What to Do In the Garden In August

Other than laying out in the sun, soaking up the rays throughout the season (when we do manage to get a bit of sun!)… What else in there to do in the garden this month?

As always, we’ve collated a quick list of easy garden jobs for August, helping you to create your own to-do lists and get stuff DONE.

Water, water, water!

Containers need more water and attention than bedding blooms due to their drainage. As the water can travel through the pots easily, it’s important to keep it nice and moist throughout the summer, especially in a heatwave! However, make sure you don’t over water so much that it ruins and destroys the bulbs.

To check if the soil is dry, touch the surface. If that’s dry, and a cm under the surface is also dry, give your container a good watering.

Deadhead spent flowers

Keeping your beds and container displays looking top-notch is a constant task. Deadhead any spent flowers to keep the display fresh and to mitigate any of the flowers from self-seeding.

Harvest your potatoes

Second early potatoes can now be harvested and used in recipes, and main crop potatoes can be harvested from mid-August! To harvest second early’s, wait until the flowers turn yellow or drop to remove the tubers. With main crop, wait for the foliage to turn yellow to dig up the tubers.

Take lots of pictures of your beautiful blooms and plants!

This time of year is guaranteed to provide a busy, bustling, and colourful display! Make sure you document all your garden successes, whether it be your favourite flowers or some tasty looking crops.

If you’ve snapped some pics that you want to share with us, tag us on Instagram and use the hashtag #myparkers to be featured on our socials!

More Garden Jobs for August

  • Leave your grass to do its thing – It’ll get plenty of rain in the autumn months!
  • Regularly fill your bird baths and bird feeders. They’ll be a wildlife sanctuary through the warm weather.
  • Trim your bushes and hedges for a clean-cut look.
  • Plan your garden for Spring 2022!

Read more from J Parker’s

100 Years of Gardening Trends

Over the last decade, gardening has taken shape into what we know it as today. Like many parts of culture, gardening has always been subject to trends.

But what was gardening really like back in the day? Was it any different to the casual pottering we do in our gardens today? Let’s take a look through the last 100 years of gardening trends to find out.

1910 – 20’s – WW1 Victory Gardens

Once the war began, many women worked in gardens as a contribution to the country. This mainly focused on growing produce to supply across the country as our food dwindled due to the war. Not only was this movement highly prevalent in the UK, but also across seas in the USA too.

1920’s – 30’s – Home Grown Bouquets

After the war, many Briton’s started growing and harvesting their own flowers to display proudly in the household, rather than buying them elsewhere. This trend is still around today, with many gardeners preferring their own blooms in a stunning indoor display.

1970’s – 80’s – House Plants

Back in the 70’s and 80’s, house plants truly came into trend. We’re now seeing a resurgence now, but this trend was first seen in the latter half of the 1900s!

1900’s – Today – Natural and Wild Gardens

From the 1900s to now, one trend has remained relevant. From as early as 1900, gardeners were influenced by what was called the Arts and Crafts movement, popularised by people such as William Morris. This new theme of gardening focused on a more natural, easy-going way of gardening.

The aim is to create a garden display that looks naturally occurring, incorporating a mixture of climbing plants, container displays, and rose bushes to achieve an impressive show throughout the year. Even today, you can see these designs in many gardens across the UK, where they look perfectly at home.

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What to Plant in August

We’re starting to countdown the days to Autumn when the new planting season truly begins! As the weather gets breezier, and produce begins to sprout, harvesting your fruits and vegetables is the next step. But don’t forget about planting, there are still a lot of things you can get into the ground in August…

Strawberries

Synonymous with British summertime, Strawberries are a real summer treat! Often paired with cream and sunshine, our range of Strawberry plants will crop at various times over the summer months. Not only are they disease resistant, but are all reliable cropping varieties. You could even try our unusual white, Pineapple tasting ‘Pineberry’!

Strawberry 60 Day Honeye or Elsanta
Strawberry Pineberry

Crocus

Crocus corms are a real standout in the garden! Creating the most striking and effective displays in the border, flower bed, rockeries or even planted as part of an actual lawn. They may be small but when planted in moderately fertile, well drained soil they can make a real impact in the garden!

Crocus Orange Monarch
Crocus Flower Record

Indoor Hyacinth

Flowering from as early as December, our fragrant prepared hyacinth bulbs are suitable for growing in pots and containers. Sized at 16/18cm, and planted at approximately 10cm deep, these beautiful blooms will produce large, bell-like tightly packed flower heads that will brighten up your home during the cold winter months.

Prepared Hyacinth Aiolos 16/17cm
Hyacinth Prepared City of Haarlem 16/17cm

Alliums

Big, bold and stunning, Alliums are a very distinctive late spring and early summer flowering bulb. Easy to grow and the standout of the garden, when planted in beds, borders or rock gardens. Alliums compliment each and every garden and when planted in fertile, well drained soil, they have a chance of becoming the must have impact plant for spring and summer.

Allium Ambassador
Allium amplectens Graceful Beauty

Apple Trees

Apple trees make lifelong friends for the garden. If you’re after something that you can grow and nurture for years to come then look no further than our star-studded collection! And not to mention, the yearly harvest and vast possibilities. Low maintenance and able to be grown in a large container or planted straight into the ground, our trees are delivered from November onwards.

Apple Blenheim Orange
Apple Bountiful

Keep up to date with the latest gardening news:

Gardening for Beginners: How to Plant Bulbs in Pots

Regardless of size, your garden deserves to be filled with bouts of colour and fragrance throughout the year. Containers are a perfect way to plant and grow your favourite seasonal blooms if you lack the space!

Planting bulbs in containers is an easy task that can be done by anyone, whether you’re new to gardening or an expert. Follow this easy guide to learn exactly how to plant bulbs in pots.

How to Plant Bulbs in Pots

The process of planting bulbs in pots is easy and can be done by anyone! Planting your spring bulbs in autumn will give your garden a real boost once the season begins.

Step 1 – Add your Compost

Find a container that has holes at the bottom. This will help with drainage when you water your plants, avoiding waterlogged soil. Soggy soil can actually damage your bulbs, stopping them from growing, so good drainage is important. You can even add things to the bottom of the pot to add extra drainage, like a broken up terracotta pot.

Fill your container midway with compost. Every plant will have different needs, but many will need to be planted around twice its depth. That’s why it’s important to leave plenty of space for them to grow.


Step 2 – Lay out your bulbs

Pop each bulb on top of the soil layer, with the pointy end facing upwards. Allow each one a bulb’s distance apart, cover with soil, and pat down gently.

This is the perfect way to plant a single layer of bulbs within a pot. However, there are other ways to create a container display that lasts throughout the entire season!

How to Create a Bulb Lasagne

A bulb lasagne is an easy way to showcase your favourite bulbs all in one pot. Each layer will bloom at a different time of the season, allowing you a colourful display for months on end.

To create an effective bulb lasagne, place a layer of early-blooming bulbs at the bottom layer and cover them with soil. On top, place your mid-flowering varieties and cover them with another layer of soil. Place your later flowering tulips at the top, and cover with soil again until the compost reaches the top of the pot. Give each layer 3-4 inches of space to allow sufficient growth.

Common Issues and How to Solve Them

Grey squirrels love to dig up bulbs and steal them, ruining your displays. In borders, plant your bulbs in an aquatic basket and cover them with chicken wire. In containers, simply cover the pot with chicken wire. You can remove this wire once the plant emerges from the ground. 

If you’re unsure of how often to water your plants in containers, double-check the information on each variety, as it can differ from plant to plant. However, containers can become quite dry, as the drainage is much better than if you planted your bulbs in the ground. For peace of mind, thoroughly water once a week. If the soil feels dry on the surface and centimetres underneath, then give them more water.

If the season is quite wet, then you won’t need to water them as often, but keep an eye on the soil as the season progresses.

Enjoyed learning how to plant bulbs in pots? Why not try something else?

Parkers Patch competition winner

Another month, another winner! This time we were able to see all of your amazing J Parkers filled fruit and vegetable patches, and celebrate growing your own. Whether your growing space is big or small, just growing a few of your own ingredients can be amazing feeling. Not only does gardening promote mindfulness, but the sense of fulfilment during harvest season is enough to inspire you to grow more. Time to meet the winner of our latest competition…

Ellen Lockley

Ellen sent us this gorgeous picture of her home grown garden that she created! It is full of cut flowers, pumpkins and an array of vegetables and fruit bushes. This is such an amazing space that is used perfectly, with separate patches, divided perfectly and some flowers neatly planted to brighten up the space!

Congratulations Ellen for winning our Parkers Patch competition and thank you to everyone for entering! Like always, we have so many more fun and interactive competitions coming up so stay tuned and keep planting.

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Red Pepper Hummus Recipe

Paired with a charcuterie platter, some cheese, or even just some flatbreads, you can’t go wrong with a classic hummus dip!

If you’ve always wondered how to make your own hummus, then this red pepper hummus recipe is right up your street! Add home-grown peppers for an authentic Mediterranean touch that your taste buds will thank you for.

Servings: Makes around 6 portions (or 2 if you’re really hungry!)

You will need:

  • Baking tray
  • Food processor
  • Mixing bowl

Ingredients:

  • Chick peas (400g)
  • Red peppers (2)
  • Tahini paste (45g)
  • Garlic cloves (2 or 3, depending on personal taste!)
  • Chilli Powder (1tsp)
  • Lemon juice (1 tbsp)

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Instructions:

  1. Prepare your peppers – To prepare your peppers, cut into strips and put them under a grill for 10-15 minutes until lightly charred.
  2. Drain your Chick Peas – Drain your chickpeas and pop into your food processor. Once your peppers are ready, add those too and blitz until combined
  3. Add your liquids – At this point, the mixture will look quite dry. Add a glug of oil and your lemon juice and blitz again. You can keep adding oil if you’re not happy with the consistency (a little will go a long way so be careful how much you add!)
  4. Spices and herbs – Add your garlic, chilli powder, tahini, salt and pepper to taste. Once fully combined, it’s ready to eat!

Tips:

How do you store the hummus?

  • Keep in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.

Goes well with…

  • Pair with any vegetable like carrots or cucumber for a refreshing snack, or use within flatbreads and wraps in place of your favourite sauce!

Liked our Red Pepper Hummus recipe? Discover more tasty snacks and meals to create on our blog!

Kale crisps recipe

Looking for a healthy alternative snack? Our kale crisps have you covered! This recipe is really quick and really delicious, giving you all the flavours of your favourite crisps without the hassle. Use kale – homegrown or store bought – and just a simple amount of ingredients, to make your new beloved snack.

Servings: 4 – 6

You will need:

  • Baking tray
  • Parchment paper
  • Mixing bowl

Ingredients:

  • Bunch of kale
  • Olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • Optional: garlic power

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 10 minutes

Instructions:

  1. Prepare oven – Preheat oven to Gas mark 2 or 150C and and line the baking tray with non-stick baking paper.
  2. Wash kale – Wash kale and dry thoroughly. Use a salad spinner if you have one.
  3. Place into a bowl – Tear apart any large leaves into smaller pieces. Drizzle olive oil and massage into the kale.
  4. Line baking tray – Once lined, spread an even layer of kale across the tray and sprinkle with sea salt. Optional: also sprinkle with garlic powder for added flavour.
  5. Bake – Bake for 10 minutes. Keep an eye on kale, occasionally flipping any pieces that are starting to brown.
  6. Allow to cool – Once done, allow to cool in tray to become even crispier. Sprinkle with sea salt and serve!

Tips:

How can I make my favourite flavours?

  • Creating your favourite flavours is easier than ever! After drizzling with oil use seasoning powders such as garlic, cheese and onion powders, as well as spices such as paprika and curry to create your very own flavours.

How do I know this is healthier than crisps?

  • Kale helps to boost digestive health. It also contains fibre, antioxidants, calcium, vitamins C and K, iron, and a wide range of other nutrients that are good for the body. This, paired with being baked in the oven compared to fried, makes kale crisps healthier than regular crisps.

Still hungry for more? Check out some of our other recipes:

Upcoming RHS shows this season

One of the many things a gardener can look forward to – that doesn’t include getting your hands muddy – is an RHS show! Held by the Royal Horticultural Society, the UK’s leading gardening charity. Through their hard work, the RHS aim to inspire budding gardeners, demonstrate the importance of gardening. But most importantly, the vital role that plants play. Due to world events, RHS shows have had to adapt, deciding to host a virtual Chelsea show in May. But now restrictions have fully lifted and plans can go ahead. Here is a list of the upcoming RHS shows this season.

RHS Tatton Park

Held at a historic estate, RHS Tatton Park is set to be day full of joy! Due to the rise in new gardeners, Tatton Park are aiming to keep that momentum rising by dedicating shows to newcomers in the community, sharing new inspiration and advice to anyone who needs it. If you’re looking for a way to make the most out of this heatwave, Tatton Park is a great way to spend your day and learn more about your garden.

RHS Garden Hyde Hall Flower Show

This show is back and better than ever! After being cancelled last year, RHS Hyde Hall looks like isn’t going to compromise on anything! With specialist trade stands, skilful demonstrations, expert tips and mouth-watering food, it is truly shaping up to be a spectacle. With flower displays packed with inspiration under the summer sun, this one is not to be missed.

RHS Garden Rosemoor Flower Show

This show looks like it is going to be a real treat! For all the garden lovers out there, this one is for you. Featuring quality plants from 16 specialist nurseries, offering choice flowers, grasses, houseplants and much more, RHS Garden Rosemoor is the place to be. There will even be opportunities to speak to growers and specialists and learn how to get the garden of your dreams.

RHS Garden Wisley Flower Show

Another show that was unfortunately cancelled last year, RHS Garden Wisley at the flagship store brings the season to a close. Held at the end of summer, it is the last time to take note of any planting tips and tricks that you may need. With expert gardening advice, floral displays and shopping opportunities, end summer with as much knowledge as possible.

RHS Chelsea Flower Show

The world’s greatest flower show is back and better than ever! Being held in September for the very first time, RHS Chelsea has a lot to live up to. Arguably, the main event of all the RHS shows, Chelsea is shaping up to be a great event. If you’re looking for the next cutting-edge garden design, garden trend or floral display, Chelsea is not to be missed.

Tips to help keep yourself, and your garden, cool for the summer:

How to help wildlife in the hot weather

The weather warming up can mean a lot of things. BBQs, water slides and leisure time in the garden, but the heat isn’t fun for everyone. Although many wildlife also enjoy the summer sun, it can also be hard for them to escape the heat. While we can escape into cool kitchens for a glass of cold water, some creatures struggle to stay hydrated in the heat. Here are some easy ways to help wildlife in the hot weather.

Keep an eye on birdbaths

Birdbaths are a great way to not only attract wildlife to your garden, but also keep them cool in summer. The best ones are usually made of stone, and sloped so the birds can carefully wade into the water. These should be placed somewhere in the shade, keeping the water cool or near trees for easy access. The water should be refilled with fresh water every other day and cleaned two to tree times a week.

Fresh water spots

Birds are not the only creatures who need fresh water in the summer heat. Small species, such as bees and other insects, also need easy access to water. No pond? No problem! By leaving small, shallow dishes of water – shallow enough so that small species don’t accidentally fall in – you can provide much needed hydration for other wildlife. Also, by leaving sticks or small stones around the area, it gives small species a safe spot to have a drink. Remember to regularly refill and clean!

Food source

Due to the drier conditions, earth worms tunnel deeper into the soil making it harder to be found. For wildlife such as blackbirds, robins, hedgehogs and frogs, this means that a food source has become scarce. A great way to combat this is to leave out any additional dog or cat food as it is suitable nutrition needed by these creatures. The texture is perfect for birds, small enough to not choke as they often use it to feed their chicks. Mild grated cheese, black sunflower seeds, and of course bird seed, are also recommended.

Top Tips:

  • Don’t place food or water sources too close to bushes or trees to minimise attacks from predators.
  • Hedgehogs can only drink fresh, plain water.
  • Provide shaded areas in pond for fish.
  • If you find an animal in distress larger than a rabbit, call the RSPCA.
  • Keep on top of your plants! The garden is a crucial place for sustenance for insects such as bees and butterflies.

Check out our latest blogs:

New Tulips for Autumn 2021

Autumn 2021 has come around and along with it are some new flowers! There are many amazing autumn plants that have become a staple of British spring gardens. From daffodils to hyacinths, we have brand new varieties for you to choose from but right now we want to put the spotlight on our Tulips!

Tulip Abu Hassan

With rich blooms of deep red and bright yellow, Tulip Abu Hassan is truly an impressive showstopper once it has fully flowered from April to May. Impressing everyone who meets its eye, this plant is best grown in groups or as a companion to your other spring flowering favourites.

Tulip Abu Hassan
Tulip Abu Hassan

Black Tulip Collection

Looking to add some drama to your garden? Our new brand new Black Tulip Collection is the one for you! Coming in a variety of shades and tones of black and deep purple, this collection creates a real talking point for the garden, from April to May.

Black Tulip Collection
Black Tulip Collection

Tulip Alectric

Tulip Alectric, from the Triumph variety, is a gorgeous tulip that blooms bright striped colours of creamy white and fuchsia pink! Perfect for planting in beds, borders and containers throughout the season, these plants thrive in partial shade and grow up to 30-40cm.

Award Winning Tulip Collection

This RHS Award winning collection is truly worthy of first place! We’ve brought together 10 varieties of our greatest tulips to provide you with only the best of the best for the garden! Ideal for planting in garden borders or patio pots and containers, each gorgeous plant can be grown individually or as part of a group display!

Award Winning Tulip Collection
Award Winning Tulip Collection

Tulip Apricot Impression

This premium Tulip is a great new addition to our ever growing collection of spring bulbs! With a unique colour combination of dusky pink and apricot-tangerine, these two-toned bulbs make a great statement piece for the garden flowering April to May.

Tulip Apricot Impression
Tulip Apricot Impression