When to Prune Clematis

Loved for their long lasting presence and rich colours, is it any wonder that Clematis plants are one of the most popular climbers on the market. To ensure healthy growth and encourage more flowers, pruning is an important part of Clematis care.

When it comes to pruning it can be hard to know where to start, so we’ve compiled an easy gardening guide to show you when and how to prune Clematis plants.

When does your Clematis flower?

The key to knowing when to prune your Clematis is knowing when your plant blooms. If you’re unsure, wait until your plant blooms and then match your Clematis to the correct flowering season.

When to Prune Clematis?

For young Clematis plants, give a hard pruning to one or two of the healthy base stems in the first spring after planting.

Here’s our seasonal pruning guide for established plants:

Winter/Spring Flowering:

Prune the vines right after they finish flowering in spring. The new stems that grow will then have enough time to make flower buds for the following year.

Winter/Spring flowering Clematis plants:

Clematis ‘Jingle Bells’
Clematis ‘Freckles’
Clematis ‘Winter Beauty’

Spring/Summer Flowering:

Thin out and disentangle stems before growth begins in late winter or early spring. In late spring or early summer, go over the plant again after the earliest flowers fade and severely shorten the stems that produced flowers. 

Spring/Summer flowering Clematis plants:

Clematis ‘Elizabeth’
Clematis ‘armandii’
Clematis ‘Apple Blossom’

Summer/Autumn Flowering:

Late Summer/Autumn flowering Clematis need a hard pruning annually. Cut back all old stems to the first pair of healthy buds (around 15-30cm above ground level). If left without any pruning, these Clematis will become top-heavy and produce very few flowers.

Summer/Autumn flowering Clematis:

Clematis ‘Sieboldii’
Clematis ‘Aromatica’
Clematis ‘Madame Julia Correvon’

Check out some of our other blogs:

How to Plant Bare Root Roses

Beautiful and fragrant, Roses are a staple of the British summer garden. From climbing to compact varieties, Roses can be grown to fill pots, create hedging or climb walls and fences; the possibilities are endless!

Many of our Roses are supplied in bare root form, and those unfamiliar with bare root Roses can be taken aback when first encountering them. To make your gardening jobs easier, we’ve created this essential guide to planting bare root Roses, and what time of year to do so.

What is a bare root Rose?

Sourced from the best growers, our selection of Bare root Roses are supplied dormant without foliage or flowers and without soil or pot.

When do you plant bare root Roses?

Late autumn, late winter and early spring are the best times for planting bare root Roses. These times allow the Rose to establish in the ground before their growth resumes in the spring season. 

Tip: Avoid planting bare root Roses in the late winter when the ground is frozen.

How do you plant bare root Roses?

Learn how to grow beautiful summer Roses with our step by step planting guide:

  1. Position

    Roses love growing in full sun, but most will thrive and bloom happily with four hours or more of good sun daily.

  2. Soil preparation

    Make sure that the hole is wide enough for the roots to comfortably spread out and deep enough so that the graft point will be about an inch below soil level.

  3. Add compost

    Add some well-rotted manure/compost to the bottom of the hole and add fertiliser of your choice.

  4. Planting

    Place the bare root Rose into the hole and firm it in (make sure that graft is at soil level).

  5. Keep on top of watering

    Water well after planting, and then water at least once a week after growth commences.

  6. Prune

    Trim or remove any thin, weak stems that can effect the Rose’s growth.

Late Spring-Flowering Roses:

5 Steps to Planting Hanging Baskets

Transform any garden with the beauty of hanging baskets. Incredibly versatile and easy to maintain, hanging baskets add long-lasting colour, height and interest to patios, doorways and balconies; the perfect accessory in the summer garden!

To add a pop of colour to your garden with the help of a beautiful basket, here are our 5 easy steps to planting up hanging baskets.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • A lined hanging basket (the bigger the better)
  • Multipurpose compost
  • A selection of plants
  • A wall bracket
  • Scissors

Here’s how to do it:

1. Stand the hanging basket on a wide, heavy pot to keep it stable. If the basket isn’t already lined, use moss or a proprietary liner.

2. Cut some holes in the basket liner about 5cm (2 inch) above the base for trailing plants. Fill the basket to that level with multipurpose compost.

3. Place the largest plants in the centre of the basket to create structure and impact. Place three or four trailing plants (such as Ivy) around the sides.

4. Add extra compost and firm it around the plants.

5. Fix the wall bracket according to instructions and position your basket in a sunny spot sheltered from wind and water well. Feed and water regularly.

Top tips to remember:

  • Go big! Bigger baskets allow for greater water retention and will allow the plants to really bloom. A smaller one will mean more work on your behalf, as it needs more regular pruning and watering. 
  • For the ultimate basket compost – Look for a good brand of peat-free compost and mix it with slow release fertiliser granules and a water retaining gel. 
  • Plant picking – Choose colours that go well together and that reliably flower, such as Pansies, Petunias and Geraniums

5 Essential Summer Gardening Tips

The sun is out, spring flowers are at their peak, and summer is on its way! With June just around the corner, learn how to keep your garden looking beautiful all-season long with our top 5 essential summer gardening tips.

1. Watch the Weeds!

Weeds can be inevitable, even in the most well-kept gardens. As the weather gets warmer, the weeds come out, but there are ways of deterring them from growing in your garden. We recommend:

  • Applying mulch
  • Weed after it rains when the soil is moist
  • Cultivating

2. Fertilise

There are many types of fertiliser on the market, so make sure to find a fertiliser will work best in your garden. The healthiest gardens use some type of fertiliser because most soil does not provide an adequate amount of nutrients to plants and flowers. A mid-summer application to boost the colour and condition during the hottest months

3. Watering Schedule

The very best time to water plants is in the early morning or late evening, while it is still cool. This will allow the water to run down into the soil and reach the roots of the plant without too much excess water lost to evaporation.

4. Pruning Shrubs

Early summer is the time to prune many of the spring-flowering shrubs such as Philadelphus and Weigela. Prune off growth that has just finished flowering down to an outward facing bud, along with any damaged or crossing branches within the shrub, which should be removed either to suitable growth or completely. 

5. Finish Planting Annual Bedding Plants

If you didn’t have time to plant out your tender bedding plants in May, there’s still time to get them into the ground or their new containers as soon as you can in June. Make sure to place them in good light, so they do not become drawn and spindly in the shade.

Throughout summer, regular deadheading will keep them looking fresh and neat and you will quickly realise what brilliant value for money bedding plants are.Have a happy, flower-filled summer.

Complete Guide to Planting Hydrangeas

Irresistible summer shrubs. Hydrangeas showcase large, billowy blooms in an array of bright and beautiful colours and never fail to bring the wow factor to the summer garden. Easy to grow and vigorous growers, they are an easy way to create a wonderful summer display.

In this blog, discover our essential Hydrangea planting guide, from planting to aftercare, as well as our top Hydrangea varieties to plant for summer.

Where can I plant Hydrangeas?

With so many Hydrangeas on the market, from large shrubs to compact varieties, there aren’t many places these plants can’t go. For location, our advice is to plant them where they well receive morning sun and afternoon shade.  Here are some ideas for where you can plant Hydrangeas:

  • Shrub borders
  • Potted plants on the patio
  • Pathways
  • Large containers

How do I plant Hydrangeas?

Our potted Hydrangea plants can be planted straight away upon arrival. Here are our step-by-step planting instructions:

  • Plant in Spring or Autumn.
  • Plant in well-drained soil (if soil is heavy, add roughage such as pine bark mulch).
  • Dig a planting hole 2 feet wider than the plant (keep the depth of the hole consistent with the size of the plant so your plant sits level with or just higher than the surrounding soil).
  • Do not over water, esp. in clay soil. This can lead to root rot.

How do I care for Hydrangeas?

  • Water at a rate of 1 inch per week throughout the growing season. Deeply water 3 times a week to encourage root growth. Big leaf and smooth hydrangeas require more water, but all varieties benefit from consistent moisture. Watering in the morning will help prevent hydrangeas from wilting during hot days.
  • Add mulch underneath your hydrangeas to help keep the soil moist and cool. An organic mulch breaks down over time, adding nutrients and improving soil texture.
  • Apply fertiliser based on your specific hydrangeas. Each variety has different needs and will benefit from different application timing.
    • Big leaf hydrangeas need several light fertiliser applications in March, May and June.
    • Oakleaf and panicle hydrangeas do best with two applications in April and June.
    • Smooth hydrangea plants only need fertilisation once, in late winter.
  • Prune in late winter and early spring. Prune as far back as you want right above the first leaf joints. It will grow from that point onward, getting larger each year.

Looking for recommendations?

Check out our favourite Hydrangeas that will make eye-catching additions in any garden.

Hydrangea ‘Miss Saori’
Hydrangea ‘Confetti’
Hydrangea ‘Revolution Blue’
Hydrangea petiolaris

Guide to Planting Maxi Plugs

Looking for a quick fix for those gaps in your flower beds or baskets? Our top quality maxi plug plants are a great way to grab a range of flowers to create a beautiful summer display for bargain prices.

In this blog post, we will be sharing our maxi plug planting guide, from plug sizes to our planting tips, that will fill your garden with beauty this summer.

What Size are Maxi Plugs?

Height: 6-9cm from base of plug to the top of the foliage.

Width: 2.2 cm at the top of the plug.

Quantity in tray: Available in 33,66 or 132 trays.

Where Can I Plant Them?

Available in an amazing array of varieties, maxi plugs make the perfect partners for pots, containers, borders or window displays. Our Lavender plants are perfect for growing fragrant pots for the patio or why not try planting a carpet of Verbena for a vibrant border.

How Do I Plant Maxi Plugs?

Learn how to get the best from Maxi plug plants with our step-by-step planting guide:

  1. On arrival, give them a little water (if required) and light and they will be ready to plant within 48 hours.
  2. Pot up the plugs for a number of weeks (minimum of two-three).
  3. Once the roots become established, plant out into final position ( Only plant outside when all risk of frost has passed).
  4. Water regularly and make sure soil does not become too dry.
  5. Cut back in spring when new shoots emerge from the base of the plant

A Guide to Growing Lavender

Long-flowering, beautifully scented and easy to grow, there’s no wonder Lavender is a beloved plant of the Mediterranean garden. They are prized for their heavily scented bloom and aromatic foliage, and they are also well known for their culinary and medicinal properties.

Find out how to plant, grow and maintain Lavender in our step-by-step planting guide.

What You Need to Know

Step 1: Choose Your Plants

First things first, you need to choose what Lavender plants you want to grow to create a wonderful scented garden. To help you out, we’ve selected our favourite versatile Lavenders that you can use for edging, hedging, pots, containers or as an accent plant!

Our top picks:

Lavender ‘Blue Spear’

All your Lavender needs in one plant! These beautiful, fragrant blue flowers are easy to grow, attract pollinators and their compact nature makes them versatile for planting.

Lavender ‘Munstead’

This English Lavender has a well-earned reputation as tough, reliable and heavily scented. Their compact nature make them perfect for pots or the front of a border.

Lavender ‘Stoechas Papillon’

This romantic pink French Lavender bring an extra flair of style to the garden. These blooms make an elegant addition to pots and borders.

Step 2: When and Where to Plant

Lavender plants love the sunshine. Plant them in a full sun position of the garden, and don’t worry, these lovely plants are drought tolerant. You can plant your lovely Lavenders anytime in the Spring, from March to May, or you can plant them in the Autumn.

Step 3: How to Plant

Our beautiful Lavenders are sold as UK-grown plug plants, and here’s how to plant them. For ground planting, a well-drained soil is best as they do not like to be waterlogged, and for pots, use a container with large drainage holes and a multipurpose compost.

Plant at the same depth as the plant was in its pot; it’s as simple as that.

Step 4: Give your Plants some TLC

Once you’ve got your Lavender planted, water well during the growing season at around once or twice a week. After your plants become established in the ground, their drought tolerant nature means that you can cut back on watering as much. For container plants, the soil can dry out quicker, so regular water checks should be made.

Step 5: Pruning and Maintenance

Prune your plants after flowering in August, but you can also leave them in place as food for seed-eating birds! If you want to prune, your Lavenders will benefit from being cut back quite hard as long as there are still green shoots below your cut.

In winter, hardy Lavenders can withstand the cold temperatures but containers require more care. Move your containers to a sheltered spot over winter (greenhouse, garage, patio), so they aren’t exposed to really harsh weather.

Beginner’s Guide to Starting a Garden

Starting a garden is one of the most rewarding things one can do and anyone do it. From creating a cut flower garden, growing your own sustainable veg patch or planting an amazing border display, getting your hands dirty in the garden has so many benefits, but it can be difficult to know where to start.

Here are our 7 easy steps to guide you through the process of starting your own garden!

1. Make a Plan

First things first, what do you want to grow? A vegetable garden? An herb garden? A flower garden? All of the above? All are great choices but have different maintenance requirements. I’d recommend for all beginners to start small until you know what you’re getting into.

2. Pick the Perfect Spot

Your garden location, soil type, amount of sun exposure and access to water will play a big part in what plants you’ll be able to grow. Most plants, vegetables and fruit thrive in sunny spots but if you garden is shaded for most of the day, there are still plenty of plants (Hostas, Heucheras, Grasses) that can thrive in the shade. Go outside and study your outdoor space, learn about your soil type, and then research which plants would be the best fit.

3. Start the Ground Work

Get rid of the top layer covering the area you plan to plant. If you want quick results (e.g., it’s already spring and you want veggies this summer), cut it out. With a spade, cut the ground into sections to make it easier to remove, then put it on your compost pile to decompose. Now, you have your planting area ready to go!

4. Choose Your Plants

Choose your shopping style. Some gardeners like studying plant catalogues to create their shopping list, others head to the garden centre to select their plants, or you can simply shop online. The key planting seasons are Spring and Autumn, so choose your plants according to their planting times. Summer-flowering bulbs/plants should be planted in the Spring (Dahlias, Begonias, Roses) and Spring-flowering bulbs/plants should be planted in the Autumn (Tulips, Daffodils, Crocus).

5. Hydration is Key

Close care and attention is essential for young plants. Once plants establish a strong root system in the ground (usually a few weeks after planting), they tend to be less needy. After that, how often you need to water depends on your soil, humidity, and rainfall; although once a week is a good place to start.

6. Mulch for Protection

Mulching is life-saving for gardeners. Mulching your plants helps them retain moisture and keep weeds at bay. Cover the soil with a couple of inches of mulch after planting and you won’t have to water as often. Also, by preventing sunlight from hitting the soil, you’ll prevent weeds from forming in your soil.

  • For annuals: Choose a mulch that decomposes in a few months.
  • For perennials: Use a longer-lasting mulch such as bark chips.

7. Care, Grow and Enjoy!

Now that all the planting is done, now is the time to care for your garden and watch it grow.

Don’t forget to keep up with common garden jobs such as:

  • Watering plants regularly. 
  • Pull out any weeds.
  • Prune dead blooms, or leggy growth on plants/shrubs.
  • Remove garden pests (e.g. Aphids) by picking them off the plant, hosing them off with water, or spraying on an insecticidal soap.
  • Support tall plants (e.g., tomatoes) with a trellis, stake or pergola.

5 Simple Steps for Growing Clematis

Available in an assortment of stunning shapes, colours and sizes, it’s no wonder why Clematis plants are so popular! Whether you prefer wall trailers or pretty potted plants, there’s a perfect Clematis out there for every garden and they even flower almost all year round.

With spring planting season upon us, it’s the perfect time to get your Clematis plants in the ground. If you’re in need of some gardening tips, follow our essential Clematis planting steps below:

1. Choose the Perfect Spot

Whether you prefer pots on the patio or planting in the border, Clematis plants can do both. Ideal for planting in the springtime, don’t forget that Clematis plants need plenty of space for adequate air flow as well as a rich, well-draining planting area. Dig the hole large enough to accommodate the plant – at least a two foot depth of soil amended with compost prior to planting.

2. Provide Proper Support

As with other climbing plants, the growing end of the vine is on a mission, always searching for something new to grab onto. When a vine can’t find anything to grab, the end stops growing and will die back. Providing the right type of support from the start helps the plant look good and grow well.

Clematis vines can break very easily. Older stems look woody but will crack if they’re bent. Young stems appear to be supple but are actually brittle. So to avoid the heartbreak of your plant flopping, make time in late spring and early summer to correct wandering stems and tie-in top-heavy growth.

3. Pruning is Key

It is tempting to plant your lovely, leggy Clematis and let it get on with it. In fact, all newly planted clematis benefit from being cut back to just above a leaf node no more than 12″ off the ground. 6″ is even better.

This first prune encourages the plant to sprout from the base and gives you a much bushier healthier plant. If you really must, let it flower, but sometime between planting and the following November, cut all clematis back hard.

4. Water well

Until they establish, Clematis are thirsty plants. They should be watered about an inch or so weekly, and more deeply during dry spells.

5. Keep an Eye on Pests

Be on the lookout for common problems that affect Clematis plant health. Clematis wilt can cause vines to suddenly collapse and die after their foliage and stems have blackened. Powdery mildew often affects plants with poor air circulation. Aphids and spider mites can be a problem as well.

🌸🌸 Now you’ve got all the key ingredients to grow a beautiful climbing Clematis! 🌸🌸

Rose Guide: 8 Simple Steps to Pruning Roses

Wondering when to prune your Roses? The moment you choose to prune your Roses can be the difference between a beautiful, healthy plant that produces an abundance of blooms, to one that might not make it through the winter. Late winter is the ideal time to prune Rose bushes, and the right care can ensure healthy growth in the spring time.

Pruning Tips

Here are our 8 simple steps for pruning Roses:

1. Remove the foliage 🍃

Remove all the remaining leaves off the plant to allow you to see all the stems clearly. This step also removes any annoying pests or diseases that may be hiding in the foliage over the winter.

2. Remove Broken, Dead and Diseased Wood

How do you know if it’s dead? Cut into the stem and if it’s brown it’s dead, but if it is green, the stem is healthy.

3. Remove any thin, weak stems🌿

The trick is to remove any stems that are thinner than a pencil. These stems will only produce very little blooms.

4. Prune all remaining canes 🌹

Prune new growth to your desired shape and overall look. New stems grow in the direction of the bud so the goal is to encourage them to grow outward, not inward. Therefore, prune by making clean cuts at a 45-degree angle about 1/4 inch above a bud.

5. Seal fresh cuts

If you experience problems with cane borers, seal all large cuts with white glue to minimise risk.

6. Clean up time 🗑

After all your pruning work is done, it’s time to clean up. Dispose of all cut branches and leaves to remove any risk of attracting pests.

7. Feed 🥗

If you want to get the most out of your Roses, we recommend feeding them with a long-lasting fertiliser.

For the best results, we recommend two annual feeds:

  • Late-March/April 🏡
  • Late July after flowering 🌸