Weird and Wonderful Halloween Themed Plants

Put away the jack-o-lantern carving planning for a second because it is time for a very special Top Ten. This countdown is filled with plants that put the orangeblackfreaky and frightening back into Halloween.

Tulip QUEEN OF NIGHT

Bring the dark side to your garden. This Tulip variety is a luxurious bloomer with deep velvety maroon/black petals. Plant exclusively with other black tulips such as Paul Scherer for an dramatic look.

Click here to view online.

Folklore: Use this variety in full moon rituals, for workings related to power, ambition, or even banishing spells.

Sambucus ‘Black Lace’

With lacy, black-crimson leaves, this elderberry makes a dramatic appearance in the autumn garden. With red berries in autumn and pink flowers in summer, you can enjoy this shape shifting shrub year round.

Click here to view online.

Folklore: The leaves could protect a home or a person from evil spirits when dried and hung in a doorway or around the neck.

Iris ‘Oktoberfest’

This beautiful pumpkin orange Iris variety is the perfect Halloween partner. Their ruffled petals are a perfect choice for adding a touch of zesty colour to the summer garden.

Click here to view online.

 

Folklore: The ancient Greeks planted purple iris flowers on the graves of women, believing they would entice the Goddess Iris to lead their loved ones in their journey to heaven.

Corylus avellana Contorta

Otherwise known as Corkscrew Hazel, its dormant, spindly form will produce green-yellow catkins from the tree’s twisted branches, followed by a covering of bright green leaves in spring and summer.

Click here to view online.

Folklore: Magic wands were fashioned from hazel, and it was once thought that if you wore a crown of hazel twigs and wished very hard, your wish would come true!

Lysimachia Atro Beaujolais

The long slender finger-like stems of Lysimachia bloom in profusion for a striking summer display.  Flowering in shades of plum and maroon, this perennial is perfect for bringing pollinators into the garden.

Folklore: In Irish folklore, lysimachia was believed that its use would discourage bad feeling and discord between the inhabitants of a house.

Hemerocallis ‘Voodoo Dancer’

You’ll be cast under a spell once you feast your eyes on the world’s first black double flowering Hemerocallis. One of the most sumptuously vibrant and usual flowers you’ll ever see.

Folklore: A very old Chinese belief was that a woman who wore daylily flowers in her girdle (belt) while pregnant would give birth to a boy.

Athyrium Ghost

Lift your spirits with this ghostly white fern. A cross between a painted fern and the traditional lady fern; the deciduous silvery white leaves darken to a silver green as the plant matures.

Click here to view online.

Folklore: Ferns tied to the ears of horses protect them from the devil.

Hamamelis mollis (witch hazel)

Bring a touch of magic to the garden with Witch Hazel. With tiny firework-like flowers exploding all over the branches from winter, look for these spidery golden flowers blooming on the most magical of all witchy night.

Click here to view online.

 

Folklore: An extract of the bark is useful in banishing spells, to make something go away.

salix melanostachys (Black Pussy Willow)

Let your garden come alive with the unique claw-like blooms of Black Pussy Willow. Boasting with rich purple and black winter stems, this mounded willow will make a bewitching focal point in the spring border.

Click here to view online.

Folklore: Willow leaves act as charms against jealousy.

Cephalanthus occidentalis (Button Bush)

 

The ball-shaped, spiky blooms of the Button bush as a sight to behold. These sweetly-scented cream flowers will certainly bring a touch of uniqueness to the garden.

Click here to view online.

 

 

Folklore: The bark was chewed to relieve toothaches.

Dicentra ‘Burning Hearts’

Cast a love spell over your garden with the romantic, heart-shaped flowers of Dicentra ‘Burning Hearts’. These enchantingly pretty blooms are so vibrant and eye-catching that it is almost impossible not to fall in love with them.

Click here to view online.

 

Folklore: Dicentra flowers are known to symbolise a connection that goes between life and death.

Halloween Tips:

Pumpkin Plant Pots

Why not upcycle some old plant pots with a dose of acrylic paint and transform them into spooky pumpkin planters? A group of these little ghouls around the porch look amazing!

 

Floral Pumpkin centerpiece

No idea what to do with your pumpkin after Halloween? Make the most of your pumpkin by turning your jack-o-lantern into a vase for a floral display?

 

Little Leaf Ghosts

Create some DIY decorations this Halloween by gathering up fallen leaves from the garden and turn them into little ghostly ghouls. All you need is some white paint and a marker, and abracadabra!

 

 

Halloween Pumpkin Carving Contest

GET YOUR GOURDS READY BECAUSE HALLOWEEN IS JUST AROUND THE CORNER…

In celebration of Halloween, we are kicking off a week-long PUMPKIN CARVING CONTEST. By just carving a pumpkin, you have the chance to win a fantastic J.Parker’s voucher worth £25 and entering couldn’t be simpler! All you need to do is carve a pumpkin and upload a picture of it to enter your creation into the competition.

🎃🎃HOW TO ENTER 🎃🎃

  • Firstly, carve your own special pumpkin creation. You can create any design you like, using any variety of pumpkin! Think of unique, fun and clever designs for your pumpkins.
  • Don’t be afraid to think outside the box, feel free to use paint, pen and anything you think will stand out.
  • Once you have completed your pumpkin design, snap a photo and submit it into the competition. SUBMIT YOUR PHOTOS BY OCTOBER 31ST 📆
  • To enter, simply follow the instructions below.

Share your photos on our FACEBOOK PAGE 

Share your photos on our TWITTER PAGE and tag #ParkersPumpkin

Share your photos on our INSTAGRAM PAGE and tag #ParkersPumpkin

Or send your entries by email to competition@jparkers.co.uk (email under 5mb)

  • The WINNER will be announced on Friday 1st November and will receive their prize shortly after by post.

Donate this Halloween…

Our team at J.Parker’s are hosting our own Pumpkin competition as a part of our fundraiser for Children In Need 2019. So, if you would like to join in with giving this October and help disadvantaged children across the UK, simply click the link to donate below. Donate here: https://www.donate.bbcchildreninneed.co.uk

TERMS AND CONDITIONS

  • We will view all entries and the entry which meets the criteria outlined below will be considered for the £25 voucher prize.
  • All entries using photographs must be original images, taken/produced by the entrant. You must own all rights to the image and in entering the competition you agree to allow us to use your image in further promotions, on social media or in print.
  • Entrants agree that their names may be published with their entry. No other details will be shared with any third parties.
  • The winning entry will be judged on both the quality of the plant and the image.
  • The winner will receive a £25 voucher to spend on any products currently offered by J. Parker’s. This cannot be exchanged for cash and there is no substitution for this prize.
  • Send your entries by email to competition@jparkers.co.uk (email under 5mb) or you can share it with us on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.
  • All entries will be considered, and you can enter as many times as you wish. Competition closes 31st October 2019. The winner will be notified on the 1st November 2019.

The Benefits of Garden Ready Plug Plants

 

Light up your garden this winter with colourful winter/spring bedding plants. These hardy plants are perfect for brightening up those cold and cloudy winter months with their vibrant rainbow of blooms.

Throughout this blog, we will share the benefits, planting guides and top varieties of our amazing Winter/Spring garden ready plants, so you can bring long lasting, bright blooms back into the garden this winter.

What are Garden Ready plants?

Our easy to grow Garden Ready plants are ready to be planted on arrival. They’re ideal for people who don’t have a greenhouse or want instant results in a short growing season. After planting they establish quickly, so you can sit back and enjoy their flowers.

Top Varieties

Pansies

Pansies are one of our most popular bedding plants, being an indispensable plant for a winter bedding scheme when most other plants are dormant. Colourful and compact, Pansy plants are certain to produce a delightful display in any garden border, pot or window box

Pansy Can can

A stunning, double-flowering Pansy. With dazzling, layered wavy blooms, Pansy Can Can is a radiant addition to the winter garden due to their bright, rainbow blooms. This fun and unusual variety will add a touch of joy to window boxes, containers and garden borders.

Click here to view online. 

Pansy Cool Wave

These delightful pansies are strong growers and prolific bloomers. This new Pansy has exceptional overwintering performance and is the first to re-bloom in spring. Fill your hanging baskets, window boxes and pots with them for a sensational winter/spring display.

Click here to view online. 

Pansy Winter/Spring Mixed

A reliable, high performing mixture of Pansies. Blooming in a bold variation of beautiful shades, these  hardy plants carry on flowering from winter and last throughout spring. For those who like it bright in winter, this mixture of classic Pansy colours will bring nothing but cheerful colour to your winter garden.

Click here to view online. 

Primula

Primula flowers provide you with bold and vibrant colours all through winter and spring. Blooming for weeks, these easy to grow flowers are a fantastic, versatile bedding plant.

Primula Colour Carnival

Create a wonderful display with this sensational mixture of bi-coloured Primula. Plant these flowers where you can enjoy their beautiful fragrance, such as window boxes or in containers by the front door for greeting guests. They are also perfect for attracting bees and butterflies to the garden.

Click here to view online. 

 

Primula Primlet

Almost resembling a mass of miniature roses, Primula Primlet bloom with stunning double and semi-double flowers in a variation of pretty yellow, red and violet shades. These vibrant, hardy perennials may look delicate, but they will thrive all throughout the tough late winter weather.

Click here to view online. 

Primula Wanda Mixed

This compact and semi evergreen perennial bears masses of vibrant flowers with contrasting yellow centres. Enjoy their fragrant flowers in patio containers or plant them as a bright showstopper in the front of the border. This versatile plant is also perfect for edging or under-planting shrubs and roses.

Click here to view online. 

Violas

A modern favourite of the British gardener. Viola are spectacular performing trailing plants that flower in bright, vivid colours and really make an impact in any garden. Free flowering with a soft fragrance they are perfect for winter hanging baskets and containers where their trailing habit will thrive.

Viola Teardrop Mixed

Create a cascade of bright colour in the winter garden with the beautiful clustered flowers in our Viola Teardrop mixture. The scented blooms, each looking rather like a smiling face,  will cascade over the edge of your pots and baskets from October to April, an absolute delight to behold.

Click here to view online. 

Planting Guide

  • Plant in well-drained soil.
  • For Pansies, plant plain-faced types en masse in beds and borders, and bicolours and whiskered types along paths where you can appreciate the delicacy of their pretty patterns.
  • Water and feed regularly during the growing season.
  • Deadhead as required to ensure further growth spurts is facilitated.

  • Plant straight away upon arrival into pots and use either freshly prepared soil (with organic matter) or a balanced potting compost.
  • Water regularly and make sure soil does not become too dry. This will also help to produce a bigger plant with greater flowering potential.

  • Placing your empty hanging basket on a bucket so it is held firmly in place whilst you add the plants.
  • Fit basket with liner and trim off any excess material that protrudes above the rim.
  • Use a balanced potting compost and fill your basket until it is level with the first layer of slits and gently firm the compost down.
  • Insert your trailing plants by pushing the plants head-first from the inside through the slits.
  • Continue to plant until all the slits have been filled, and then gently tease out the roots of the plants.
  • Add more compost and work it around the roots of the plants until the basket is almost full.
  • Fill in around the roots with further compost mix; aiming to keep the soil surface an inch below the rim of the basket to prevent compost spilling out when watering.
  • To finish, water your hanging basket thoroughly.

Allium Guide: When and How to Plant Them

Alliums are plants of exquisite beauty that deserve a place in perennial gardens. Easy to grow and undemanding, these ornamental bulbs come in a diverse range of colour, height and bloom times, to give you beautiful blooms from spring all the way through till summer.

Throughout this Allium blog, we will guide you through our most popular varieties, planting partners, a full planting guide and even video planting tutorials to get you ready for your autumn bulb planting.

Top Varieties

Allium Graceful Beauty

A striking new variety. This elegant Allium will dazzle in the summer garden with their white and pink flushed flowers. Easy to grow and compact, this bloomer will dazzle at the front of the border. Also they are perfect for attracting wildlife!

Click here to view online.

Allium Drumsticks

A lovely addition to the border. Add interest and movement to the late-spring garden with these unique and vibrant egg-shaped flower heads.  As well as being long lasting and pollinator-friendly, these Alliums make beautiful cut flowers!

Click here to view online.

Allium Gladiator

An RHS Garden Merit Award-Winner. Allium Gladiator showcases dozens of small star-shaped purple blooms which are long lasting and naturalise easily for years of pleasure. Spectacular in large, sweeping drifts.

Click here to view online.

 Allium Globemaster

Boasting massive spherical violet heads, this award-winning Allium is a great tall addition to beds and borders. This showstopper naturalises easily and they are perfect for bringing butterflies fluttering to the garden.

Click here to view online.

Alliums look beautiful alongside…

Forming a succulent mat of foliage around the base, then springing into flower some time after the Alliums have faded. Click here to view our Sedum Range.

Partner the taller Allium varieties alongside delphiniums for a border filled with architectural beauty and height. Click here to view our Delphinium Range.

Create a border rich in colour and shapes. Poppies and Alliums both excel in the garden as elegant vertical accents with architectural interest. Click here to view our Poppy Range.

Planting Guide

Planting time: September – December 📆

Location: Full Sun/Partial Shade ☀

Flowering Time: Late-Spring-July 🌸

Soil Type: Fertile, well-drained soil 🏡

For ground planting:

  1. Remove any weeds before planting.
  2. Plant at 3-4 times the depth of the bulb and approx 10cm-15cm apart. Position the bulbs with the pointed end facing upwards.
  3. Fill in the holes and tread down lightly.
  4. Feed regularly in poor soils.
  5. After flowering, remove the leaves when they have withered.

For container planting:

  1. Make sure to use a deep and fairly large pot for large Allium bulbs.
  2. Use a good-quality potting compost.
  3. Plant the bulbs three times deeper than the height of the bulb and as far apart as you can.
  4. Water sufficiently after planting.
  5. For frost protection, use bubble wrap or garden fleece.

Tutorials

How to Plant Allium Globemaster: Spring/Summer Garden Guide
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Create a Wonderful Winter Haven for Birds

Birds can play a vital role in the garden’s ecosystem, from natural pest controllers to simply bringing joy and life to the garden. By choosing the right plants, you can produce both food and cover for garden birds all year round. There are lots of ways to give bird populations a boost, from creating nesting shelters to planting shrubs rich in berries.

In this week’s blog, we have listed the top bird-friendly shrubs to provide bird food and shelter to handy and simple crafts and tips to attract these wild visitors to the garden.

Top Bird-Friendly Shrubs

Holly Blue Angel

A classic winter wonder. Holly Blue Angel produces shiny evergreen foliage with an unusual blue tinge on the leaves and masses of red berries in the winter. When birds need a source of food in the winter, Holly berries are the perfect snack.

Click here to view online.

Holly Hedging (Ilex aquifolium)

A brilliant evergreen hedging plant. It is slow growing, low maintenance and acts as a deterrent with its dense prickly barrier. With bright red and orange berries in winter, this native plant is a great source of food and shelter for birds.

Click here to view online.

Pyracantha Victory

A robust Pyracantha. Producing masses of red berries in summer and clusters of white blossoms in summer, this decorative shrub adds plenty of interest for wildlife as a spot for nesting birds and they contain an abundance of pollen for bees.

Click here to view online.

Pyracantha Golden Charmer

A beautiful and useful shrub. With sprinklings of white June blossoms followed by masses of golden berries, this multi-tasking plant is a great climbing, specimen or screening plant and is also well-loved by birds in the winter.

Click here to view online.

Quickthorn/Hawthorn Hedging

This popular British Native hedge can withstand harsh winds and temperatures and the thick and thorny branches make an excellent barrier. Red berries appear during the autumn months to tempt hungry birds to the garden.

Click here to view online.

Crataegus Pauls Scarlet

This robust little shrub blooms with beautiful pink spring blossoms amongst bright green foliage. Even in the winter, the stout, interweaving branches and their red berries act as a nesting sight and food source for birds.

Click here to view online.

Virginia Creeper

This climbing vine is perfect for adding autumn colour to the garden. At different times of the year, this vigorous creeper provides fruit, caterpillars and nesting material for birds. Its dense leafy cover also makes great shelter.

Click here to view online.

Boston Ivy

You won’t find a more dramatic sight in autumn than a Boston Ivy. Their leaves change from a summer green to a bright crimson in the autumn. This variety produces clusters of dark blue berries that are a perfect food source for hungry birds.

Click here to view online.

Lonicera ‘Winter Beauty’

This winter-flowering Honeysuckle produces masses of fragrant, creamy-white flowers. In autumn, it provides berries and shelter for birds and in summer, the scented flowers attract insects; a great food source for birds.

Click here to view online.

Lonicera Kamtschatica (Honeyberry)

When ripened in late-spring to early summer, Honeyberry fruit is a treat that shouldn’t be missed. This hardy, edible Honeysuckle is loved by birds and other wildlife for their delicious berries.

Click here to view online.

Bird Gardening Tips

It’s easy to attract birds to the garden, here are some bird-friendly gardening tips that you can do in any outdoor space, big or small.

DIY Bird feeders/boxes

Turn your garden into a desirable home for birds from winter through to spring with a cosy nestbox. You can even make your own  mini nature reserve for them if you’re handy. The best weatherproof and secure material for constructing your own is wood.

Install feeders

Garden birds benefit  from feeding all year round. Place feeders high off the ground. Use wire mesh feeders for peanuts and seed feeders for other seed. Where cats are a problem, use a bird table where cats cannot reach. You can even make your own by simply using sticking bird seed to a toilet paper roll using peanut butter and using string to hang them from a branch.

Bird baths

Many birds will use bird baths and ponds for bathing, so urge birds to seek out your garden as their one-stop shop for their daily routines. Keep an eye on your bird bath over winter to ensure they don’t freeze over in the cold temperatures.

Best Plants for Gravel Gardens

A gravel garden is a great option for a low maintenance garden. It also lends itself to Mediterranean-style drought-tolerant planting so plants like Lavender and Euphorbia are ideal and provide plenty of nectar and pollen for visiting insects.

Beth Chatto’s Gravel Garden

One great example is the Beth Chatto Gravel Garden. What was once an old car park is now a famous garden, due to the fact that is has never been watered! Despite being situated in one of the driest parts of the country and with poor, free-draining soil, it has become renowned for its spectacular display of drought-tolerant plants.

Here are our top plant picks for gravel gardens…

Euphorbia

Euphorbia Bonfire

A popular spring perennial. The foliage turns from green/purple to burgundy in summer, then again to a bright fiery red in late summer. In late spring it will produce large vivid yellow flowers. Excellent for edging in rock gardens or in mixed containers.

Click here to view online.

Euphorbia polychroma

Long lived and incredibly showy, ‘Polychroma’ produces bright yellow flowers against a backdrop of contrasting dark green foliage. This award-winning shrub’s green leafy foliage turns to a red, purple or orange in the autumn providing a long, seasonal interest.

Click here to view online.

Nepeta

Nepeta Faasenii

With slender spikes of lavender-blue summer flowers and aromatic, sage-green leaves, this dwarf catmint releases an intoxicating aroma when trodden underfoot. Ideal for attracting wildlife and creating a low growing border when planted in rows.

Agapanthus

Agapanthus Midnight Cascade

A bold, hardy herbaceous plant. Known as the African lily, this unique, drought tolerant plant produces beautiful pendulous flowers in shades of rich purple throughout summer. An excellent addition to Mediterranean beds and borders. Can also be featured in containers.

Agapanthus Melbourne

A stunning bi-colour addition with purple buds that open to reveal white flowers with a lilac purple stripe through each petal. Their vibrant, colourful flowers and shiny green leaves can really spruce up a deck by planting in borders and improve the look of fence lines or garden beds as edging.

Lavender

Lavender Hidcote

A reliable and popular English Lavender. Their natural bushy habit makes it superb for mass planting within a border or flower bed. Producing an array of sweetly-scented lilac-blue flowers in summer, coupled with evergreen silvery-grey foliage that adds interest throughout the year.

Dwarf Lavender Munstead

A beautiful compact and extremely fragrant variety. Producing rosy-purple flowers during the summer months, they can be planted en-masse to produce ground cover/low screening or in lines to create a great border effect. Excellent for rock gardens and herb gardens.

Gaura

Gaura Rosy Jane

A wonderful, free-flowering perennial that will produce bi-coloured blooms in a very pretty-pink and white throughout the summer. It makes the ideal border or pot plant, being clump forming with a neat habit. It is nectar and pollen rich and ideal for attracting bees to the garden.

Gaura Whirling Butterflies

Delicate and incredibly pretty, but tough none the less. This amazing perennial produces beautiful white star-shaped flowers (which resemble the wings of a butterfly) that stand against green foliage. Drought and heat tolerant, this Gaura is perfect for sunny borders and rock gardens.

Do you have any gardening questions or need any planting and care tips/advice? We have created a new Facebook group where you can write your burning plant queries and we’ll help solve them.

Click here to join and check it out!

 

 

Plant of the Month: Crocus

With bulb planting season on the horizon, it’s perfect time to start planning your spring displays, and what better than beautiful, bold blooming Crocus flowers? As one of the well-loved staples of spring, Crocus are one of the first flowers to appear in spring. From bold and rich purples, lilacs, cheerful yellows, to striking blends and patterns, Crocus have every colour you need to create an eye-catching garden display.

Scroll down to view our favourite bestsellers, a run down of the different varieties on offer and for planting tips and tricks for bulb planting season.

Winter/Spring Flowering

📆 Flowering time: February – March. 

In the dull days of late winter/early spring when there is little in flower, these cheerful little blooms represent a sign of the beginning of spring. Easy to grow and will multiply year after year, these small-but-mighty plants will bring a much-needed burst of colour after a long winter.

Crocus Orange Monarch

Named after the Monarch Butterfly for their enchanting orange and black colour combination, these flowers are certain to bring warmth to the garden during the colder months. Perfect for planting in large groups or pots.

Click here to view online.

Crocus crysanthus ‘blue pearl’

This award-winning Crocus displays fragrant and luminous soft blue flowers with a bronzed yellowy base. Reaching a mature height of just 6cm, this variety is versatile enough to be planted in borders, around shrubs or in rockeries.

Click here to view online.

Crocus Spring Beauty

The name truly speaks for itself. Blooming with white tips and deep purple petals, which then open to a lovely soft mauve inside throughout the season, these little beauties will make a big impact in the garden.

Click here to view online.

Large Flowering Crocus (Vernus)

📆 Flowering Time: February – March.

With similar habits to the Winter/Spring Crocus , the difference with these Crocus is the huge blooms that they boast, which spread up to 10cm.  Growing to a mature height of 15cm, Large Flowering Crocus create a truly striking effect when planted together, making them a must-have for the border.

Crocus Yellow Mammoth

The bright yellow flowers of ‘Yellow Mammoth’ will bring the first bit of warmth to the new year. They will bloom in profusion when planted as edging, where they will naturalise and produce showstopping flowers for years of enjoyment.

Click here to view online.

Crocus Grand Maitre

A gorgeous, deep purple Crocus. As one of the best early-flowering plants of spring, the rich colour of ‘Grand Maitre’ will add a blast of seasonal colour. The perfect low-maintenance bloom for naturalising in clumps through the border.

Click here to view online.

Crocus Striped Beauty

A stylish Crocus with a unique look. These vivid purple and white striped flowers will create a real talking point in the garden. An ideal partner for low borders, pots or containers and will multiply each year.

Click here to view online.

Autumn Flowering

📆 Flowering time: September – October.

As the summer blooms start to fade, nothing adds more joy to the garden than the beautiful colours of autumn flowering Crocus. Growing to a mature height of 10cm, these delightful gems will sparkle with colour in rockeries, borders, or even under shrubs and trees.

Crocus Kotschyanus

An RHS Garden Merit Award winning Crocus. The stunning lilac-pink petals surround a warm yellow centre that will add a soft touch of beauty to the autumn garden. Plant en masse or in drifts for the best impact.

Click here to view online.

Crocus Sativus (Saffron)

Celebrated for more than 2000 years, Crocus sativus has been grown for it’s expensive red ribbons since the Tudor times. Their vibrant, fragrant purple blooms are delightful and you can even grow your own Saffron at home.

Click here to view online.

Crocus Autumn Flowering Mixed

A mixture of pretty cup-shaped flowers in a myriad of stunning colours, from shades of lilac, deep purples and whites. Create a sparkling mixture of autumn joy by planting this mixture in beds, borders or containers.

Click here to view online.

 

Continue reading Plant of the Month: Crocus

Halloween In the Garden

It’s that spooky time of the year again! Why go out and buy cauldrons, candles and pumpkins, when nature provides such bizarre and beautiful creations? To celebrate Halloween, we’ve conjured up our 12 creepiest, darkest varieties guaranteed to give your gardens a haunted makeover, along with individual facts and superstitions.

1. Fritillaria Meleagris (Snakeshead)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The snakes head Fritillaria is a popular variety due to their unusual drooping pendants, flowering in the spring. This spellbinding plant displays a mixture of white and purple bell shaped flowers.

Fact: The nodding, pink-and-purple-checkered flowers of the Snake’s-head Fritillary are said to resemble a snake, hence the name!

2. Iris pumila ‘Hokus Pokus’

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Iris pumila ‘Hokus Pokus’ is a truly magical variety producing velvety petals of deep lilac and rust atop robust, fleshy stems. These exquisitely mystical blooms are guaranteed to add a touch of intrigue to your borders.

Fact: Iris take their name from the Greek word for a rainbow, which is also the name for the Greek goddess of the rainbow, Iris.

Superstition: Iris symbolize eloquence. Purple iris are symbolic of wisdom and compliments. Blue iris symbolize faith and hope. Yellow iris symbolize passion while white iris symbolize purity.

3. Tulip Black Parrot

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tulip Black Parrot is a mysterious and elegant variety, with large flared heads draped in rich, velvety maroon-black petals. Once the flower matures and opens, their serrated appearance of the petals edges become symbolic of a parrot’s plumage.

Fact: These tulips were developed from mutations of certain varieties of late-flowering and Triumph tulips!

Superstition: Wear Tulips for prosperity and protection.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tricyrtis ‘Dark Beauty’ adds an exotic edge to any borders with their strikingly unique bruised purple/blue spotted petals with a dusky white accent, and their tentacle-like tepals bursting from the center with their yellow and white stamens and purple anthers.

Fact: Known in England as Toad Lilies, this wonderful perennial is native to eastern Asia and the Himalayas. A wonderfully weird introduction to the garden.

5. Hemerocallis ‘Whoopy’

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This dark and mysterious day lily is a popular perennial flowering garden plant, producing a velvety purple edge surrounding a dark black core and green throat.

Fact: The genus name is derived from Greek, meaning beauty and day, referring to the fact that each pretty bloom lasts only one day.

Superstition: Wearing lilies and poppies was thought to lighten people’s distress, causing the wearer to forget all their troubles.

6. Athyrium niponicum ‘Ursula’s Red’

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fronds are a soft grayish-green with an overlay of silvery hues accented by contrasting dark maroon midribs. Silvering is best for several weeks in the spring, with fronds becoming greener as hot temperatures arrive. The attractive foliage and shape of this fern provide colour, contrast and texture.

Fact: Genus name comes from Greek athyros meaning doorless in reference to the slowly opening hinged indusia (spore covers)

7. Sedum Spurium ‘Dragons Blood’

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Also known as ‘Caucasian stonecrop’ or ‘Dragons blood’ this creeping perennial bursts to life with blood red flowers from June through to August. The large simple shaped leaves create a glossy evergreen that are thick, flattened, rounded, succulent and toothed or lobed near the tips.

Fact: In autumn, ‘Dragon’s Blood’ earns its name as the leaves turn from greenish-red to dramatic deep red!

8. Tulip ‘Kingsblood’

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dark cherry red edged scarlet. Tulip Kingsblood is a striking tall, strong tulip that will bring a hit of colour to the late spring garden. Mix with dark maroons and oranges for an eye-catching combination or planted on it’s own for a bold statement.

Fact: The meaning of tulips is generally perfect love . Like many flowers, different colors of tulips also often carry their own significance. Red tulips are most strongly associated with true love.

Superstition: In Persia, Tulips are used as a ward against evil.

9. Dicentra Spectabilis ‘Bleeding Heart’

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Bleeding Heart is both bold and dramatic which makes a fabulous border plant producing fern-like foliage and arching sprays of heart-shaped deep Pink and White flowers.

Fact: The Royal Horticultural Society has given this plant the Award of Garden Merit for its reliable performance, stability of colour and form and good resistance to pests and diseases.

10. Rose Black Baccara

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Add some dark glamour to your summer border with Rose Black Baccara, a striking fragrant variety of Hybrid Tea rose with petals of deepest maroon which fade to luxurious red as the plant matures. The Black Rose Bush produces large, velvety blooms and glossy foliage from its tall, statuesque stems, making it favourite cut flower of florists.

Fact: According to the Language of Flowers or floriography in the 19th Century, a black rose implies hatred, death, and despair. It can also signify rebirth or farewell for good, in certain situations.

Superstition: Rose petals falling unexpectedly without any cause is a negative omen, potentially portending death.

11. Fatsia japonica ‘Spiders Web’

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A bushy evergreen shrub with palmately lobed leaves, dappled with white, making it look as though it is covered in a ‘spiders web’. In autumn it produces clusters of white flowers that give way to black berries. Fruits persist on the prominent stalks for several weeks.

Fact: These evergreens are happiest in light shade, although it will still thrive where it is verging on the gloomy.

12. Tulip Perfect Partner Collection

Tulip ‘Havran’ is a truly beautiful, silk-satin almost black tulip with two to three flowers to a stem, providing that elusive darkness of colour for your patios, pots and borders. Pictured along side ‘Grand Perfection’, which flames blood red on a soft yellow background. As they mature, the yellow fades and turns creamy white.

Fact: In magical traditions, tulips appear in spells and rituals aimed at love, joy, safety, success and meaningful dreams. You can carry tulips as a charm that attracts prosperity.

Superstition: There is a superstition in Holland that Pixies live in tulip beds.

 

Happy Halloween!

Autumn In the Garden

Gardens undergo a stunning transformation in autumn. The leaves are falling, the days are getting shorter, and morning are slowly getting chillier as the summer weather fades away. Autumn gardens are a beautiful place to unwind, or for activities such as playing with children and pets. We’ve compiled a selection of autumn based activities, plant favourites and gardening tasks to occupy you this autumn season.

Top Nature activities

  • Botanical Gardens

Autumn is a glorious season for visiting local botanical gardens, such as Tatton Park and Fletcher Moss. During autumn, gardens transform in to a rich tapestry of reds, golds and rich browns from the maples, rowans, beech spindle trees. The ground is blanketed in fallen leaves along with autumn crocuses, spectacular fungi and fruits galore; prickly beech nut husks, fir cones, maple keys and shiny conkers.

  • Wildlife Crafting

There’s not much to beat watching wildlife outside your own back door and with habitat loss and changes in the countryside meaning that an increasing number of native British animals are visiting domestic gardens, creating a wildlife area is a great start to encourage visitors with ready-made homes to tempt them to stay. By using a little wood, some nails and a few hand tools, you can soon be producing ideal homes for birds, bees and butterflies.

  • Local/Social Events

Autumn is a hot spot for festivities, as Halloween grows nearer and bonfire night follows soon after, a world of activities opens up during the fall season. From pumpkin picking at your local pumpkin patch, hosting campfires and adventures on camping trips, to attending local open air events such as firework displays, there is a variety of entertaining activities to celebrate autumn.

Top 5 Autumn Flowering Favourites

Even as the cold takes hold, there are a few tough little winter flowering bulbs that are happy to brave the cold and bring a welcome splash of colour to brighten the darkest days of the year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are a selection of our autumn flowering ranges to add some beautiful colour for the colder seasons. For the best displays, a little forward planning is required. Begin to plant autumn and winter flowering bulbs, corms and tubers in borders and containers in spring.

  1.  Crocus Sativus (Saffron)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The fragrant Autumn flowering crocus Sativus, have been grown for the expensive spice in Britain since the tudor times. When in flower look for the red ribbons and remove with tweezers. They can be dried and stored in an airtight container for up to two years. You need a lot of Sativus to harvest a significant crop of Saffron. It is fun to have a little home grown Saffron and the flower is delightful.

2. Cyclamen Hederifoliums

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The sight (and fragrance) of the Cyclamen Hederifolium brings a much-needed boost to the garden, at a time when most other flowers are looking more than sorry for themselves. Cyclamen Hederifolium has a long flowering period before disappearing over the summer – but not without leaving behind a pretty carpet of heart-shaped marbled leaves. The Cyclamen Hederifolium originates from the Mediterranean, therefore it comes as a surprise that they are equally happy to grow in shade as they are in sun. Supplied in 13/15cm and 25+cm bulbs.

3. Crocus Sternbergia Lutea

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crocus like flowers of clear, golden yellow, and they are perfect for planting in pots on the patio, for a delightful autumn floral displays. Alternatively, you could plant Sternbergia Lutea in a dull corner of the garden to brighten things up with their vibrant colour.

4. Asters Alpinus Mixed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The cheerful ornamental flowers are daisy-shaped with bright yellow centers surrounded by petals in a variety shades of pinks, blues, violets and creamy whites. The leaves are narrow and dark green. The heavy cluster of flowers will produce an ever increasing mass of bold colour every year from August to well into the autumn. These little beauties only grow to 30-40cm, and are ideal for rockeries, dry stone walls or general ground cover where it will help to suppress weeds.

5. Clematis Cirrhosa Freckles

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cirrhosa Freckles is an evergreen variety that flowers  a beautiful red bloom, with unique frosty white speckles. The Clematis Cirrhosa Freckles has a lot more colour than other varieties as the majority are white or creams, and when there is not a lot in flower in the garden at this time of year it’s very eye-catching!

Autumn Gardening Jobs

Autumn has arrived and although summer is coming to an end, there are still plenty of plants in your garden that can give colour and interest right through autumn and up to the beginning of winter.

  • Rake Up the Leaves

A few piles of leaves in out-of-the-way places – under hedges, for example – can provide shelter for overwintering wildlife. But remove leaves from your lawn, paths (which can be slippery) and borders. Use them to make leaf mound, works  great as a soil improver.

  • Plant Spring Flowering Bulbs

If you want to fill your garden with colour next spring, plant bulbs from October to December, before the first frost hits. There are many choices for filling up your spring displays and borders next spring from daffodils, tulips, crocus, grape hyacinths and fritillarias.

  • Tidying Up

To ensure vibrant displays for next spring, Make sure to tidy up your borders by removing dying leaves and collapsed stems from herbaceous perennials, either pulling by hand or cutting at the base with secateurs. Leave any stems that have attractive seed heads for birds to enjoy, and don’t forget to tidy up deciduous shrubs and trees that are getting a little out of hand with some careful pruning.

February Plant of the Month: Snowdrops (Galanthus)

There’s nothing quite like the sight of delicate Snowdrops bursting into flower to signal that winter is almost at an end. The sight of snowdrops appearing late in January is a cheerful reminder of the warmer, brighter days to come.

Galanthus nivalis are single flowering, with three inner petals marked green at the tips encased in milky white outer petals and strappy, grass-like foliage. These traditional small-flowering Snowdrops give a barren winter garden a breath of life, and give a wonderful woodland feel if planted in drifts beneath a deciduous tree with Hostas. The flowers has a sweet, honey scent that will attract bees. You could plant in patio pots or window boxes for a neater, more compact display.

Double Snowdrops boast all of the same features, but with novelty double flowers as a twist to the early spring favourite.

Both are great naturalisers, so will multiply and come back year after year. They are robust and easy to grow and have earned a RHS Award of Garden Merit.

Planting

You can plant dry Bulbs in the autumn or from January to March you will be able to buy snowdrops in the green.

In the Green simply means that you plant the snowdrops whilst they are in leaf. You can buy them like this, or when your bulbs come through you can lift dense clumps of snowdrops and transplant them elsewhere which will create a better display but also give the snowdrops more space and encourage them to flower better next year.

Snowdrops prefer shade, and work really well amongst shrubs or under trees. Ideally they like fertile, moist but well drained soils.

Bulbs: You can buy and plant Snowdrop bulbs in the autumn for the following early spring. Plant in moist, well-drained soil at least 5cm deep and 5cm apart. They can be grown successfully in pots and containers but only temporarily and will need to be lifted after their growing season.

In the Green: transplanted with their green foliage intact giving you a guaranteed 100% success rate. Make sure to water well once planted, to encourage their roots to re-establish with the soil.

These RHS award winners will naturalise well and you can just let them die back at the end of their season so require little after care. If you get heavy, dense clumps of snowdrops in one place lift and divide the clump when the foliage starts to fade, careful not to break any of the roots.

Make sure the soil does not fully dry out in summer.

Our Snowdrops in the Green offer guaranteed pre-grown success, supplied in the green ready to be planted straight in the ground.

Click here to shop Bulbs in the Green