with this beautiful orange Geum variety. The rich, vibrant blooms of Geum Queen of Orange are the perfect hardy perennials for attracting pollinators and will flower all summer long.

 

 

Phalaris Arundinacea Feesey

The Quarry Garden featured a flurry of foliage and grasses to give an effect of an industrial space being reclaimed by nature. This spectacular variegated grass has an unusual cascading effect with stunning bi-coloured leaves to add a touch of the wild to the garden.

Digitalis purpurea Mix

Bodle paired the beautiful silvery-leaved Digitalis purpurea alongside the lovely Primula Candelabra as an arresting combination. Digitalis purpurea, a classic cottage garden favourite, will add a beautiful mixture of colour in the summer time for a display of natural beauty.

 

 

 

 

Back To Nature Garden by HRH The Duchess of Cambridge with Andree Davies and Adam White

With wild trees and shrubs and a cool calm colour palette of green and blue, the woodland garden designed by the Duchess of Cambridge was designed to build a relaxing and calming space. With beautiful foliage and wildlife-attracting plants as a focal point of the Back to Nature garden, here are our woodland inspired planting recommendations.

 

 

Vinca Minor

The calming blue shades of the Vinca Minor‘s flowers makes a fantastic ground cover feature for creating a calm and collective atmosphere and add a touch of the wild nature of a woodland floor to the garden.

 

 

Athyrium filix-femina (Lady Fern)

Kate’s garden featured a selection of ferns to enhance the feel of a woodland’s conditions. The architectural form and fresh green fronds of the ‘Lady Fern’ gives some height with their feathery shaped form. Also, this fern was awarded the RHS Garden Merit Award.

 

Geranium Rozanne

As a Winner of the RHS Award of Garden Merit and voted plant of the Centenary during the Chelsea Flower Show 2013, it’s easy to say this Geranium is a guaranteed gardener favourite. This Geranium variety blooms gorgeous purple flowers and makes ideal ground cover.

Shade-Loving Plants for the Garden

Do you have a shaded area in your garden where it seems like nothing will grow there? Full shade areas can look dreary but don’t worry, there are plants to suit every garden, and all you need is a little creativity. Check out our favourite picks, from ground cover to perennial flowers and grasses, to add to any shaded spot in the garden.

Is my garden full shade or partial shade?

To grow healthy plants in shady areas, it is important to match the degree of shade that a plant needs or will tolerate with available light.

Partial Shade: A garden with half sun and half shade. There is some direct sun but for less than half the hours of daylight.

Full Shade: Under trees, shrubs, and  buildings. Less than 2 hours of direct sun a day.

Here’s an easy checklist to decide whether the plants you are considering for a shady area are really a suitable candidate. They will need to be either:

  • Suitable for neutral to acid soils
  • Variegated foliage
  • Evergreen
  • Prefer moist or wet soil

Perennials

Acanthus mollis Whitewater

Looking for a beautiful perennial to brighten up a shaded spot? Our Acanthus mollis Whitewater produces tall spikes of white flowers against their backdrop of dark green variegated foliage; a perfect addition to borders or large patio containers. Tip – These pretty flowers can be cut for vase displays or dried floral arrangements.

Monarda Blaustrumpf

This fascinating clump-forming perennial produces mint scented flowers in a deep purple shade. Monarda Blaustrumpf makes the perfect addition for flower beds and borders and thrive in semi or full shade where other perennials may struggle.

Geranium Versicolor

This hardy plant does well in all types of shade. Geranium Versicolor is ideal for borders or patio pots to add striking and unusual blooms to your garden with their vivid pink veined white flowers. This variety makes for great ground-cover in full or partial shade.

Ground Cover

Euphorbia amygdaloides ‘Purpurea’

Not all Euphorbias do well in shade but Euphorbia amygdaloides ‘Purpurea’ is an exception. This rapid growing ground cover plant produces amazing dark purple foliage with lime-green flowers in Spring. Ideal for borders, patio pots or containers.

Vinca major Variegata

This reliable evergreen shrub is perfect for bringing some colour to shady areas. Vinca major Variegata produces pretty violet-blue flowers from late spring in to summer; a perfect plant for growing anywhere in the garden, even underneath trees.

Heuchera

Products: Lime Marmalade (left), Creme Brulee (middle) and Berry Smoothie (right)

These charming evergreen clumps of scalloped leaves come in every colour under the sun. Here we’ve picked out Heuchera Lime Marmalade, Heuchera Creme Brulee and Heuchera Berry Smoothie as our top recommendations for their vibrant hues. Heuchera are amazing for ground cover, borders or in front of shrubs.

Lamium White Nancy

Bored of plain foliage? This stunning silver touched deep green foliage that becomes dotted with spikes of pretty white blossoms in spring and early summer. This evergreen shrub is perfect for adding interest to any shaded spot in the garden.

Ferns

Asplenium scolopendrium

Asplenium scolopendrium is an evergreen fern with luscious upright green foliage. This hardy evergreen needs little attention in the garden, provides colour all year round and can even be grown in woodland/under trees or shady borders.

Athyrium Vidalii

This small and easy-to-grow fern is perfect for full or partial shade. With a mass of golden yellow leaves and striking red stems, this exotic Athyrium Vidalii is guaranteed to provide a dash of unique colouring to even the shadiest parts of the garden.

Dryopteris ‘Golden Brilliance

An RHS award-winning evergreen. This beautiful foliage plant will bring a touch of exotic colour to your garden with their vivid copper-bronze tinted fronds. Perfect for shaded borders or containers.

Grasses

Carex testacea ‘Prairie Fire’

This stunning evergreen perennial grass is perfect for containers or a shady border. With Carex testacea ‘Prairie Fire’s’ extraordinarily eye-catching green leaves with bright orange tips, this variety also changes into a dark orange colour with brown flowers in the summer time.

Festuca Golden Toupee

This versatile grass is ideal for containers, in gravel, in the border or alongside other grasses. With stunning needle-like leaves, Festuca Golden Toupee produces grey-green leaves that turn a bright yellow in the spring. Great for adding stunning vibrant hues to shaded spots.

Bulbs

Anemone Blanda Mixed

Brighten up any shady spot with our Anemone Blanda Mix. These joyful, daisy-like blooms flower in beautiful shades of blue, pink and white. Perfect for a rockery or spring-flowering containers.

Uvularia grandiflora

This hardy perennial excels in partial or full shade. With pointed green leaves and slender, soft yellow bells that drop from its branched stems, Uvularia grandiflora makes a great addition to pots, containers and this variety even makes excellent cut flowers.

Geum Mai Tai

A smooth cocktail of colours, purple buds opening to apricot, with rose shadings. Geum Mai Tai have fuzzy, dark green pinnate leaves and erect purple stems holding the semi double flowers. These hardy perennial plants will flower all summer from June right through to September and are suitable for partial shaded borders in the garden.

Climbers

Virginia Creeper (Ivy)

A rustic charmer. This ‘American Ivy’ brings a douse of colour to the garden with their reddish-bronze foliage. A vigorous climber that can add beauty to any wall, trellis or building.

Hydrangea petiolaris

With giant showy milk-white lace cap type flowers blooming over vigorous glossy green foliage. This fantastic, self-clinging Hydrangea petiolaris is the best climber for a shaded north wall. Very low maintenance needing only an occasional trim, left undisturbed it can grow up to a height and spread of 5m+ but will withstand gentle pruning to any manageable height to suit your garden.

ENJOY PLANTING THIS SPRING!