How to Keep Your Plants Cool During the Summer

Knowing how to cool plants down in the summer is an essential part of gardening through the season. Although some plants and flowers are drought resistant, many can struggle through particularly warm weather.

If your plants struggle to thrive throughout the summer months, then you’ve come to the right place! Here are some quick and simple ways to keep your plants cool during seasonal heatwaves.

Install Shade Cloth

Shade cloths are great for protecting crops through the season. You can buy these at most outdoor stores or online. Usually, they won’t be as big as the one pictured above.

Shade cloths are perfect for reflecting the heat of the sun away from your more delicate crops, such as peas and lettuce. The use of a shade cloth can help your crops to grow for longer, providing more produce!

The Best Time to Water Your Plants

You may not realise, but there are optimal times for watering your plants in summer. Although you may think they’re being hydrated when you do it midday, this can actually stunt the amount of water the root is getting.

As a rule of thumb, water your plants early in the morning, or in the evening once the sun has gone down. This allows the water to soak into the soil and nourishing the plant before the midday sun can dry it out.

Think About Your Plants Positioning

Potted plants are great for those that need a bit more shade. Pots can be moved anywhere around the garden, allowing you to find the shadiest areas throughout the day as the sun moves. For this reason, it’s best to grow drought-resistant plants in beds and borders, as they can resist a beat of heat.

Utilise Your Mulch

Mulch is a perfect way to cool plants down. Adding a bit of mulch, like leaves and grass cuttings, to the surface of the soil that surrounds the plant can actually cool the plant down.

Mulch also helps to retain moisture in the soil, and prevents weeds from appearing!

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How to Plant Lavender

This guide will not only teach you how to plant Lavender but also where. As an incredibly fragrant flower there are optimal places to allow these flowers to bloom. One of the easier shrubs to grow, Lavender grows best in free-draining soil. It also thrives in full sun and is drought tolerant. Best planted in spring as it will flower in Summer, filling the air with that well-known, aromatic scent.

Step 1: Where to plant

Before you start planting your lavender, it’s vital to choose where. Lavender grows beautifully in containers, but absolutely steals the show when planted in flower borders and herb gardens. It also works well as a boarder or lining a walkway, ensuring the sweet scent can be smelled all over the garden.

Step 2: Prepare your soil

Ensure you’ve removed all weeds from the selected area, and dig over any free-draining soil. If growing in groups, space plants about 90cm apart. If you’re growing a hedge, space plants about 30cm apart.

Step 3: Water

After planting, water regularly during the first season, especially in dry weather. Although lavender is drought tolerant, during the first summer newly planted lavender should be watered regularly.

Step 4: In containers

Containers, about 30-40cm, hold Lavender the best with large draining holes. Make sure the lavender is planted at the same level as its previous pot. At first water well, but then once or twice a week during summer to ensure the soil does not dry out. Containers dry out quicker as the roots have a limited amount soil in which to search for moisture.

Tips:

  • To keep your lavender plant neat and attractive, annually trim the plant in late summer, once the flowering has finished. Remove any spent flower stalks.
  • In winter, cover the lavender with a winter mulch which will protect the lavender from freezing winds and temperature.
  • Lavender is also multifunctional and can be easily repurposed. Lavender oil is perfect for aromatherapy. Or, if dried it makes great tea!

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How to care for Herbaceous Perennials

Herbaceous perennials are the backbone of any garden display. Not only will they add plenty of colour and texture to your garden, but you can rely on them to reappear year after year!

Perennials, on the surface, seem easy to care for. And usually, they are! But by following these simple steps, you will help them to thrive throughout their season for years to come.

What Are Herbaceous Perennials?

Simply put, herbaceous perennials are plants with non-woody stems. This description encapsulates many different types of plants, from annuals to evergreens. Often enough, when people refer to herbaceous perennials, they typically are referring to plants without woody stems.

Although they are under the general umbrella of ‘herbaceous perennials’, not all of these plants will act the same. Evergreens, for example, will continue to thrive throughout the majority of the year, whereas others will die back at the end of their season.

Caring for your Plants Throughout the Season

Like we mentioned before, as long as you’ve chosen the correct plants for the climate in which you live, your perennials will need very little maintenance. However, there are some things you can do to help them thrive for longer!

In spring, add mulch as this will help the ground to maintain its moisture and will also mitigate the appearance of weeds. Taller perennials, like Lupins and Peonies, might need staking to help them reach their full potential. Do this in spring, so that their blooms hide the stake.

Keep your plants well-watered, especially during particularly warm weather. And finally, deadhead wilting flowers to help encourage a new one to grow, as well as keeping the area looking neat and tidy.

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How to Plant Fruit Trees

Nothing feels more rewarding than growing your own produce. If you don’t have a fruit tree in your garden, planting one is a good investment, as there is nothing like eating the fresh fruit straight from the tree in autumn. Keep reading to discover how to plant fruit trees with our gardening tips.

Before planting:

  • Avoid planting if there’s a frost – place roots into moist soil until conditions improve.
  • Container-grown trees can be planted at any time of year except when frosty or if the soil is too dry or too wet. Bare-root fruit trees can be planted late autumn to early winter as this is when the tree is in its dormant stage.
  • Always try to plant fruit trees in a sunny and sheltered position. This will maximise the time your fruit has to ripen.

Planting in pots

Choose a pot that is 45-50cm (18-20in) in diameter. When planting, place some stones, broken concrete, clay pots, or polystyrene in the bottom of the containers to retain moisture. Use a good-quality compost, and insert the tree. Cover hole and water well.

Planting in the ground

Dig a hole up to three times the diameter of the root system, and break the soil up the surrounding soil with a fork before planting. Place the tree in the hole and carefully refill, placing soil around all the roots to eliminate air pockets. Firm the soil gently by stepping on it.

Quick Tips for Beginners

  • You don’t need a large garden the size of an orchard to grow your own fruit trees. Many fruits like strawberries and raspberries can be grown directly into the ground, into borders, and into containers. Perfect for those with smaller gardens or courtyard spaces.
  • Many fruit trees produce beautiful blooms as well as tasty fruits. Apple trees, pear trees, and beloved cherry trees all create gorgeous flowers that are an absolute treat.
  • Unless your tree is self pollinating (peaches, nectarines, some cherries), then you should be planting a pair of trees to ensure the growth of any produce. Many fruit trees, such as apple and pears, need their flowers to be pollinated by bees and such in order to grow produce. Plant a different cultivar of the same fruit nearby your first tree. Ensure they flower at the same time, or they won’t bear fruit.

Our favourite varieties

Here is a selection of our favourite fruit tree varieties that will add beauty and produce delicious fruits year after year.

Apple Elstar
Cherry Stella
Plum Czar

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How To Plant Calla Lilies


Zantedeschia, often known as Calla lilies, are popular exotic looking plants that are native to South Africa. If you’re new to gardening, or would like to learn how to plant Zantedeschia, you’ve come to the right place! This handy guide includes everything you need to know about planting and caring for Zantedeschia (Calla Lilies).

How to Plant Zantedeschia

Learning how to plant Zantedeschia is as easy as pie! They like moist, well-drained soil and prefer to be planted closer to the surface. Where possible, plant them in a sunnier location. As a native to Africa, they will appreciate it!

Plant the tubers shallow, so the top of the tubers are slightly exposed. Water freely and apply a balanced fertiliser every two weeks until the flowers have faded. Keep slightly moist in winter.

Each tuber will produce several stems, perfect for creating cut flowers. Brighten up any room with a delightful bouquet or surprise your friends and family with a bunch of these stunning flowers.

Getting the most from your tubers


Calla Lilies can be lifted after flowering and stored throughout winter, allowing you to plant them again in spring. Simply dig them up once they have died back. The best time for this is usually in autumn, around the time the first frosts are beginning to set in. Dust off the soil and place them somewhere cool and dry on some old newspaper for several days to allow them to dry off. They can then be stored in a dark, dry area and a cool spot in some peat moss over the winter.

Once spring arrives again and the temperatures turn mild, you can replant your Calla Lilies for a gorgeous show throughout the season!

Some of our Favourites

Zantedeschia Cantor (Calla Lily)

A very popular variety for contemporary flower arrangements, exotic Zantedeschia Cantor boasts deep purple blooms.

Zantedeschia Lipstick (Calla Lily)

The Calla Lipstick presents gentle cream spadices, surrounded by contrasting vivid pink spathes.

Zantedeschia aethiopica (Calla Lily)

Zantedeschia aethiopica is a wonderful Calla Lily, also known as the White Arum Lily. This premium variety looks superb grown in groups within the flower bed and border.

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How to compost with or without a garden

It’s National Compost Week! How to compost with or without a garden is no doubt a popular question amongst the gardening community. Not only is it positive for the environment, but it can also be important for the garden as well helping to promote healthy growth and sustainability.

What is compost?

Compost is made up of food scraps and kitchen waste, such as eggshells, fruit and vegetable ends and corn cobs and stalks. The best thing about compost is that you are not throwing away anything essential, only the bits and pieces that would end up in the bin anyway. This makes creating compost an easy task and something that everyone can do. It is also great for the environment. A win-win!

Other elements that make up a good compost are from the garden itself. Leaves, shrub prunings, lawn or garden weeds, grass and flower clippings.  Even household items like cardboard and shredded paper make great compost! But remember to steer clear of any raw materials like bones (meat or fish), banana peels or diseased plants.

Each of these come together to add much needed nutrients to the garden, restoring vitality to the soil and promoting faster plant growth and health. Good compost comes from a healthy 50/50 mix of all the above to create nitrogen and carbon which makes the garden grow. Nitrogen comes from the green materials such as leaves and weeds, while carbon comes from brown materials such as cardboard and pinecones. But, enough chemistry lessons, you want to know how to compost!

Composting with a garden

There are several ways to make good use of all the space you have in your garden and create somewhere to cultivate your compost. The easiest way is with a compost trench!

Step 1:

Dig a deep trench about 60cm deep. Ensure you have a nice amount of space that can be filled with your compost mixture.

Step 2:

With each compost mixture cover with soil. Continue this step until the trench is full, coating one last time with soil. This will allow each layer to rot down and start creating the moisture and nutrients that your plants will love.

Step 3:

Sow or plant your seeds on top of the compost trench and their roots will grow down into the nutrient filled soil which, thanks to the compost, will start promoting a healthy growth and beautiful bloom. Remember to water regularly.

Composting without a garden

Even if you do not have the space to create a compost trench there are still easy ways to achieve the same growth as those who do!

Step 1:

If you already have a compost bin then great, if not then they can be easily purchased or made. Just ensure that it is deep enough to hold many layers of compost and soil.

Step 2:

Much like with the trench, start to create layers of scraps and then cover with soil. Remember to water regularly.

Step 3:

Sow or plant your seeds on top of the soil. This is where things differ a little, once your plants have started to sprout you can transfer them from the bin to your usual planting space. As the roots have started in the compost, they will be full of nutrients that will aid them as they continue to grow. Or they can remain in the bin until they have fully grown.

National Compost Week is a great time to start thinking about the other benefits to having a garden. Whether it be fresh produce or blooming flowers, there are many ways to continue making a positive impact on the environment and cultivate the garden of your dreams.

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How to Plant Ground Cover Plants

purple ground cover plants

Depending on the time of year, you can find plenty of ground cover plants that will accentuate your borders and add a much-needed pop of colour throughout any season.
Perfect for planting alongside your other plants and flowers, ground cover plants are perfect for jamming in empty spots along your beds and borders for a more cohesive style.

If you’ve got your eye on some beautiful ground cover flowers but you’re not quite sure how to go about planting them, follow this guide to achieve the best display all year round.

Pick Your Plants

If you’re struggling with problem areas in your garden, like an influx of weeds in your beds, then ground cover plants are the perfect remedy as they suppress the growth of the unwanted pesky plants. They’re easy to grow and maintain and they fill in those unsightly gaps between your favourite plants and flowers.

There’s plenty of options when it comes to ground cover, depending greatly on what time of year you’d like them to flower and what theme you’re looking to achieve. For example, if you’re looking to fill in the gaps between when your flowers die back and to when they reappear in spring, winter bedding plants are a great option. This could be anything from the classic Pansy to fragrant Sweet William’s.

Our Favourite Ground Cover Plants

Phlox subulata mixed
Dianthus Haytor White
Ground Cover Perennial Collection

Prepare the Area

First things first, you want to prep the area where you’d like to plant your ground cover. This includes pulling up weeds like dandelions and couch grass from the root, preparing the soil by breaking it up with a spade or fork, and adding plenty of new compost to the area.

Where Should You Plant Your Ground Cover?

Ground cover plants are best for planting in your beds and borders, but can also be planted solo. They’re also perfect for containers and patio pots. For an impressive bedding display, plant in between bulbs and plants for a flawless finish. If you lack garden space, use pots and containers for an impressive patio decoration!

How to Plant Your Ground Cover of Choice

Like we mentioned before, ground cover plants are entirely accessible to any gardener, regardless of skill. This is because they are so easy to plant! Our ground cover arrives in plug form, needing little effort to plant. Simply dig a decent-sized hole where you’d like them to grow, pop it in and cover with soil.

Once that’s done, all you need to do is sit back and watch them grow the following year!

Prefer a visual guidance? Watch this handy tutorial!

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How to plant Summer Flowering Bulbs

This guide on how to plant Summer Flowering bulbs will have your garden blooming right on time for the upcoming season. Planting bulbs is a super easy way to make your garden ready for summer. Whether you are aiming to show off some beautiful boarders or create a dynamic display with pots, this guide will show you how!

The best time to plant your Summer Flowering bulbs is during the season before – Spring. Summer bulbs need warm weather and warm soil to grow which makes April and May the best time to start planting if you want your flowers to bloom on time.

Step 1: Check the size

To ensure that your bulbs grow correctly it is important that you make sure you know the size of the bulb. As they need to be planted at two to three times their depth, ensure you dig a hole wide enough and deep enough for the bulb to fit.

Step 2: Spacing

When figuring out how to lay out your garden, ensure that the bulbs are spaced out at least twice the bulbs own width apart. Then place the bulbs in the hole with the tip or shoot facing upwards towards the sky. Replace the soil and firm. Be careful not to tread too heavily as this could damage the bulbs.

Step 3: Water

Water your plants straight after planting. Then make sure they are watered regularly, but allow the soil to dry in between watering.

Step 3: In the green

Don’t forget about those boarders! Remember to plant your pot-grown bulbs in the desired boarder position for them to flower. Make sure the hole is the same depth as before but deep and wide enough to allow the roots to spread.

Tips:

  • As most bulbs are acquired and planted when dry and dormant, plant them as soon as possible. If left in storage too long they may flower poorly.
  • Regularly check that the bulbs are healthy and be on watch for any pests including slugs, snails and squirrels. Also, keep the area weed-free to ensure your plants are taking in as much nutrients as possible.
  • For a display: plant in groups of at least six to create a wonderful display. The more plants the better!

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Gardening for Beginners: How to Plant Bulbs

how to plant bulbs

Bulbs are one of the best ways to grow your favourite seasonal blooms! Their easy to grow nature makes it effortless to produce a gorgeous display throughout each season, perfect for beginners and bulb novices.

In this gardening for beginners guide, you will learn how to plant bulbs, when to plant them, and where you can plant them in the garden for an exciting seasonal show.

Why Should You Choose Bulbs?

planting bulbs in soil

First things first – why bulbs? It’s simple really. Bulbs are both easy to plant and grow, perfect for someone with little gardening experience.

Each bulb holds energy, which provides life to the plant or flower. They’re space efficient, so if you have a garden that’s on the smaller side, you can still achieve a gorgeous display. In fact, you could argue that they’re even easier to grow than seeds, as you can decide exactly where each bulb is planted and plan your displays accordingly.

How to Plant Your Bulbs

As we have already mentioned, bulbs are easy to grow. Most bulbs are planted similarly, making it easier for you to do loads at once.
The only thing that will make the process different is the size of the bulb. The bigger the bulb, the deeper it must be planted.

For flower beds and borders, plant your bulbs at a depth that is three times their height and spaced apart three times their width. For bigger bulbs, if you are unsure then it’s best to plant them deeper than too shallow. Place the bulb with the pointy end facing upwards. Cover with soil once planted and water generously.

To plant in pots, fill midway with compost leaving enough room to plant your bulbs at the right depth. Pop each bulb on top of the compost, spacing them apart evenly. Cover with soil towards the top of the pot and water well.

When’s the Best Time to Plant Your Bulbs?

planted bulbs in pots

This will depend on the type of flower you’re wanting to plant. However, a lot of bulbs should be planted in early to late Autumn, which is a common planting season for early spring and early summer blooms.

  • Early spring bulbs – For plants like snowdrops, hyacinths, and daffodils, plant before the end of September.
  • Hardy summer bulbs – For blooms like alliums and lilies, aim for late September to October.
  • Delicate summer bulbs – For flowers like gladioli, plant in early spring.
  • Autumn bulbs – Plant autumn flowering bulbs like nerines by late summer.

Where Can You Grow Bulbs?

Different bulbs prefer different climates. Hardier bulbs like the sunlight, so it’s best to position them in sunny areas of the garden. Bulbs that prefer shade, like woodland flowers, don’t mind being planted under trees and shadier spots. Make sure you check before planting, as this could damage the chances of growing a healthy and happy plant.

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Choosing a Colour Scheme for Your Garden

Colour is essential to gardening; it can transform any space and make it feel brighter or even bigger. A gardens colour scheme also help us to showcase our personality and our taste. However, getting started can be confusing, especially if you’re new to growing your own garden.

So how do you plan a colour coordinated garden display? It’s not as hard as it may seem, and we’re here to show you how.

Why Is Colour Coordinating so Important?

As we mentioned, colour schemes can make or break a garden. A cohesive and well thought out display will make a huge impact compared to a mishmash of both bold and relaxed colour.

You can transform the entire mood of any outdoor space through your gardens colour scheme. Blues and whites can make a garden feel peaceful and bigger, whereas bold and bright colours might make a smaller garden feel even smaller as the colour appears to be closer.

How to Use Colour In the Garden

To start off, decide on what colours you prefer. What is your favourite colour? What colour would you like to wake up to every morning? Which colours will have a positive impact on your mood? These are the types of questions you should be asking yourself before you begin.

Next, think about what you’d like to achieve in your garden. For example, if you’d like your garden to feel bigger, then maybe it’s best to go for cooler tones like whites, greens, and blues.

When trying to plan a complete colour scheme, think of the colour wheel. Colours that complement each other will make an overall better display, rather than one that’s a bit mismatched and eclectic.

Don’t forget that green foliage is also a colour in your garden! Green has a calming effect, perfect for pairing with both soft and bold colours.

Colour Combination Inspiration

Gladioli Video
Dahlia Blend Pink Mixture
Begonia Semperflorens Doublet Pink
Begonia Starshine Red
Dahlia Blend Red Mixed
Geranium Summer Twist Red
Zantedeschia Cantor
Gladioli Violetta
Iris chrysographes black form
Anemone japonica Whirlwind
Argyranthemum aramis Double White
Digitalis Hardy Snow Thimble

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