Dahlias are an ever-popular choice for many a summer garden. Their easy-to-grow tubers produce phenomenal displays of colour and texture in a range of styles throughout the season. However, if you’re new to gardening, you may be wondering how to plant these beauties.
Planting Dahlia tubers is a straight forward process, perfect for those with less experience. With their beauty and effortless maintenance, it’s easy to see why they’re a horticultural favourite.
Why Choose Dahlias?
Dahlias are easy to grow and suitable for gardeners of all skill levels. These blooms are fast-growing by nature and will flower in the first year and for many years to come (keep them stored and frost-free over the winter).
Dahlia tubers are versatile and will tolerate most types of well-drained, fertile soil or compost. They can be grown successfully in pots, tubs, window boxes and in borders.
They are a firm favourite due to the many different types, sizes, and colours available on the market.
New varieties are created each year. Once you’re hooked on Dahlias, you will always be able to find something new.
They flower continuously through the summer, right up until the first frost of the autumn.
They look fantastic as cut flowers, making any display a memorable one.
Before we move onto planting dahlia tubers, here are the main types of Dahlias. Each variety can be classified into several different categories, representing the main characteristics of the flower blooms themselves.
Anemone Flowering – Also known as Powder Puff Dahlias, these beauties produce unique flowers with double feathered central petals resembling a fluffy ball.
Cactus– A favourite for many years, Cactus Dahlias produce fully double pointed petals which turn backwards to create a tubular petal effect. Are sometimes referred to as Spiky Dahlias.
Dark Leaf – As the name suggests, the foliage on this variety is not the usual bright green that you see on your average Dahlia. They create an abundance of flowers through the summer, with each bloom appearing on darker (usually purple/black) foliage.
Decorative – Produces large, fully double flowers with rounded petals through the summer right up until the first frosts. A perfect choice for cut flower displays.
Dwarf– A range of smaller, more petite Dahlias which are perfect for the front of the border. They are prolific flowering varieties, look also great planted mixed in pots on the patio.
Dinner Plate – As the name suggests these are the largest flowers within the range, often up to as much as 25cm in diameter (see illustration below). Another popular choice as cut flowers.
Pompom – Love the unusual? Pompom Dahlias produce ball-shaped blooms that appear through the summer. Each petal has rounded tips and are curved upwards at the edges, and are available in plenty of colours.
Planting Dahlia Tubers
All our Dahlias are supplied as top quality dormant tubers which can be planted as soon as you receive them. The success rate from these dahlia tubers is extremely high. They are also an inexpensive way to create a large number of flowers from one plant.
Dahlia tubers should be planted 10cm deep in fertile well-drained soil, outdoors in spring when the frost has disappeared. They prefer to be in a sunny location and spaced at approximately 45cm apart. In areas where there is extreme cold, dig up dahlias and store in a cool peat over the winter. Apply a high potash fertiliser every few weeks in the summer to help growth and they can be dead headed when necessary.
Planting Dahlia tubers in Pots & Containers
Planting Dahlias in pots and containers is a fantastic way of brightening up your patios. Their unique colours and shapes will brighten any space, a perfect choice for gardens with less space to play with.
Once your tubers arrive safely in the post, they can be soaked overnight in a bucket of water to soak up as much moisture as possible.
When all signs of frost have passed they are ready to pot up, leaving plenty of time to grow a well-established root before the summer.
It is recommended to place some pebbles at the bottom of the pots before adding the compost to help with drainage, by ensuring the compost doesn’t block the drainage holes.
Fill in some compost and then add the tuber with the growing tip facing upwards.
Continue to fill in the rest of the compost to firmly hold the tuber, making sure the growing tip at the top is peeping out and is not completely covered. This is now ready to be moved to the patio or garden area, with access to as much sun as possible.
Water well after potting, keeping the compost moist but not waterlogged, as the tubers will rot. Add a liquid feed weekly during the growing season and provide some protection from slugs as they have a strong love for Dahlias.
If growing tall varieties, insert a cane to help with growth and to keep secure.
Very little pruning is needed with Dahlias. However, you can deadhead as flowers begin to fade.
Roses are a hardy plant and are often happy to grow undisturbed, so it can be difficult to tell when to prune your roses. However, light pruning at the right time of year helps to promote healthy growth and flowering as well as helping to maintain a sensible size for your rose plant. To see your beautiful roses effortlessly bloom year after year, it’s best to prune them at the start of each year. But when? and how?
Keep reading this rose pruning guide to find out how and when you should be pruning your roses.
When Should You Prune Your Roses?
Your pruning window may be slightly different depending on where you live. For example, if you live in the south, you can get away with pruning in mid-February. If you live further north, you should probably wait until March when the weather is warmer. Pruning can also depend on the type of rose plant.
Rose Shrubs should be well pruned in mid-March in Southern England, or in the second week of April when you get further north.
Climbing Roses shouldn’t be pruned for two years after planting and then only sparsely, removing unnecessary growing tips. It’s best to prune this rose type in autumn.
How to Prune Roses – Best Methods
For most roses, you can prune in late winter. Take care to remove dead/diseased wood and deadhead faded blooms which can be done with your annual pruning. Cut no more than 5mm above a bud with a clean, sloping cut away from the bud so water cannot gather. Keep your secateurs sharp for a clean cut.
Pruning Tip 💡 – Use fertilizer on your roses once you’ve pruned them to encourage healthy growth throughout the year!
Knowing your soil type can be crucial to planning out the planting in your garden. The soil provides your plants with nutrients, water and air that they need for healthy growth and development, but depending on the plot of ground, that can determine what plants, shrubs or trees can grow their successfully.
3 Step System to Test Your Soil
Dig a hole 6 to 10 inches deep in the soil.
Separate an intact section about the size of a soup can and break it apart with your fingers.
Determine whether the soil is cloddy, powdery or granular (ideally your soil should be made up of different sized crumbs that hold their shape under slight pressure).
Known as heavy soil (sticky when wet, rock hard when dry).
Feels smooth (not gritty) between the fingers.
Drains slowly after rain.
Takes a long time to warm up in spring.
Heavy to dig and cultivate.
Usually rich in plant nutrients.The following plants are well-adapted to clay soils:
This shrub is an underrated evergreen shrub for clay soil. The opening of its flowers announce the end of winter and its white flowers (pink in bud) provide a pretty backdrop for a border in early spring. Dense, compact growth make this a useful plant for screening off a view and creating a feeling of enclosure in the garden.
A sweetly scented honeysuckle is a true summer treat and this species of honeysuckle will grow well on clay soil. A scented climber is always a memorable plant, the perfume easy to access, especially if you grow it by your front door. The variety ‘Serontina’ has flowers that display a vivid deep red colouring.
This evergreen perennial produces spires of pink or red flowers in spring. The leaves (the ‘elephant’s ears’) are tinged with red in winter. A good plant for ground cover, it looks at its best planted in a block because the flowers have more impact in big numbers. A very tough plant for clay soil and tolerant of partial shade too.
Add Organic Matter (compost, aged manure) – this helps improve drainage, lighten heavy soil and adds nutrients. Before planting in spring add the organic matter to the soil with a 2-3 inch layer.
Build Raised Beds – As clay soil holds water, raised beds can improve drainage by encouraging water to run off.
Mulch Beds over Winter – Mulch with organic matter during the growing season and winter to help protect the soil from compaction and minimize weed growth.
Sandy soil is the largest particle in soil and does not hold nutrients well.
High proportion of sand and little clay.
Drains quickly after rain or watering.
Easy to work and cultivate.
Warm up quicker in spring than clay soils.
Low in nutrients – very acidic.
The following plants are well-adapted to sandy soils:
There are an incredible diversity of Sedums available. They are succulents, so by nature they are adapted to dry, sandy soil. Most are ground covers that make great rock garden plants. There is also a taller variety called Autumn Joy that is a good choice for its extremely late bloom.
Giant Alliums will perform well year after year in sandy soil with little care, making them a great choice for a semi-naturalized meadow planting. Alliums are an easy to grow, very distinctive late spring and early summer flowering bulb, being very showy when planted in beds, borders or rock gardens.
One of Britain’s most beautiful and popular summer flowering shrubs. Buddleia (Butterfly Bush) is an excellent choice for sandy soils, since they can adapt to most soil types. These upright deciduous shrubs are a wildlife haven. Their tubular, fragrant flowers are a superb way of attracting butterflies and bees into the garden.
Prepare planting sites with moisture-retentive, well-rotted organic matter (farm manure, compost or leaf mould).
When planting in spring, incorporate a slow-release fertilizer.
Water thoroughly and regularly during dry periods.
Ideal soil for gardening.
Mainly organic matter.
Very fertile and hold moisture well.
The following plants are well-adapted to peaty soils:
A fragrant and effective and colourful mixture of summer flowering Heathers offer an increasing superb display every year. This beautiful and colourful ground cover not only adds beauty to the garden but can help cut down on the weeding too.
Nothing is more beautiful than an Azalea shrub in spring bloom and can be grown in nearly any garden. Azalea Tunis is a highly fragrant deciduous variety which has gigantic red flowers boasting long, decorative stamens. The blazing red, showy flowers are truly a sight to behold on a sunny spring day.
Shrubs such as Witch Hazel do particularly well when planted in peaty soils. Our exotic collection of three Chinese Witch Hazel is the perfect way to breathe some life and colour back into the winter garden. These deciduous, winter flowering shrubs produce clusters of sweetly scented, crinkled flowers in a range of fiery shades.
Blend peat soil with rich organic matter, compost and lime to reduce the acidity.
Even mix of sand, silt and clay.
Feels fine-textured and slightly damp.
Adequate drainage, great structure and moisture retaining.
Easily cultivated and full of nutrients.
Ideal soil all year round.
The following plants are well-adapted to loamy soils:
A vigorous climbing plant. Wisteria looks particularly effective when trained over a bare wall or pergola, making it a superb feature plant, and its exquisite aroma make it particularly attractive to bees and butterflies. Our ‘Multijuga’ variety produces delicate trailing clusters of highly fragrant lilac flowers from May through to September.
One of the earliest flowering varieties, this lovely shrub will produce an abundance of rose-purple blooms as early as February and throughout March. For a truly stunning effect plant above a carpet of dainty white Snowdrops, which will flower around the same time.
These daisy-like flowers are one of the most familiar and renowned of all the Anemones White Splendour is excellent for naturalising in areas with full sun or partial shade. They bear large, pure white flowers with a pink flushed reverse in spring and will produce a superb carpet of white if left to multiply over the years to come.
Maintain its fertility with regular dressings of manure or compost.
Feels soft and soapy.
Fertile and drain fairly well.
Rich in nutrients.
Hold more moisture than sandy soils.
The following plants are well-adapted to silty soils:
These spring-flowering bulbs are well-suited for silty soil. There is nothing to match the breath-taking sight of a sweeping carpet of snowdrops, a marvellous herald of spring. Galanthus Woronowii is a giant white snowdrop with green markings. It’s beautiful nodding honey scented flower heads appear as early as January.
Hellebore is a group of flowering perennials that are well-suited to the moist, well-draining conditions of silty soil. These fine Hellebore Orientalis Mixed produce pretty bowl shaped flowers in February to March in an array of hues, some will be spotted within. When left undisturbed, they can produce expanding clumps of evergreen foliage.
Moisture-loving trees such as Dogwood perform well in silty soils. Cornus Midwinter Fire stays true to its namesake, slowly revealing brilliant flame-coloured stems as the leaves fall away. Shoots begin a yellow-orange, with the tips turning a brilliant red as the season goes on, giving the shrub a flaming look.
Add an inch of organic matter (compost, decaying sawdust, or wood shavings) yearly, then add organic fertilizers and then cover with a further 2-3 inches of mulch.
Avoid compaction – minimize walking on garden beds or consider planting on raised beds.
Silty soil has a tendency to become waterlogged – avoid overwatering.
Lumps of white chalk or flint stones are visible in the soil.
Either ‘heavy’ or ‘light’ depending if the soil mixed with the chalk is clay or sand.
Largely made up of calcium carbonate.
The following plants are well-adapted to chalky soils:
Trees and shrubs such as Mock Orange perform beautifully in chalky soils. The heady fragrance of the beautiful ‘Belle Etoile’ is a fantastic addition to the summer border. This Mock Orange, prized for its citrusy scent presents an abundance of single, pure white flowers through late spring and early summer.
Lilacs are perfect shrubs that will thrive even in chalky soils. The delicious fragrant flowers of lilac are not to be missed in the garden in spring and they are one of the season’s best cut flowers. Lilacs can become very big plants so the best place to plant them is at the back of a border or at the perimeter of the garden.
Lavender thrives in soils that are sandy, chalky or alkaline. A beautiful option for the summer garden is a traditional evergreen fragrant Lavender, Lavender Hidcote. Producing an abundance of purple-lilac coloured flowers in July through to September, they enjoy the free-draining soil provided by chalky soils. Grow them in full sun to get the best from them.
Break up the chalk to a depth of 30 inches so that plant roots can spread out and establish.
Add plenty of well-rotted organic matter (compost, composted green waste or manure) to improve the soil.
Attention to watering will be required for a longer period than other soil types.
No matter how small your garden, there’s always room for hanging baskets. There’s nothing quite as captivating in a garden as seeing a full, cascading hanging basket, overflowing with colour as the flowers catch the sun.
With the ever-growing range of varieties available, it can be a difficult decision choosing which plants are best for your garden. We have now made gardening quick and easy with our NEW Pre-Planted Hanging Basket Range. All you need to do is hang them up and water and sit back and enjoy the show!
If you’re still looking for a little floral guidance, here are our top ten basket plants for you to choose from.
A native to South and Central America, Africa and South Asia, Begonias are a flowering plant with around 1500 species. Since cultivation of these plants doesn’t require too much effort, they have become increasingly popular amongst gardeners. Their flowers are often showy with either vibrant coloured single or double blooms, which make for fantastic hanging basket additions for a display filled with frills and colour.
One of our newest additions to our range, Begonia Northern Lights Pink. This free-flowering double begonia blooms with hot pink petals and ruffled centres with shades of pink and yellow. These stunning flowers create a real eye-catching effect in summer hanging baskets.
Looking for an elegant twist for your basket displays? As a part of the popular Illumination series, this stunning variety produces delicate, double white blooms. This versatile variety can be planted in both sun and semi-shade for beautiful flowers all throughout the summer.
Million Bells are a dazzling little plant that features hundreds of small, bell-like flowers that resemble mini Petunias and are a must-have in the garden. Their versatile, trailing-like habit make them perfect for hanging baskets or even containers and ground cover.
This exceptionally long flowering variety is the perfect drought resistant plant for bringing character and interest all summer. Producing a mass of miniature, blue bell-shaped flowers, Million Bells Blue has a trailing like habit that makes an excellent addition to hanging baskets.
Brighten up your hanging baskets with the vibrant, miniature yellow bell-shaped blooms of Million Bells Yellow. With an exceptional long-flowering period and a strong drought resistance, these cheery flowers will create an avalanche of summer colour in the garden.
This summertime bloomer is an easy-to-grow, carefree plant. Lobelia is an attractive annual which produces a variety of long flowering blooms in a range of vibrant, beautiful colours from pinks, reds to cool blues, which make spectacular additions to hanging baskets.
Our Lobelia California Dark Blue Eye has a beautifully vigorous spreading habit and produces an abundance of large bright blue flowers all through summer. These plants make excellent hanging basket displays for a garden bursting with life.
This variety of Lobelia is a part of a sensational range bred by the famous breeder ‘Breier’ and showcases a beautiful abundance of large bright purple blooms. These flowers are ideal for hanging baskets as they naturally form a perfect mound with their even and neat flowering habit.
If you’re searching for long lasting blooms that perform even through the hottest days of summer, than look no further than the Verbena flower. This brilliant, drought resistant plant produces exquisite showy flower heads that appear in tight clusters of brightly coloured flowers along with vivid green foliage.
Winner of the RHS award of Garden Merit; Verbena Samira Peachproduces beautiful peach-pink flower heads that cluster to form a sphere that are perfect for planting in hanging baskets to bring a wave of warm coloured hues to the summer garden.
This series of fast-growing Verbena is a fantastic vigorous trailing plant and produces giant cardinal red and pure white flowers all throughout the summer months. These flowers are the ideal partners for hanging baskets for a fun summer display of patterned blooms.
Bright, bold and bursting with life, these excellent plants are a top choice for hanging baskets. Native to South America, the Petunia is an ornamental plant with showy trumpet-shaped flowers that is available in a variety of colours and shapes, double and single flowers, you are guaranteed to find the perfect fit for your garden displays.
Add a touch of drama to your hanging baskets this summer with our stunning Petunia Tumbelina Inga. These unique blooms burst with an abundance of deep red flowers with light pink edges. These fragrant flowers are superb when planted alone or along with a mix of different trailing varieties.
This new addition to our range is a prolific flowering variety and will bring warmth to the garden with their smooth golden caramel blooms that have soft shades of burnt orange with a brown center. Flowering all summer long, these beautiful blooms will provide months of enjoyment.
If you want an impressive big basket display, Trailing Begonias are the way forward. Trailing begonias are a vigorous plant which produce a profuse amount of delicate flowers with large outer petals and a tufted truffle centre. Their beautiful vibrant flowers are perfect for creating a flowing carpet of colour in your hanging baskets.
This vigorous Begonia produces an abundance of delicate soft pink blooms all through the summer months. They are highly tolerant to drought and heavy rain and fast growing, making a perfect addition to hanging baskets for a cascading mass of colour.
Bursting with a blaze of glorious colour, Begonia FirewingsOrange is the most vigorous and top performing of all the trailing Begonias. Their vivid orange flowers are guaranteed to bring the sunshine to the garden this summer with their avalanche of fiery, pendulous blooms.
The cascading varieties of Fuchsia have become immensely popular as they showcase beautiful, pendant-shaped flowers that are a delight to any garden. They are easy to maintain and are known for their high performance, so create a bold and beautiful avalanche of colour in your hanging baskets this summer.
These giant flowers create an impressive display with their beautiful double blooms. With their outer milky-white sepals and deep purple ruffled petals, Fuchsia Giant Deep Purple is the perfect plant for trailing along the edges of summer baskets for a colourful display.
Originating from Peru and Bolivia, this spreading Fuchsia variety produces vibrant, variegated green and pink foliage along with bright pink-red flowers. As an added bonus, their foliage gradually gets darker as the summer season progresses for added interest.
Beautiful Geraniums gently cascading over the side of summer baskets and planters are a marvelous sight. With their bright green foliage, vibrant colours and tumbling habit, they are an essential addition for creating the perfect hanging basket.
Often seen in Germany and Alpine Europe, this beautiful single flowering variety of Geranium produces a delicate avalanche of colour. This prolific flowering variety blooms with soft shades of light pink and are a superb addition to summer hanging baskets.
The pretty blooms of this Geranium variety are very tolerable of heat and wet conditions, that make the perfect partners for summer basket displays. Geranium Single Trailing Whiteblooms with a beautiful brilliant white shade with hot pink detailing on the inner petals.
A range filled with beautiful cascading dainty flowers; Bacopa, also known as Waterhyssop, is an ideal hanging basket addition for the summer due to their heat and drought resistant habit. Their beautiful soft pastel shades on their clustered blooms are the perfect free flowering staple for any basket display.
This trailing plant is a firm garden favourite due to their mass of single white flowers along with a rich golden leafed foliage. Our Bacopa Scopia Single Golden Leaf White will brighten up any summer garden for a reliable and heat tolerant cascading display of golden colour.
The stunning, pink star-shaped flowers of our Bacopa Scopia Double Pink are complimented beautifully by their yellow centers for an eye-catching pop of colour in any hanging basket. Their cascading habit performs beautifully in full sun for an elegant display of pastel colour.
Native to mexico, this herbaceous perennial bares an abundance of flowers and are a superb addition to hanging baskets to create a display of rich, lavish colour, which are certain to dazzle in the sunshine this summer.
This stunning Bidens Firelight produces daisy-like pink and white flowers on a bed of luscious ferns. Bejeweling the garden with their amazing bi-colour blooms, this easy to care for and abundant flowering plant is a true showstopper and an absolute-must for planting in hanging baskets.
These single daisy-like blooms showcase luminous white petals with bright yellow centers that are destined to bring the sunshine this summer. They have a compact, heavy flowering habit which makes them ideal for hanging basket displays, and they will bloom all throughout the summer months, from June through to October.
You can always choose the most popular plants for hanging baskets, but why not add stray in to the weird and wonderful by trying some more unusual plants to put in your garden this year?
This variety has sparked the interest of amateur gardeners as they are easy for beginners. Our Tumbling Tom Collection produces large, cherry sized, red and yellow fruit. Their superb trailing habit makes them perfect for hanging baskets.
If you’re looking to add a touch of drama to your hanging baskets, why not try our bold Petunia Back to Black? This stunning Petunia is as close to black as anything currently available. Create a stark contrast to the bright sunshine this summer with a basket full of these dark velvety petals.
Looking for something a little more wild this summer, why not fill a hanging basket full of foliage? Our collection of Evergreen Foliage Plants is the perfect choice for adding a pop of colour all-year-round in hanging baskets displays.
A favourite of gardeners for their low maintenance and highly rewarding growth. Strawberry Cambridge Favourite is a resilient mid-season variety. They are perfect to grow in limited space and produce a heavy crop of delicious sweet fruit.
Question: How do i plant up a hanging basket?
Here is a set of easy steps to get you started on creating your hanging baskets in time for summer.
STEP 1: Line your basket to help maintain moisture and stop the compost from falling out (plastic coating, sphagnum moss, coco fibre, felt etc..)
STEP 2: Add a water-saving gel and slow-release plant food to help keep the plants moist and nourished throughout the season.
STEP 3:Around the sides of the basket, gently push the roots of trailing plants through the basket liner and firm them in to the compost. Repeat this all the way around the basket and add a little more compost.
STEP 4: Arrange the remaining plants in the top of the basket (one in the middle and the rest around the edge).
STEP 5: Water plants thoroughly.
STEP 6: Hang the basket to a bracket using the chains.
AFTERCARE: Water daily. Water twice daily during the height of summer.
How-to Planting Tutorials
Planting up a hanging basket is not as daunting as you may think. Here are a handy selection of our video guides to help you create your very own stunning hanging basket displays for your garden!
Do you have a compact garden and are looking to create an amazing summer display but don’t know how? In this guide, we will be sharing all our small garden tips and tricks to turn your miniature garden/tiny terrace and petite patios in to a show stopping display of shapes and colours.
Vertical Planting: Create a Living Wall
With a little bit of creativity, a few plants and a vertical corner just waiting to be brought to life, there’s no reason for anyone to give up having a garden due to lack of space. If you don’t think your gardening skills are up to a whole host of plants, try growing a climbing plant up one wall for an easy display of stunning foliage and flowers.
Honeysuckle is a fantastic climber with the added bonus of attracting wildlife with their sweetly scented flowers. Our American Beauty variety is a beautiful, eye-catching plant for their mulit-coloured rich tones of blooms, making them a popular choice for the summer garden.
This gorgeous variety of Clematis is a strong grower producing a dazzling array of white flowers with creamy yellow stamens. This climber makes the perfect addition to the summer garden for coverage on trellises and archways.
Think Big (Impact)
Ample pathways can make a real statement in a small garden. Planting scented plants, flowers and herbs will create an impact on the senses with a variety of bold colours and fragrant scents, as well as attracting wildlife to the garden.
This twist on the traditional lilac evergreen Lavender varieties, Rosea is ideal for planting in rows along pathways, around the patio and in the garden for a display of beautiful pale pink blooms and their staple lavender fragrance.
Bring a bright mixture of colours to your pathways this summer with there pretty foxgloves. Penstemon Mixed have a neat compact habit making them a versatile option for the summer garden as they are suitable for beds, borders and containers. Also, as an added bonus, they are loved by bees and butterflies!
Create Secluded Areas
Divide the garden and make your own secluded areas of the garden to break up the space to make your garden feel larger by adding areas of interest. By using tall narrow plants or climbers you can create spaces for different functions like a place for contemplation or an edible garden.
Noted for it’s fascinating yellow colour, this variety of yellow bamboo can create a striking structure in the garden when planted together for a captivating and contrasting effect. A fantastic strong plant for designing a beautiful summer garden structure.
This ornamental grass produces strong green stems topped with pink cloud like flowers making this the perfect variety for creating an area of relaxation in the garden with their dense foliage and feathery flowers.
Don’t bombard your garden with plants. For smaller spaces, keeping clutter at bay is the best way of creating the feeling of more space. Choosing the right plants for your space can be detrimental to creating a beautiful garden design and hanging basket, potted and patio plants are perfect for small spaces as they do not take up too much room and can be placed on the ground or up on shelves for an explosion of blooms and colour.
The fabulous bright colours of our Begonia Superba are the perfect eyecatching potted plants for your garden spaces. Suitable for planting in pots on the patio, place these flowers in clusters around your front porch, corners of decking or on low walls for a burst of summer colour.
The beautiful shades of pink blooms in our Calibrachoa Chameleon Pink Passion make a stunning addition to summer pots and hanging baskets. Pot up in clusters around corners or along walls for a pretty display or plant in baskets for wall hangings.
Types of Small Gardens
With more and more people being drawn to urban living and if you’re lucky enough to have your own inner city garden or outdoor space, creating your own private green oasis is possible. Small city spaces can be challenging but it’s an opportunity to get creative. You could pot up a mini orchard on your balcony and grow your own produce, create a small herb garden for a delight on the senses, or pot up a selection of plants along narrow spaces to give an illusion of a larger space. Transform your small spaces with these compact design hacks for beautiful summer displays.
Container planting to keep clutter to a minimum.
Try portable planters to allow for adjusting your garden plants.
Vegetables, fruits and herbs are the best easy growing options for urban spaces.
Fancy growing your own fruit produce on your own patio? Our Miniature Patio Fruit Trees collection is ideal for producing a reliable source of delicious fruit and bringing colour and variety to your spaces. Their compact proportions make them perfect for placing in small, compact spaces.
With small gardens, any surface can be an opportunity for planting. For an easy herb garden, our Herbs Mixed provides a range of herb varieties in a lucky dip style to allow you to harvest your own herbs for cooking or just as a focal piece on your balcony, patio or garden.
Courtyard gardens may be small but they can be beautiful spaces with strategic planning, they can become alive with colour and textures without looking cluttered. Why not draw the eye by using repetition of container plants along paths or paving? or since courtyards are often shady, why not plant up big, glossy green plants to create your own tropical jungle feel?
Plant in Containers to establish usable space.
Evergreens are great year round choices for creating structure.
Go vertical and plant climbers along walls or fencing for a large garden feel.
This beautiful patterned variety of Hostaceae is perfect for container growing or in the border for adding a tropical feel to your small spaces with their waxy bottle green and lime yellow striped leaves. As an added bonus, this variety produces light lavender flowers in late summer.
This compact evergreen perennial produces an array of silver-grey foliage and small white flowers throughout summer, making this plant the perfect versatile option for borders, patio pots and containers. They can even be used as a filler for hanging baskets for a pop of delicate blooms.
Small Space Hacks
Wooden pallets are a great DIY idea for creating unique vertical planters to help save space in the garden. Turn an old pallet lying around your home in to a fun herb garden, vegetable patch or a unique floral display.
Verticle Vegetable Gardening
For a modern twist on the ordinary vegetable garden, using different variations of planters can help spruce up a cluttered garden to bring a touch of individuality and organisation to your green spaces.
If you live in a city, space for gardening can be sparse, so why not try growing plants indoors? Succulents have become popular indoor plants but try growing some unique options like a windowsill herb collection and bring the green indoors.
Lilies are one of the truly great garden plants for their flower forms, diversity, extended season of bloom, graceful stature, and reliable disposition. Lilium/Lilies are ideal for large, showy displays and many are fragrant varieties, and will naturalise each year for continued pleasure. Keep reading to learn more about our different lily varieties and advice on how to plant them.
These lilies are very cold hardy and often the earliest bloomers. They are usually 3 to 4 feet tall and produce unscented flowers in almost every colour imaginable. Asiatic lilies are an excellent choice for borders or rockeries as they produce very strong stems and are available in several exciting colour combinations, these little garden beauties provide the earliest lily blooms of the year by appearing in June-July each year. Asiatic Lily bulbs produce sturdy and colourful flowers that make cut flowers. Supplied as top sized Lilium bulbs.
Asiatic lilies come in a variation of tall, dwarf, double and bi-colour varieties.
One of our favourite tall varieties is the stunning Lily Yellow County. This Asiatic lily produces beautiful yellow flowers and a lovely scent, which stand upon tall, strong stems and an added bonus of this plant is that they are usually pest free.
A favoured dwarf variety of ours is the Lily Foxtrot. A beautiful pale pink, Dwarf Asiatic lily. Ideal for growing in groups at the front of the border or in pots scattered around the patio.
A gorgeous Double Asiatic variety in our Lily collection is the Lily Red Twin. A stunning double flowering Asiatic Lily, it has deep orange-red flowers. It has a slight fragrance and is ideal for patio pots and containers. They grow to a height of 100-110cm and make wonderful cut flowers for indoor arrangements as they stand on strong sturdy stems.
These amazing Oriental Lilies can grow to 5 feet high, bloom in late summer, and have a strong, enchanting fragrance, flowering in summer (August-September). The colour and markings of Oriental Lilies are very unusual and unique, but still with an abundance of flowers per bulb. Fragrant Oriental Lily bulbs can be planted in late autumn through to spring.
The stunning giant flowers that are a staple feature of this plant are available in double and dwarf varieties.
Our top pick for the Double Oriental Lilies is the Lily Lotus Beauty. Lotus Beauty is from our new range of double flowering oriental lilies that produces large flowers that resemble a lotus in appearance. The ruffled white flowers are speckled with burgundy spots and flower from July throughout August.
One of our favourite dwarf varieties is the Lily Gold Band. This oriental lily is an excellent choice for adding beauty to your summer borders with their gorgeous fragrant flowers and eye catching white and gold banded petals.
Fragrant giant Goliath Lilies are a cross between Giant Oriental Lilies and Giant Trumpet Lilies. These Interspecific crosses between Oriental and Trumpet lilies have produced lily bulbs that easily weather late Midwestern frosts without bud kill but have the sweet fragrance and shape of Oriental lilies. They have large flowers with thick petals that open wide, are extremely fragrant, and tend to last a long time. These beautiful Lilies can be incorporated into the back of your garden borders where they can act as a wonderful backdrop for your display.
One of our top picks for Giant Oriental Lilies is Lily Debby. A stunning red and orange oriental trumpet lily variety that grows to roughly 2m tall and produces up to 30 giant flowers with a diameter of roughly 20cm; a perfect addition to borders and large pots for summer.
Our popular Trumpet Lily bulbs produce large scented, huge trumpet shaped blossoms on very sturdy stems, and these lilies can grow up to 5 feet high. Trumpet Lilies like the same suggests exhibit large trumpet shaped flowers, often with a combination and blend of colours. Fragrant and easy to grow. Flowering early summer from June onwards. Trumpet Lilies are supplied as top size bulbs.
One of our favourite Trumpet Lilies is Lily Anastasia. A new hybrid of oriental and trumpet lilies which reach heights of 2.5m with up to forty 20cm diameter flowers per bulb. Large pale pink flowers with a deep stripe of magenta at the centre of each petal and dappling at the throat giving the lily a bruised, blushing effect.
We have a selection of unusual yet beautiful Lilies in some breath-taking colours that are simply hard to ignore. This range of summer flowering Lilies flower all summer long, offering wonderful sights and fragrance. You can choose from Tiger Lily bulbs like our vibrant Lily Tiger Babies, which produce colourful, speckled brown blooms. The name Tiger refers to the spots inside the petals. Tiger Babies will produce delightful orange flowers, smothered in small spots that we come to expect from Tiger varieties.
Martagon Lilies are a species that varies very little in shape and form, but colours range from dark maroon to mauve and white, with different spotting on the petals, depending on where they’re growing. This was one of the first lilies to be grown in British gardens: Gerard described it in 1596. One of our top picks in this variety is the Lily Martagon Arabian Knight; a striking plant with a mix of gold, red and purple hues, which makes a fantastic choice for cut flowers or as a focal point in the summer garden.
Though lilies look like they’d be fussy plants, they are actually very easy to grow. All of our Lilies are supplied as bulbs, ready to plant on arrival. Lilies are best planted from October up until April/May. Lilies like a lot of sun but not direct sunlight. Therefore, you should place the flowerpot in partial shade. The soil in the plant pots should be loose and permeable. Ensure that the holes in which the lily bulbs are placed are twice as deep as the diameter of the bulb.
Looking for help on planting specific lily varieties? Here are some of our video planting guides to help give you more knowledge on lily planting and how you get the best results out of your Lilies for summer.
Make sure you know which plants are toxic for animals, so be sure to keep out your lily plants out of contact with your animals to avoid your dog or cat from harm!
After planting, they require little care. But you should not forget to water them. However, always avoid watering too much. Depending on the variety, the lily flowers themselves grow 60 to 140 cm tall. Lily varieties which grow tall are unsuitable for pots. For pot plants, you should choose lily varieties which do not grow taller than 60 70 cm. Popular, small tub varieties include Mona Lisa or Cordelia lilies. The flowering period of lilies is from June onwards. Always cut off withered petals immediately, so that no seeds form which would cost the plant unnecessary energy.
Encouraging wildlife into your garden is a winner all-round. They can help out your garden plants and you would be doing a good deed for all those creatures in need of a home or food throughout the winter. Flying visitors such as birds, butterflies and bees are pretty to look at and help improve your garden’s production. Encourage hedgehogs, toads and frogs too – they act as fantastic pest control, reducing the need for pesticides.
Here’s what you can do to turn your garden in to a wildlife haven.
Bees are great to have around the garden. You want them in your garden to feast off your flowers to make them continue to pollinate and keep your garden looking spectacular. Bees love blue, purple and yellow flowers and plants so keep that in mind when planning your garden displays.
Here are some tips to keep bees doing their jobs as pollinators:
Plant single flower plants as most double flowers make it difficult for the bees to get the pollen and nectar.
Avoid using pesticides wherever possible.
Provide water for pollinators using a shallow dish filled with stones/marbles and water to provide a safe water source.
Bee Friendly Plants
Provide nest boxes/wooden houses for birds to nest in. (Place near trees or bushes so the birds can make a short flight to safety).
Improve soil with well-rotted compost to introduce worms and slugs and other soil insects to provide food for birds.
A simple bird bathe will give the birds somewhere to bathe as well as doubling as a water supply.
Bird Friendly Plants
You can plant different shrubs/trees/flowers that will either provide food for birds in the form of seeds, berries or nectar, give shelter and warmth under dense foliage or they will attract insects which birds and other wildlife can feed off.
Here are some of our top choices:
Ladybugs are a great help in the garden for eliminating destructive and damaging crop pests like aphids, mites and scale. Here are some tips for attracting ladybugs to your garden:
There are several pollen plants that attract ladybugs that tend to be yellow and white, such as Angelica, Cosmos and Fennel.
Plant decoy plants what will attract aphids away from your desired bug free plants until the ladybugs remove them for you. Aphid attracting decoy plants could include: Early Cabbage, Marigold and Radish.
Ladybug Friendly Plants
Ladybugs eat two things: insect pests and pollen, and there are several pollen plants that ladybugs like, including:
Did you know that attracting bats to your garden is one of the safest and most efficient methods for natural insect control? One little brown bat can eat 1,200 insects per hour!
A great bat attracting method is to build a bat house to provide a warm cosy shelter for the creatures. Since bats tend to set up colonies in the early spring, building a bat house is the perfect winter project! Some tips are:
Use a rough, nontoxic wood (such as plywood or cedar) to make your box. The rough surface will make it easier for bats to climb in and out of the house.
Place in a warm, sunny position for warmth
Keep it close to a freshwater source (pond, stream)
Support on a pole or the side of a building
Bat Friendly Plants
The key to attracting bats to your garden is to plant night-scented flowers, such as:
Attracting frogs to your garden is beneficial for the welfare of your plants. Frogs make great inset killers so why not attract some garden frogs to help with those little pests.
Build toad houses – overturned flowerpots buried lightly in the soil make great shelters.
Avoid using pesticides in your garden. Frogs are sensitive to chemicals so use natural sources of nutrients in your garden such as compost.
Keep pets away from the part of the garden set up for attracting frogs.
Frog Friendly Plants
Toads and female frogs usually spend winter on land, under rockery stones (or in a log pile). Recommended rock plants are:
Just like the shrew and the vole, the hedgehog is an insectivore with a voracious appetite. An adult hedgehog can eat up to 200 grams of insects per night, making the perfect pest controller in your garden. So, why not attract them to the garden with a few small tips and help these little creatures as their population has dropped in recent years. Here are some tips to draw these little creatures into your garden:
Leave areas of the garden naturally unkempt with fallen leaves, twigs and dead vegetation, which they can use to build nests.
Leave bowls of water out in the winter as hedgehogs drink lots of water. Top the water up regularly.
Avoid using slug pellets as they are fatal for hedgehogs
Hedgehog Friendly Plants
Hedges provide a great habitat for hedgehogs as they provide free access between gardens, unlike walls and fences. Species with large deciduous leaves are great for hedgehogs collecting leaves for their nests. Here are some top picks:
Bulbs are the epitome of nature’s talent for packaging, containing within themselves all the essentials they need to grow to provide gorgeous blooms year after year if well cared for. Your spring bulbs may be snug underground awaiting the warm weather of Spring but they need to be cared for until then. Bulbs are designed by nature to withstand cold winter temperatures. Indeed they rely on winter’s cold to trigger the biochemical process necessary to bring the bulb to flower in spring, but to help you get the best height, colour and performance out of your spring bulbs, here are some must-know tips for caring for your spring bulbs after they are planted.
During a warm winter spell, the bulb leaves may start to sprout but do not worry as the foliage and flower bulbs can withstand freezing temperatures without damage. Only when brittle stems are broken, or the weather changes are too abrupt will be when the flowers suffer.
If you wish to feed your spring bulbs, feed them at planting time or just as they begin to emerge in the spring.
In colder areas, apply a nice layer of mulch over the bulb bed once the ground temperatures have dropped.
For sprouting Daffodils, water sparingly as Daffodils do not require much care but some watering will help establishing roots.
Potted Daffodils require regular watering as the soil tends to dry out quicker.
If there is no snow cover, the bulbs will also need water throughout the winter.
Apply a low-nitrogen, high-potash (potassium) fertilizer after flowering if bulbs are not performing as desired.
Apply fertilizer after bulbs flower if your spring is long and temperate; bulbs will have a chance to use the extra nutrients to produce bigger carbohydrate stores.
In late February, remove mulches from snowdrops and crocuses so the shoots can come through.
In February and March, keep plastic milk jugs or other coverings on hand to protect the flowers of crocuses and other early bloomers against the return of severe weather.
Do not let the soil dry out. If the ground is fairly dry in the spring, make sure to water sparingly.
Water during the autumn/ winter with a water-soluble fertilizer to nourish the bulbs as they develop new roots and top growth. Your bulbs will survive without fertilizer, but providing extra nutrients encourages more flowers, larger blossoms and longer life for your bulbs.
After the tulips bulbs are planted, you need to water them thoroughly and then cover the area with a mulch of pine bark or shredded leaves to protect them.
You can build up their strength further by giving them a liquid feed every 10 to 14 days while they’re still in leaf.
After your spring bulbs have bloomed, remove spent flowers of large-flowered bulbs, such as Tulips or Daffodils, as soon as they fade.
When the season’s blooms are past, your snowdrops need to store energy for next year’s show. Allow the leaves to photosynthesize (process sunlight to produce food) until they yellow and wither, before removing the spent foliage. Trimming still-green foliage will reduce plants’ ability to nourish next year’s flowers, resulting in fewer, smaller flowers.
Six weeks after blooming is when it will be safe to mow the green leaves of any naturalized crocus and snowdrops on your lawn.
Have you completed your gardening jobs for January?
Need help on how to plant Cactus Dahlias? In this blog, we’ve compiled a guide full of tips and advice on planting, arrangement, and aftercare for your Cactus Dahlias, to allow you to get the best performance from your plants.
This special, eye-catching variety of Cactus Dahlias are distinctive by their unusual shaped summer flowers, which look fantastic planted together for colour bursting garden displays and borders, as well as when planted as a standalone item. They can flower until Autumn and have a wide range of interesting varieties, all with very showy flower shapes and rich colour shades.
Dahlia tubers can be planted 10cm deep in fertile well drained soil, outdoors in spring when the frost has disappeared. If you plant before the frosts are over, they may get frosted and die, so pot in March or early April for flowering in early July. They prefer to be in a sunny location and spaced at approximately 45cm apart.
Dahlias start blooming about 8 weeks after planting, starting in mid-July.
Some gardeners start tubers indoors in containers a month ahead to get a jump on the season.
In this video tutorial, our resident gardener Jeff covers how to plant Cactus Dahlia tubers in to pots and shares helpful tips and advice on how to achieve the best results out of your Dahlia plants.
There’s no need to water the soil until the dahlia plants appear; in fact, overwatering can cause tubers to rot. After dahlias are established, provide a deep watering 2 to 3 times a week, preferably more in hotter, dry climates.
In areas where there is extreme cold, dig up dahlias and store in a cool peat over the winter and then replanted the following year.
Apply a high potash fertiliser every few weeks in the summer to help growth and they can be dead headed when necessary.
Need advice on planting Dwarf Tulip bulbs? We’ve compiled our gardening advice in this informative blog guide on planting, arrangement, and aftercare to help make your gardening job easier.
Tulips are one of the most popular Spring bulbs for a reason. Fantastic colours and attractive shapes make them a stunning choice for your garden displays. There are a wide variety of Greigii/Kaufmanniana or dwarf Tulips within our range, from First Price, Little Beauty, Humilis, and Scarlet Baby; all with stunning colourful blooms that would be perfect for any spring border, or even hanging basket, and their spectacular foliage produces year after year whilst requiring minimal care.
Tulips do not need to be planted until October in to December. Plant bulbs in well dug soil about 8-10cm deep and approx. 15cm apart. It is often beneficial to use a little bonemeal or super phosphate mixed in with the soil. Tulips delight during their growth in a sunny location.
In this video tutorial, our resident gardening expert Jeff talks us through how to plant Dwarf Rockery/Botanical Tulips, with great easy to follow advice on how to achieve a terrific spring rockery display.
After the tulips have bloomed and when leaves fade and turn brown, the bulbs can be lifted, dried, cleaned and stored in a cool place until planting time. This allows the bulb to store more food and produce flowers the following year. Tulips should not be grown in the same soil for several years, so replace with fresh soil every other year.