Time-saving Gardening Hacks for National Gardening Week

National Gardening Week is here! This national event, run by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), is to raise awareness of gardening, and to encourage more people to take part in this healthy and productive outdoor activity. We’re celebrating by sharing some of the best kept gardening hacks straight from the mouths of Parker’s team members. Keep reading to discover our top 5 time-saving gardening hacks.

Cut Flower Food Hack

Are your cut flowers in need of some TLC? Instead of buying flower food for your vase displays. Simply make sure to trim the stems every few days to keep the flowers fresh, and add in a teaspoon of sugar into the vase water. The sugar will not only help increase the number and size of open flowers, but it also prolongs the vase life.

Grow your own food with leftovers

Cutting vegetables and planning on throwing the scraps away? Think again! Fresh nutritious produce can be one of the most expensive buys from the supermarket. Luckily there are ways we can reduce this cost whilst experimenting with growing our own food at home. Scraps of potato, garlic bulbs and herbs can be grown in glass jars and water and transform into brand new plants. Great for the environment and your wallet.

Garden Planning Pot Hack

Put your plants in doubled pots, and then bury them at ground level. Whenever you fancy switching up your display, just lift out the top pot and slot in a different one. 

Cooking Water Fertiliser

The next time you boil or steam some vegetables, don’t pour the water down the drain. Once the water has cooled, you can pour the vegetable water in your garden to “fertilize” your plants instead of wasting it. Not only is it cost effective and resourceful, the fertilizer it provides for your plants gives them a more stable and steady growth period. 

Self-watering Plants

Planning on being away from your garden for a while? Fill a water bottle with water, leave the cap off, and quickly turn it upside down and push it a few inches into the soil. The water will slowly seep into the soil and keep it moist. 

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Easy Garden Ideas

Garden with tulips

Looking for some simple ways to spruce up your garden? You can create a gorgeous and functional outdoor space without putting in a ton of hard work. Check out our easy garden ideas to provide you with a wealth of inspiration and enjoy your garden to the fullest.

1. Bring life to those dark, shaded spots

Snowdrops

Filling those dark, damp areas in the garden can be a huge struggle. An easy fix is to plant woodland bulbs like Snowdrops and Anemones. These amazing plants are used to surviving in dark, damp locations.

2. Attract wildlife with these simple hacks

Bird bath

Helping your local wildlife out in little ways is so easy and rewarding. To attract birds, place a birdbath in the garden or hang a seed feeder on a garden wall or in a tree/shrub. Also, by putting out fresh feed and water out at least once a week, you will certainly have many local feathered visitors.

3. Grow flowers all season with lasagne planting

Tulips and Muscari flowers

The perfect low maintenance solution to planning a garden display. For a spring garden filled with flowers, layer flower bulbs in pots to grow strikingly colourful displays with very little effort!

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Pretty Pastels for the Garden

To make a garden– a beautiful garden! You must choose garden colour schemes smartly. On a deeper level, colours can evoke certain emotions in us. Bright colours can make us feel more energetic and vibrant. Cool colours can make us feel calm, content, tired or melancholy and pastel colours can make us feel relaxed, refreshed and peaceful. In a garden space intended for peace, quiet and relaxation, pastels are the perfect garden colour scheme this summer.

Using pastels in the garden can create a space where we can unwind after a hard day and feel refreshed. A pastel garden can be placed almost anywhere in the yard. Pastel colored flowers look beautiful in bright sunlight, but also stand out in shade gardens and can brighten up especially dark areas.

Blues

Hibiscus Blue Chiffon

This award winning Hibiscus Syriacus has cool pale blue flowers, arranged like layers of ruffled chiffon. The centres are subtly marked with flashes of star-like burgundy-purple veins. A fabulous deciduous shrub which holds the RHS Award of Garden Merit, its quality’s guaranteed. A fine stand- alone specimen, or reliable addition to the shrub border, it will also make a great informal hedge or screen. It is a great choice for attracting butterflies to your garden.

Polemonium viscosum Blue Whirl

This beautiful clump forming Jacob’s ladder that produces clusters of small lavender blue flowers on shorter stems with fern like foliage. This compact perennial is perfect for patio pots or rockeries for creating a burst of cool colour.

Iris Sibirica Dear Delight

The Siberian Iris is a hardy perennial Iris which produces graceful flowers from May to July in an unusual tone of powder blue with white shading.

Pinks

Lily Elodie

This pale, baby pink Asiatic Lily is an excellent choice for bedding with very sturdy stems and upright flowers that will add plenty of elegant, pastel colour to your garden in the summer. For a lovely soft pastel display plant alongside creamy pink roses such as Joie de Vivre or our pink and white Dahlia Mix. These can be cut for a delicate and romantic bouquet.

Gladioli Adrenaline

Gladioli Adrenaline are a stunning blend of pale pink and white, they are sure to add glamour to your summer garden. We recommend planting Gladioli in groups at monthly intervals, starting early spring, to extend the flowering season for a showcase that lasts all summer long.

Lavender Rosea

A twist on the traditional lilac evergreen Lavender varieties, Rosea produces beautiful pale pink flower heads as well as the instantly recognizable Lavender fragrance.  They are ideal for planting in rows as illustrated or in pots around the patio and garden.

Yellows

Double Hollyhocks Yellow

Hollyhocks, otherwise known as Alcea, are a stable of many gardeners and synonymous with cottage garden displays. This beautiful Double Yellow variety produces stunning flowers in a sunny yellow shade. The flowers are perfect for attracting bees, butterflies and other nectar loving insects into your garden.

Dahlia Boom Boom Yellow

Unique pale yellow blooms that look amazing in the summer border. These Pompom Dahlias produce fabulous double spherical blooms which are sure to add a new dimension of shape and texture to any garden. Each flower head is made up of layers of silky, inwardly curved petals creating a perfectly formed sphere. Tall sturdy stems not only provide excellent support; but also provide the Dahlia with its iconic bobbing habit in the breeze – an uplifting and calming sight, especially in a hot sunny garden.

Rose Peace

In 1976, Rose Peace was voted the first ever ‘world’s favourite rose’ by the Rose Hall of Fame, and it isn’t difficult to see why. This exquisite variety of Hybrid Tea Rose produces elaborate, slightly frilled double blooms of creamy yellow, flushed at the edges with delicate pale pink. The Peace Tea Rose also emits a mild but delightfully sweet fragrance, as with other Hybrid Tea varieties.

Purples

Syringa meyeri Palibin

An upright deciduous shrub which produces dense clusters of sweetly fragrant, light pink and white panicles over attractive heart shaped foliage from late spring into early summer. When in bloom, the gorgeous flowers will bring butterflies to your garden.

Agapanthus Melbourne

A stunning new bi-colour addition to the Agapanthus range, with purple buds that open to reveal white flowers with a lilac purple stripe through each petal. Known as the African lily, these are drought tolerant and like well-drained soil and plenty of sunlight. They flower throughout August and September, boast masses of strappy foliage and tall 1m stems making these the ideal addition to the back of the border.

Petunia Tumbelina Priscilla

Tumbelina Petunia produce large unique double blooms in abundance during the summer months. The numerous flowers and its long trailing habit (up to 60-80cm) make it perfect for hanging baskets. Flowering from June through to October the fragrant flowers can create a wonderful display whether planted on their own or with other trailing varieties or colours. Priscilla is a lilac- purple variety with heavily veined petals.

ENJOY GARDENING THIS SPRING!

Top 10 Summer Hanging Basket Plants

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. Keep reading to discover our top 10 favourite hanging basket plants for summer.

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 plants.

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 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.

 Long lasting blooms that perform even through the hottest days of summer. The Verbena is a drought resistant plant produces exquisite showy flower heads that appear in tight clusters of brightly coloured flowers along with vivid green foliage.

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. Available in a variety of colours and shapes, you are guaranteed to find the perfect fit for your garden display.

If you want an impressive big basket display, trailing Begonias are the way forward. Trailing begonias 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.

The cascading varieties of Fuchsia have become immensely popular as they showcase beautiful, pendant-shaped flowers. They are easy to maintain and high-performing, so will create an avalanche of colour in your hanging baskets this summer.

Beautiful Geraniums gently cascading over the side of summer baskets and planters are a marvellous sight. With their bright green foliage, vibrant colours and tumbling habit, they are an essential summer hanging basket plant.

A range filled with beautiful cascading dainty flowers; Bacopa 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.

Native to Mexico, Bidens bare an abundance of flowers and are a superb addition to hanging baskets. They create a display of rich, lavish colour, which are certain to dazzle in the sunshine this summer.

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