Winter/Spring Bedding Plants for a Colourful Garden

Our range of winter/spring bedding plants will breathe life, colour and interest into your garden wherever you decide to plant them. Perfect for beds and borders, winter bedding plants are ideal for adding to plant pots and containers on the patio. With our amazing maxi plug plant range, you won’t find cheaper top quality winter bedding plants to fill your garden with bright blooms to chase away the cold winter weather.

Also, check out our planting guide below on tips and tricks on how to plant and grow plug plants and view our informative plug planting videos.

Primulas

Lift your spirits with the bright colours of Primulas. Hardy and easy to grow, these cheerful perennials provide a wide range of shapes and sizes in almost every colour imaginable and are perfect for any  garden, big or small.

Primula Cottage Cream

With their beautiful cream/white petals with orange centres, Cottage Cream Primula are an old-fashioned, much loved Primrose. These flowers are best planted in patio pots, containers or at the front of the garden border.

Click here to view online.

Primula Emotions Mixed

Our new Primula mix will give you an amazing rainbow of colours until the late spring. Easy to grow, they make the ideal plant for borders, patio pots and containers. Slightly scented, these amazing flowers will bloom from January all the way through to April.

Click here to view online.

Primula Husky Raspberry Punch

A new and colourful Primula. Producing pretty pink flowers with a bright yellow centre, they will give the garden a burst of joy through the gloomy winter months from January until April. Perfect for dazzling in the front of the border.

Click here to view online.

Pansies

Pansies are the colourful flowers with “faces.” A cool-weather favourite, pansies are great for both autumn and spring gardens! Pansies have heart-shaped, overlapping petals and one of the widest ranges of bright, pretty colours and patterns.

Pansy Trailing Cool Wave

The Best Trailing Pansy Ever! This amazing large-flowered series keeps flowering all winter long, and well into spring too. Endless waves of simply gorgeous flowers in shades of golden yellow, violet, mauve, berry purple and white.

Click here to view online.

Pansy Can Can

A stunning double winter flowering plant. Can Can is a fun and unusual variety with frilly, layered blooms of wavy and vibrant petals. These beautiful bedding plants will provide long-lasting colour throughout winter.

Click here to view online.

Pansy Winter/Spring Mixed

A well-loved high performer. Creating a splendid display of colour, Pansies carry on flowering right through to spring and in such a beautiful variation of colours. Also, these super hardy plants can withstand a dusting of snow in the winter.

Click here to view online.

Polyanthus

One of the most popular bedding plant varieties on the market. Blooming their hearts out for weeks and brightening the dullest days, the highly versatile Polyanthus are perfect for creating impressive floral displays from autumn and throughout spring.

Polyanthus Fire dragon

Fire Dragon is a beautiful rosette-forming flower that produces large, yellow petals which are flamed and frilled orange-red at the edges. A delightful sight at the front of the border. What is unusual about this variety is its amazing scent.

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Polyanthus Crescendo Spring Fever Mix

Create brilliant colour with our Polyanthus Crescendo Spring Fever Mix. Blooming with cheerful orange, yellow and white flowers throughout autumn and spring, they are ideal for brightening up containers and borders.

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Polyanthus Crescendo Rainbow Mixed

Paint a rainbow with the bold splashes of colour in this mixture of Polyanthus flowers. Flowering from autumn and providing vibrant flowers right through to spring, where it will compliment your bulb display beautifully.

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Violas

These little shining showstoppers are a beautiful modern flower for any garden. Free flowering and with a soft fragrance, Violas are perfect for adding something unique to the garden that provides a big impact.

Viola teardrops pink blush

Bring a touch of romance to the garden with Pink Blush. Their soft pink flowers with cheerful yellow centres are ideal for winter/spring baskets and window boxes. Flowering from January-April, enjoy this Viola’s lovely soft spring fragrance.

Click here to view online.

viola teardrops yellow jump up

Create a cascade of winter colour with these yellow and purple flowers. This free-flowering Viola is ideal for winter and spring baskets, containers and window boxes, flowering from January through to April.

Click here to view online.

Viola Teardrops Mixed

The perfect solution for brightening up the garden in the winter months. This semi-trailing bloomer showcases a range of bright and bold colours and is the perfect plant for winter and spring hanging baskets and containers.

Click here to view online.

Continue reading Winter/Spring Bedding Plants for a Colourful Garden

Our Favourite Bulb For Planting This Month – Double Daffodils

Incredibly charming and beautiful, Double Daffodils are more than your average daffodil. Their peony-like ruffled blooms are often fragrant and appear packed with rows of petals and thrills in an assortment of delicate colours, from peachy pinks to white and yellows. These exceptional flowers are perfect for adding a burst of romance to your beds and borders, and even for naturalising under shrubs, trees or the lawn.

Check out our favourites for 2019:

Narcissi White Lion

Undoubtedly one of our finest varieties. This award-winning variety produces sweetly scented double flowers in mid-late spring. With warm yellow centres surrounded by creamy-white petals, these pretty blooms will delight in the garden.

Click here to view online.

Narcissi Sweet Pomponette

This gorgeous double Daffodil is one of the prettiest in the Narcissi family. Radiate sunshine in the spring garden with these creamy yellow blooms. These sweet scented flowers are great for the border, or why not enjoy them potted up in containers.

Click here to view online.

 Daffodil delnashaugh

This incredibly romantic Daffodil produces pretty creamy-white petals surrounding ruffled, warm apricot-pink segments. Also, their wonderful scent will attract pollinators to the mid-late spring garden.

Click here to view online.

 

Narcissi Calgary

Create gleaming spring borders with our Narcissi Calgary. These stunning double blooms shine in the garden with their ruffled and wavy white flowers. Not only will they brighten up borders, but they also look great in pots or as cut flowers.

Click here to view online.

Make bulb planting easier with these cheery Double Daffodil Collections:

Daffodil Cheerfulness Collection

Two of our most popular, fragrant varieties together. Our mid-late spring flowering duo Cheerfulness (white) and Yellow Cheerfulness (yellow) are the perfect partners for bringing vibrant colour and sweet scents to the garden.

Click here to view online.

 Narcissi Fragrant Poeticus Collection

Delight your senses with this highly fragrant Narcissi collection. Flowering later than most varieties (April-May), this Actaea and The Bride pairing will liven up your spring borders right up until the end of the season.

Click here to view online.

Need some planting advice?

Planting time: September-November 📆

Flowering time: Mid-late Spring 🌸

Soil type: Well-drained soil

Location: Partial shade/full sun ☀

For a better visual, check out our tutorial for planting daffodil bulbs in the border.

Essential Garden Jobs for August

With the bank holiday weekend upon us and a heatwave on the horizon, it is the perfect opportunity to get out into the fresh air, enjoy the garden and finish off your summer gardening jobs in time for bulb planting season.

There’s lots to be getting on with in the garden, so here are our essential jobs for August.

Pruning

  • Prune shrubs and climbers (Wisteria, Pyracantha) to keep your garden tidy.
  • Prune and shape hedges and evergreen hedges before they stop growing in the autumn.
  • Cut long-flowering perennials to the ground, such as Hardy Geraniums.
  • Trim back lavender after it has finished flowering.

Weeding

  • Sweep your patio and trim any small weeds as they germinate.
  • Hoe the soil to keep weeds down. This should be done in warm, dry conditions to ensure that any weed seedling left on the surface will dehydrate and die.
  • Remove pond weeds with regular debris cleaning.

Watering

  • Water plants that need it regularly.
  • Water in the morning or late afternoon/evening to prevent the water evaporating in the heat.
  • During hot spells, splash water on the floor of your greenhouse to bring the humidity up.

 Lawn Care

  • Mow weekly but reduce frequency and raise blades if the weather is hot and dry.
  • Lawn weeds are usually prominent and need pulling or treating.
  • Apply a high phosphate fertiliser at the end of the month to benefit the grass roots.

 Wildlife

  • Keep bird baths topped up with fresh water.
  • When deadheading, leave some flower seedheads as food for birds and small mammals.
  • Deadhead Buddleia bushes to keep them flowering into the autumn for bees and other insects.

Bulb planting

  • Start ordering your spring-flowering bulbs now. You can start planting bulbs such as Narcissi, Crocus and Hyacinths from September onwards.
  • Order Prepared Hyacinth and Indoor Narcissi bulbs and pot them up so that they will be ready for December.

 

RHS Award-Winning Blue Spring Bulbs

Blue can be a difficult colour to find naturally in a flower and is traditionally seen as an emblem of peace and calm. From baby soft blues to dark navy blooms, our selection of award-winning spring-flowering bulbs will surely bring some serenity to your garden.

Each of these bulbs have received an award of Garden Merit by the RHS for their quality, reliability and outstanding performance, so you can guarantee that these spring blooms are the best choices for your spring displays.

Here are our 7 beautiful award-winning blues…

1. Scilla siberica

One of the earliest blooms of spring. Boasting with an intense, true blue colour, these nodding bell-shaped blooms will add a touch of woodland magic to the spring garden. A great naturalizing bulbs for creating a sea of blue in your beds and borders.

 

Plant Scilla Siberica with…

Winter Heather

Loved for their outstanding upright and bushy habit, this mixture of Heather adds a touch of glistening colour to the winter/spring garden.

 

Narcissi ‘February Gold’

Always the first to blooms, this beautiful award-winning Narcissi’s vivid yellow nodding flowers will add a beautiful contrast of colour when planted with Scilla. A great naturalizer too.

 

2. Muscari Latifolium

An increasingly popular, bicolour species. This unique variety produces beautiful, scented flower spikes that transform from a light green, to blue and then open to an unusual plum purple. These bold blue flowers are perfect all by itself or can be used to create a lovely colour combo.

Plant Muscari latifolium with…

Tulip Fashion

Vibrant compact Tulips. These Kaufmanniana beauties bloom an empire rose with purple veins, a perfect companion to blue Muscari for dreamy, romantic spring bedding.

 

 Anemone Nemorosa ‘Royal Blue’

An easy-to-grow naturalizing Anemone. These vivid royal blue flowers will add a beautiful variety of shape and texture to a spring woodland-style when planted alongside Muscari.

 

3. Hyacinth Delft Blue

This extremely fragrant, award-winning Hyacinth has the most beautiful soft, porcelain blue flowers that are guaranteed to create a show-stopping display in spring. These easy-to-grow flowers will make a welcome addition to beds, borders or for the best visual impact, plant in groups with other spring bulbs.

Plant Hyacinth Delft Blue with…

Tulip Apricot Beauty

This award-winning Tulip is an early bloomer with soft apricot flowers. A perfect, sweetly fragrant companion for planting alongside the beautiful scent of Hyacinths.

 

Euphorbia polychroma

Incredibly showy, Euphorbia polychroma is a mounding perennial that bears attractive golden yellow flowers in the spring time. A lovely contrasting companion for the beautiful blue blooms of ‘Delft Blue’.

 

4. Muscari azureum

This lovely compact Muscari will brighten up the spring garden with their light powder puff blue flowers. This long-flowering early spring award winner looks spectacular when planted en masse to create a beautiful drift of colour, for an unforgettable visual impact.

Plant Muscari azureum with…

Tulip Orange Angelique

Make a statement in your garden by pairing the pale blooms of ‘Azureum’ with the soft peachy shades of this beautiful double-flowering Tulip. They also produce a light fragrance and will pair well with Muscari’s fragrant flowers.

 

Hyacinth Pink Pearl

Create a riot of colour with these delightfully bold pink Hyacinths. These highly scented blooms paired against scented Tulips and Muscari will create a heavenly carpet of sweet fragrant spring flowers in the border.

 

5. Puschkinia Libanotica (Russian Snowdrops)

Release an impressive display with this lovely, naturalizing bulb. These award-winning spring favourites will make a striking impact with their blue-striped white fragrant blooms. Ideal for planting in groups for years of spectacular blue flowers.

Plant Puschkinia Libanotica with…

Narcissi Surfside

Create a subtle and elegant display by pairing Russian Snowdrops against the pale yellow and snow white blooms of Narcissi Surfside. These beautiful pastel flowers will brighten up any spring garden.

 

Crocus ‘Snow Bunting’

This award-winning Crocus blooms is well-loved for its sweet scent and clump-forming nature. They bloom with crisp white petals that surround a fiery orange throat. A beautiful fragrant companion for Snowdrops in the early spring.

 

6. Chionodoxa Luciliae

These breath-taking blue flowers are a charming addition to the early spring garden. Their star-shaped blooms create a stunning woodland display when left to naturalize and it’s a wonderful way to add a blue sea of colour to rock gardens or the front of the border.

Plant Chionodoxa Luciliae with…

Cyclamen Coum

Bursting with beautiful charm, these low-growing pink Cyclamen are the perfect companions for planting with Chionodoxa to create a superb woodland-style carpet of colour in early spring.

 

Galanthus Woronowii (Broad Leaf Snowdrop)

A true staple of spring. For planting as a backdrop against low-growing Cylamen and Choinodoxa, the snowy white giant blooms of these snowdrops will make a beautiful fragrant accent plant to a spring woodland display.

 

7. Muscari Armeniacum

These electric blue flowers are guaranteed to liven up any  garden this spring season. As well as their beautiful fragrance, these award-winning blooms are easy to grow, naturalizing and create an amazing colourful impact when planted in drifts around shrubs or under trees.

Plant Muscari Armeniacum with…

Narcissi Jack Snipe

Hardy and striking. The frilled golden-yellow cups are surrounded by delicate pure white petals that deepen to a creamy shade at the base. This free-flowering award winner will create a striking, contrasting colour combination that will dazzle in the spring.

 

Tulip Ballade

This incredibly beautiful award-winner is a spectacular Tulip. Showcasing violet-mauve and white blooms, this unusual colour combination will stand out in borders or containers. An elegant variety for naturalizing in the late-spring garden.

How to Plant: Outdoor Hyacinths

With their heady, sweet perfume and assorted rainbow of colours, Hyacinths are an extremely popular choice for brightening up the spring garden. For outdoor planting, we have a marvelous range of Bedding and Top-Size Hyacinths. To help you decide which options are the best fit for your spring garden displays, we have created this guide with the benefits and planting recommendations for both Bedding and Top-Size Hyacinths.

Hyacinth Benefits:

  • Easy to Grow
  • Strong, sweet fragrance
  • Hardy & Perennial
  • EXCELLENT CUT FLOWERS

Bedding Hyacinths 14/15cm

Hyacinth Fragrant Sea Mixed 14/15cm

Our bedding Hyacinths are a magnificent compact option for the spring garden. They are ideal for planting in groups in flowers beds and borders for a cluster of bold and beautiful colour. Growing to a mature height of approx. 25cm, their shorter growing habit is that they are less likely to become battered by the wind, and the planting options are endless. Beds, borders, containers or window boxes, the wonderful fragrance and vibrant colours of our Bedding Hyacinths are guaranteed to brighten up your spring garden.

Planting Guide

Planting time: Autumn (September to December)

Position: Full/Partial Sun

Flowering time: March-April

Instructions

  • Plant bulbs pointed end up at approx. 10cm deep and 10-12 cm apart.
  • Plant in well-drained soil (mix in some compost for peak performance).
  • Ideal for spring borders and containers.
  • Once planted, cover with soil and firm down lightly.
  • Protect from frosts in Winter.
  • Leave undisturbed after flowering for years of spring colour.

Click the video below for a full planting tutorial.

Our top choices:

 Hyacinth Autumn Colours Mixed

Add the beautiful warm tones of autumn to your garden with this beautiful mixture of orange, yellow and purple Hyacinth blooms. These fantastic hardy spring flowers are great for filling your spring beds and borders with stylish colour and sweet fragrance.

 

Hyacinth Double Mixed

The same beautiful colours and fragrance as a normal Hyacinth but double the blooms! The fluffy whorls of colourful double-flowers are the perfect eye-catching Hyacinth plants for creating sweet-smelling, vibrant summer bedding.

 

Top-Size Hyacinths 17/18cm

Hyacinth Jan Bos 17/18cm

Is there anything better than being greeted at your front door by beautiful tall, sweet-smelling pots of Hyacinths? Top-Size Hyacinths are supplied as giant 17/18cm bulbs. Their enormous flower heads are perfect for planting outdoors in patio pots and containers to create a dramatic showcase of colour. They are ideal spring garden flowers as they produce amazing large blooms that are not too heavy to need support.

Planting Guide

Planting time: Autumn (September to December)

Position: Full/Partial Sun

Flowering time: March-April

Instructions

  • Plant bulb with the pointed end facing upwards.
  • Plant at least 10cm deep and approx. 10-12cm apart.
  • For garden planting (beds, borders), plant in well-drained soil.
  • For container planting, use a soil-based compost (e.g. John Innes No.2).
  • Once planted, cover with soil and firm down lightly.

Click the video below for a full planting tutorial.

Our top choices:

Hyacinth Miss Saigon

With deep, rich purple flowers, Hyacinth ‘Miss Saigon’ bring a cheerful sight to the spring garden. This RHS award-winning Hyacinth produces dense floral spikes with starry, violet florets. Plant near a doorway, path or on the patio, where you can enjoy its beautiful perfume daily.

 

Hyacinth Delft Blue

The extremely fragrant, award-winning ‘Delft Blue’ features soft blue, densely spiked florets that will add some stunning colour to the spring garden. For best visual impact, plant in groups in patio pots, window boxes, or even in the garden border.

 

Continue reading How to Plant: Outdoor Hyacinths

Fragrant Spring-Flowering Bulbs

Fragrance can add a whole new dimension to the spring garden. By planting some fragrant plants this autumn you can create a peaceful, secluded scented garden spot for relaxation, a wonderfully fragrant walkway, or create vibrant and sweetly-scented beds and borders to great you in the spring.

Fill your spring garden with colour and fragrance with these beautifully scented bulbs.

Daffodil Cheerfulness

An award-winning double flowering Daffodil with flecks of sunny yellow nestle within the central cluster of the frilly crisp white petals. This English-grown variety is extremely sturdy and will liven up any borders or containers with their wonderful fragrance.

Click here to view online.

Narcissi Derringer

Soft butter-yellow blossoms complement the bright yellow cup for a charming display. ‘Derringer’ is a fragrant bloomer that smells of spring. We recommend planting in containers or in a location where the sweet aroma can be appreciated.

Click here to view online.

Hyacinth Miss Saigon

This award-winning Hyacinth produces fragrant bell shaped blooms perfectly formed from compact clusters of violet star shaped flowers. With its deep, rich purple color, ‘Miss Saigon’ brings a cheerful sight to the dull days of late winter.

Click here to view online.

Hyacinth Fragrant Sea Mixed

A lovely mixture of fragrant Hyacinth in a soothing blend of white and blue shades for a contrasting display of sea breeze colour. These lovely highly scented flowers are excellent for bedding in early spring.

Click here to view online.

Tulip Orange Princess

You’ll soon see why this double early Tulip has won the Award of Merit. ‘Orange Princess’ Tulips are among the most scented tulips and have a light, pleasingly sweet scent. This garden royalty is a sight for sore eyes!

Click here to view online.

 

Tulip Purple Peony

With wonderful large, peony-like blooms, this gorgeous double Tulip blooms with sweetly fragrant, deep purple flowers. Pair alongside ‘Orange Princess’ for a eye-catching and contrasting spring display.

Click here to view online.

Galanthus Elwesii

A spectacular giant Snowdrop. At the end of a long gloomy winter there is nothing to match the breath-taking sight of a carpet of snowdrops. These award-winning honey scented nodding white flowers are an essential part of the winter/spring garden.

Click here to view online.

Puschkinia Libanotica

Winner of the RHS Award of Garden Merit, these small and fragrant starry, bell-shaped blooms can create a beautiful blanket of white and blue striped flowers under trees and in the grass.

Click here to view online.

 

Ipheion Uniflorum White Star

These sweetly scented, star-shaped flowers produce silvery white blooms that will brighten up the spring garden. Beautiful and long lasting, these cheery flowers are great for the edges of borders and rockeries.

Click here to view online.

 

Ipheion Uniflorum Mixed

These simple yet elegant blooms are an absolute delight in the spring garden. With bright colour and a sweet fragrance, these hardy flowers are great for naturalising in the garden.

Click here to view online.

Muscari Cupido

Add clusters of these sweetly fragrant flowers to your spring garden. This easy to grow perennial bears densely packed blue pea-like flowers, edged in white, which can create a beautiful combination when planted with other spring-flowering favourites.

Click here to view online.

Muscari White Magic

These heavily scented flowers will create a glorious carpet of fragrance that will shine in the spring garden. These white spherical blooms are perfect for partnering alongside richly coloured Tulips.

Click here to view online.

Lily of the Valley (Giant)

Nearly double the height of the traditional Lily of the Valley, there’s no surprise this variety is a spring favourite. With a lovely honey scent, these woodland flowers bloom with nodding white flowers that will gleam in the spring sunshine.

Click here to view online.

This stunning pale-pink Lily of the Valley will certainly earn its place in any garden. With an strong fragrance, these woodland blooms will certainly pack a fragrant punch in the spring time. An excellent choice for shady borders.

Click here to view online.

Crocus Snow Bunting

As white as the name suggests, this award-winning Crocus is considered one of the best spring-flowering Crocus varieties. With a sweet scent, their pretty ivory flowers and rich golden hearts are a sight to behold in the garden.

Click here to view online.

Crocus Cream Beauty

These award-winning, creamy yellow fragrant flowers are perfect for planting under taller shrubs and trees in beds or borders. A pure delight in early spring that, if left undisturbed, will multiply year after year.

Click here to view online.

Trends from the Tatton Park Flower Show 2019

The Tatton Park Flower Show took place last week, and we sent a few members of the J Parkers team to scope out the top trends, flowers and planting companions at the 2019 show.

So let’s have a look at some of the gardening styles at this year’s show that you can try out in your own garden.

Popular Flowers

Here are 3 of the most popular and showcased flowers on display around the show and the show gardens.

Verbena Bonariensis

Verbena Bonariensis featured in ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar Garden’ by Simon Tetlow

Verbena Bonariensis were dotted around almost every show garden on display this year. Whether as a background plant for a wild border or used as a centerpiece plant with their long stems, these beautiful purple flowers were definitely in the spotlight this year.  A fantastic summer border plant with good pest resistance.

Echinacea

Echinacea featured in ‘The Mindful Garden’ by Ki Tong.

One of our favourite summer flowering perennials were heavily featured this year, the Echinacea. Also known as Coneflowers, they will flower from summer through late autumn, often still in flower as late as October. They make a bright and bold addition to the modern garden, look larger than life at the back of the border, and are a great way to attract butterflies and bees to the UK garden.

Alliums

Allium Drumsticks featured in ‘The Phytosanctuary Garden’.

The beautiful giant blooms of Alliums took a center stage this year. Large varieties were spread all around the show, whilst smaller flowering varieties such as Allium Drumsticks and the half-spherical blooms of Allium Miami were featured in this year’s show gardens. An easy to grow and versatile range of plants that can work in any garden.

Garden Trends

 1. Pollinator Pals (Alliums,Achillea, Agapanthus)

Alliums, Achillea and Agapanthus were strongly featured in the show gardens at this year’s show. The show had a strong theme of pollinator-friendly planting and when it comes to looking after wildlife in the garden, these varieties are well-loved by bees and other pollinators.

Agapanthus are great showy plants with exotic looking flowers, Alliums are easy to grow, stylish plants with tall stems and large pom pom heads of flowers and Achillea are a stunning flowering herbaceous perennial with each flower head containing of hundreds of long lasting, tiny flowers. So, it’s easy to see how these beautiful summer contenders have been a popular choice this year.

Click here to view Alliums

Click here to view Achillea

Click here to view Agapanthus

2. Multi-layered Borders

Another big trend seen around the show gardens is creating layers of a variety of border plants. Ass seen with the brightly colours florals in the ‘Let’s Go Fly a Kite Garden’, the subtle contrasting tones in ‘The Perfumer’s Garden’ and the wild themed grassy border in the ‘Baroque Garden’.

Creating a layered garden soothes the eye while enhancing other aspects of the garden. Planting a garden in layers considers both vertical and horizontal eye appeal but also the aspect in which we view the area and seasonal interest. Planting a garden in layers will ensure that the highest plants are at the farthest eye point of the garden with medium sized in the middle and the lowest growing at the front.

Repeated patterns, colours, forms and textures throughout a border can create unique patterns in the landscape.

 

3. Harmonising Hostas

A key trend that was prominent in almost every show garden at this year event was Hostas.

Originating from China and Japan, Hostas are one of the best perennials for shade in the garden, grown in either pots, containers or borders. Renowned for the amazing foliage they produce and have become a common addition for the modern garden designer. Hosta plants are a great perennial plant which is often chosen for their attractive shaped leaves and summer flowers.

Hostas are ideal to add texture and colour to a garden planting scheme. They can be used to complement other plants by adding a contrasting look and style that enhances the overall interest and aesthetic of the scheme. There is a huge choice of varieties available to buy, covering all shapes, colours, and sizes for all tastes.

Click here to view our Hosta range online

4. Glorious Grasses

Ornamental grasses made their presence known in many show gardens this year. A range of herbaceous perennials and grasses were featured in ‘The Mindful Garden’,  such as Festuca. The silvery needles of Festuca glauca were featured in the monochrome palette of the ‘Every Cloud has a Silver Lining Garden’, and long and varied grasses were displayed in the ‘Trail of Thoughts Garden’ to represent the fading of memory with colourful flowers giving way to a grassier and more muted landscape.

Grasses have long since proved their value in the landscape, moving from what was once considered a craze to one that is a solid cultural shift. As gardens have shifted toward lower maintenance and nature friendly, ornamental grasses have fit every bill that today’s gardener demands — while providing the contrast, texture and form that designers crave.

Click here to view our Grasses and Bamboo

5. Heavenly Hydrangeas

Who can forget the ever-changing blooms of hydrangeas. The use of beautiful fragrant shrubs were used for structure in a variety of the show gardens this year. The once overlooked hydrangeas of the past are now the trend setting plants of today.

With immense flower heads, Hydrangeas flaunt an old-fashioned charm that is hard to resist. Unrivaled in the shrub world for beautiful flowers, they are easy to cultivate, tolerate almost any soil, and produce abundant blooms. Hydrangeas are excellent for a range of garden sites from group plantings to shrub borders to containers.

Click here to view our Hydrangea range

 

10 Drought Tolerant Plants to Beat the Summer Heat

With our increasingly hotter summers, climate change presents us with the challenge of gardening with less water. However, there is a considerable range of plants that can tolerate dry conditions. These drought-tolerant plants are the perfect choice for sunny spots in your garden.

1. Nepeta

Nepeta are a reliable perennial, very hardy and tolerant of all conditions and it returns reliably each year. They are very effective even in dry and drought areas, so they are useful for even the most difficult spots in the garden.

Nepeta Six Hills Giant

This vigorous perennial produces clusters of aromatic, small lavender blue flowers. This variety is a perfect addition to borders and edging beds, as well as attracting bees and butterflies to the summer garden. With a grey-green foliage and masses of flowers, this Nepeta adds a lovely, soft, gentle touch to cottage gardens.

2. Mimosa

The very hardy and heat-loving Mimosa is ideal wherever a full, dense canopy is desired during the summer months. Native to Southeastern Australia and then widely introduced to the Mediterranean , these plants are no stranger to higher, tropical temperatures.

Mimosa Acacia

The beautiful feathered foliage of the Mimosa Acacia will delight in the spring time, with their masses of fragrant yellow flowers. Create a statement display in your garden by planting this variety in patio container, but equally they are suited at the back of a border.

 

3. Sedum

Sedums are superb drought-resistant succulents that produce domes of star-shaped flowers in the summer and autumn seasons. Sedums have evolved to live in exposed conditions, where soil is very well-drained and sun and wind dry everything out quickly, so over the centuries, they have developed some inbuilt coping mechanisms such as fleshy, water-storing leaves and stems.

Sedum Hot Stuff

This striking Sedum produces large bursts of vibrant pink flowers that are wildly-loved by butterflies and bees. This strong, compact forming plant makes a great border addition or make a bigger impact by planting in groups so they will really stand out in the late summer garden.

4. Lavender

A native to the Mediterranean and the Middle East, it’s no wonder that Lavender makes a great drought-tolerant addition to the garden. It can be used as a low hedge, specimen plant, or even a cut flower, and will add a beautiful fragrance to the garden.

Dwarf Lavender Munstead

This compact evergreen shrub blooms with spikes of small, highly fragrant, blue-purple flowers in mid to late summer. Plant en masse to produce ground cover, low screening, or in lines to create a great border effect.

5. Campsis Radicans

Also known as Trumpet Vines, these hardy plants are fast climbers that grow well even in poor soil and full sunlight, and the blossoms attract hummingbirds too. Campsis Radicans can live for decades and although they die back in the winter, they’re quick to spring back to life in the spring.

Campsis radicans

Blooming with clusters of showy, exotic warm red trumpet-shaped blooms, this self-clinging climber is ideal for a sunny wall or fence. These beautiful tropical flowers are marked with deep red insides appear above long, coarsely toothed, glossy dark green leaves with pointed tips and distinctive veining.

6. Ceanothus

Ceanothus, commonly known as California Lilac, are very drought tolerant shrubs and offer almost everything that a gardener could wish for in a shrub. They are free-flowering, drought tolerant, easy to cultivate and grow in most soils.

Ceanothus thyrsiflorus var repens

Beautiful in its simplicity, this fantastic award-winning shrub delights in the summer garden. Its rich glossy leaves nestle amongst sky blue florescence comprising of densely compact panicles that burst into bloom like tiny fireworks in spring and early summer. This evergreen variety looks beautiful in patio pots, or against a wall.

 

7. Jasmine

Jasmine provide more than delicate tendrils and sweet perfume, they create substance, structure and colourful blooms to the garden. This genus of shrubs and vines contains around 200 species, native to tropical and warm temperate regions and a number of species have become naturalised in Mediterranean Europe.

Trachelospermum jasminoides (Jasmine)

This highly fragrant, vigorous climber produces clusters of beautiful star-shaped white flowers, which bloom from June throughout the summer months. This is a perfect climber for growing against a warm, sunny wall. Jasmine flowers are ideal for perfuming the air with their sweet fragrance in the summer garden.

8. Verbena

Native to the American Tropics, Verbena plants are beautiful examples of drought-tolerant plants. These popular perennials produce rich nectar, so butterflies and bees also love them.

Verbena bonariensis

Elegant and long lasting. This bestselling Verbena variety produces masses of small purple flowers in clusters. With a good pest resistance, this fantastic border plant will delight in the summer garden, flowering from June to October. They also will make a great addition to cut flower displays.

9. Russian Sage

One of the toughest plants that needs little care. Russian Sage loves direct sun, tolerates almost any soil and is extremely drought tolerant. Its fine texture makes Russian Sage a good choice if you’re seeking contrast with plants exhibiting a coarser texture.

Perovskia atriplicifolia Blue Spire

Native to central Asia, Russian Sage’s natural habitat is on dry plains. This variety produces highly scented silver leaves that are topped with spikes of gorgeous, tiny violet purple bell-shaped flowers in late summer. The impressive flowers and foliage look amazing planted in a border or patio pot in the summer garden.

10. Agapanthus

Agapanthus are some of the most beautiful and reliable summer plants you can grow. Once established, Agapanthus are tough enough to withstand dry spells without stressing. Originating from the cliffs of South Africa, they naturally enjoy lots of sunshine and are naturally resistant to wind.

Agapanthus Melbourne

This stunning bi-colour variety blooms in the summer with purple buds that open to reveal white flowers with a lilac purple stripe through each petal. Also known as the African Lily, these plants are drought tolerant and enjoy plenty of sunlight.

 

 

 

Summer Plant Care Tips

 

Spring Photo Competition Winners 2019

We asked you to send in your #JParkersBulbs spring photos and you did not disappoint! We had an amazing turn out this year with people sending in their entries by email, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. We would like to give a massive thank you to everyone who entered this year; we received so many amazing photos that narrowing them down to the final 10 was a real struggle.

So without further adieu, here are this year’s results…

1st Place Prize Winner

The top prize of a £100 J. Parker’s voucher went to this beautiful Crocus image from Isabelle C. sent to us via email.

Isabelle C – Crocus

2nd Place Prize Winners

We awarded 2 £50 J. Parker’s vouchers for our second place prize winners.

Nataliya H – Allium

One voucher went to this beautiful bee-friendly Allium photo from Nataliya H. sent to us via email.

Peter G – Daffodil

The second £50 voucher goes to this delightful daffodil shot sent in by Peter G. via email.

3rd Place Prize Winners

 Our seven third prize winners each won a £25 J. Parker’s voucher and here are their beautiful entry images.

Our Favourite Entries From Previous Years…

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Get started on your 2020 displays and Pre-order your Spring Flowering Bulbs here!

Plants for Different Soil Types

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

  1. Dig a hole 6 to 10 inches deep in the soil.
  2. Separate an intact section about the size of a soup can and break it apart with your fingers.
  3. 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:
Viburnum
Viburnum burkwoodii Mohawk

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.

Honeysuckle
Honeysuckle Serotina

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.

 

Bergenia
Bergenia cordifolia Purpurea

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.

 

 

Tips 

  1.  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.
  2. Build Raised Beds – As clay soil holds water, raised beds can improve drainage by encouraging water to run off.
  3. 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:

Sedum
Sedum Hot Stuff

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.

Allium
Allium Powder Puff

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.

Buddleia
Buddleia Empire Blue

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.

 

Tips 

  1. Prepare planting sites with moisture-retentive, well-rotted organic matter (farm manure, compost or leaf mould).
  2. When planting in spring, incorporate a slow-release fertilizer.
  3. Water thoroughly and regularly during dry periods.
  • Ideal soil for gardening.
  • Mainly organic matter.
  • Feels spongy.
  • Very fertile and hold moisture well.
  • Easily compacts.

The following plants are well-adapted to peaty soils:

Heather
Heather Summer Mixed

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.

Azaleas
Azalea Tunis

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.

Witch Hazel
Hamamelis Witch Hazel Collection

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.

 

Tips 

  1. 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:

Wisteria
Wisteria Multijuga

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.

Rhododendrons
Rhododendron Praecox

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.

Anemone
Anemone blanda White Splendour

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.

 

 

Tips 

  1.  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.
  • Easily compacted.

The following plants are well-adapted to silty soils:

Snowdrops
Galanthus Woronowii

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
Helleborus Orientalis Mixed

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.

Dogwood
Cornus Midwinter Fire

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.

 

 

Tips 

  1. 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.
  2. Avoid compaction – minimize walking on garden beds or consider planting on raised beds.
  3. 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.
  • Very alkaline.
  • Largely made up of calcium carbonate.

The following plants are well-adapted to chalky soils:

Mock ORANGE
Philadelphus ‘Belle Etiole’

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.

Lilac
Syringa meyeri Palibin

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
Lavender Hidcote

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.

 

Tips 

  1.  Break up the chalk to a depth of 30 inches so that plant roots can spread out and establish.
  2. Add plenty of well-rotted organic matter (compost, composted green waste or manure) to improve the soil.
  3.  Attention to watering will be required for a longer period than other soil types.

 

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