Evergreens add constant interest to the garden and can act often as a central focus point to build a garden around. Evergreen shrubs and plants hold their foliage all year around, which is why they are the perfect choice for low maintenance gardening. Since April is the best time of year to plant evergreens and there are many to choose from, we’ve picked out a selection of varieties so you are guaranteed to find one that suits you.
There are many benefits to having evergreens in the garden other than their beauty. Here are some of the overlooked benefits:
No matter how small your garden, there’s always room for hanging baskets. There’s nothing quite as captivating in a garden as seeing a full, cascading hanging basket, overflowing with colour as the flowers catch the sun.
With the ever-growing range of varieties available, it can be a difficult decision choosing which plants are best for your garden. We have now made gardening quick and easy with our NEW Pre-Planted Hanging Basket Range. All you need to do is hang them up and water and sit back and enjoy the show!
If you’re still looking for a little floral guidance, here are our top ten basket plants for you to choose from.
A native to South and Central America, Africa and South Asia, Begonias are a flowering plant with around 1500 species. Since cultivation of these plants doesn’t require too much effort, they have become increasingly popular amongst gardeners. Their flowers are often showy with either vibrant coloured single or double blooms, which make for fantastic hanging basket additions for a display filled with frills and colour.
One of our newest additions to our range, Begonia Northern Lights Pink. This free-flowering double begonia blooms with hot pink petals and ruffled centres with shades of pink and yellow. These stunning flowers create a real eye-catching effect in summer hanging baskets.
Looking for an elegant twist for your basket displays? As a part of the popular Illumination series, this stunning variety produces delicate, double white blooms. This versatile variety can be planted in both sun and semi-shade for beautiful flowers all throughout the summer.
Million Bells are a dazzling little plant that features hundreds of small, bell-like flowers that resemble mini Petunias and are a must-have in the garden. Their versatile, trailing-like habit make them perfect for hanging baskets or even containers and ground cover.
This exceptionally long flowering variety is the perfect drought resistant plant for bringing character and interest all summer. Producing a mass of miniature, blue bell-shaped flowers, Million Bells Blue has a trailing like habit that makes an excellent addition to hanging baskets.
Brighten up your hanging baskets with the vibrant, miniature yellow bell-shaped blooms of Million Bells Yellow. With an exceptional long-flowering period and a strong drought resistance, these cheery flowers will create an avalanche of summer colour in the garden.
This summertime bloomer is an easy-to-grow, carefree plant. Lobelia is an attractive annual which produces a variety of long flowering blooms in a range of vibrant, beautiful colours from pinks, reds to cool blues, which make spectacular additions to hanging baskets.
Our Lobelia California Dark Blue Eye has a beautifully vigorous spreading habit and produces an abundance of large bright blue flowers all through summer. These plants make excellent hanging basket displays for a garden bursting with life.
This variety of Lobelia is a part of a sensational range bred by the famous breeder ‘Breier’ and showcases a beautiful abundance of large bright purple blooms. These flowers are ideal for hanging baskets as they naturally form a perfect mound with their even and neat flowering habit.
If you’re searching for long lasting blooms that perform even through the hottest days of summer, than look no further than the Verbena flower. This brilliant, drought resistant plant produces exquisite showy flower heads that appear in tight clusters of brightly coloured flowers along with vivid green foliage.
Winner of the RHS award of Garden Merit; Verbena Samira Peachproduces beautiful peach-pink flower heads that cluster to form a sphere that are perfect for planting in hanging baskets to bring a wave of warm coloured hues to the summer garden.
This series of fast-growing Verbena is a fantastic vigorous trailing plant and produces giant cardinal red and pure white flowers all throughout the summer months. These flowers are the ideal partners for hanging baskets for a fun summer display of patterned blooms.
Bright, bold and bursting with life, these excellent plants are a top choice for hanging baskets. Native to South America, the Petunia is an ornamental plant with showy trumpet-shaped flowers that is available in a variety of colours and shapes, double and single flowers, you are guaranteed to find the perfect fit for your garden displays.
Add a touch of drama to your hanging baskets this summer with our stunning Petunia Tumbelina Inga. These unique blooms burst with an abundance of deep red flowers with light pink edges. These fragrant flowers are superb when planted alone or along with a mix of different trailing varieties.
This new addition to our range is a prolific flowering variety and will bring warmth to the garden with their smooth golden caramel blooms that have soft shades of burnt orange with a brown center. Flowering all summer long, these beautiful blooms will provide months of enjoyment.
If you want an impressive big basket display, Trailing Begonias are the way forward. Trailing begonias are a vigorous plant which produce a profuse amount of delicate flowers with large outer petals and a tufted truffle centre. Their beautiful vibrant flowers are perfect for creating a flowing carpet of colour in your hanging baskets.
This vigorous Begonia produces an abundance of delicate soft pink blooms all through the summer months. They are highly tolerant to drought and heavy rain and fast growing, making a perfect addition to hanging baskets for a cascading mass of colour.
Bursting with a blaze of glorious colour, Begonia FirewingsOrange is the most vigorous and top performing of all the trailing Begonias. Their vivid orange flowers are guaranteed to bring the sunshine to the garden this summer with their avalanche of fiery, pendulous blooms.
The cascading varieties of Fuchsia have become immensely popular as they showcase beautiful, pendant-shaped flowers that are a delight to any garden. They are easy to maintain and are known for their high performance, so create a bold and beautiful avalanche of colour in your hanging baskets this summer.
These giant flowers create an impressive display with their beautiful double blooms. With their outer milky-white sepals and deep purple ruffled petals, Fuchsia Giant Deep Purple is the perfect plant for trailing along the edges of summer baskets for a colourful display.
Originating from Peru and Bolivia, this spreading Fuchsia variety produces vibrant, variegated green and pink foliage along with bright pink-red flowers. As an added bonus, their foliage gradually gets darker as the summer season progresses for added interest.
Beautiful Geraniums gently cascading over the side of summer baskets and planters are a marvelous sight. With their bright green foliage, vibrant colours and tumbling habit, they are an essential addition for creating the perfect hanging basket.
Often seen in Germany and Alpine Europe, this beautiful single flowering variety of Geranium produces a delicate avalanche of colour. This prolific flowering variety blooms with soft shades of light pink and are a superb addition to summer hanging baskets.
The pretty blooms of this Geranium variety are very tolerable of heat and wet conditions, that make the perfect partners for summer basket displays. Geranium Single Trailing Whiteblooms with a beautiful brilliant white shade with hot pink detailing on the inner petals.
A range filled with beautiful cascading dainty flowers; Bacopa, also known as Waterhyssop, is an ideal hanging basket addition for the summer due to their heat and drought resistant habit. Their beautiful soft pastel shades on their clustered blooms are the perfect free flowering staple for any basket display.
This trailing plant is a firm garden favourite due to their mass of single white flowers along with a rich golden leafed foliage. Our Bacopa Scopia Single Golden Leaf White will brighten up any summer garden for a reliable and heat tolerant cascading display of golden colour.
The stunning, pink star-shaped flowers of our Bacopa Scopia Double Pink are complimented beautifully by their yellow centers for an eye-catching pop of colour in any hanging basket. Their cascading habit performs beautifully in full sun for an elegant display of pastel colour.
Native to mexico, this herbaceous perennial bares an abundance of flowers and are a superb addition to hanging baskets to create a display of rich, lavish colour, which are certain to dazzle in the sunshine this summer.
This stunning Bidens Firelight produces daisy-like pink and white flowers on a bed of luscious ferns. Bejeweling the garden with their amazing bi-colour blooms, this easy to care for and abundant flowering plant is a true showstopper and an absolute-must for planting in hanging baskets.
These single daisy-like blooms showcase luminous white petals with bright yellow centers that are destined to bring the sunshine this summer. They have a compact, heavy flowering habit which makes them ideal for hanging basket displays, and they will bloom all throughout the summer months, from June through to October.
You can always choose the most popular plants for hanging baskets, but why not add stray in to the weird and wonderful by trying some more unusual plants to put in your garden this year?
This variety has sparked the interest of amateur gardeners as they are easy for beginners. Our Tumbling Tom Collection produces large, cherry sized, red and yellow fruit. Their superb trailing habit makes them perfect for hanging baskets.
If you’re looking to add a touch of drama to your hanging baskets, why not try our bold Petunia Back to Black? This stunning Petunia is as close to black as anything currently available. Create a stark contrast to the bright sunshine this summer with a basket full of these dark velvety petals.
Looking for something a little more wild this summer, why not fill a hanging basket full of foliage? Our collection of Evergreen Foliage Plants is the perfect choice for adding a pop of colour all-year-round in hanging baskets displays.
A favourite of gardeners for their low maintenance and highly rewarding growth. Strawberry Cambridge Favourite is a resilient mid-season variety. They are perfect to grow in limited space and produce a heavy crop of delicious sweet fruit.
Question: How do i plant up a hanging basket?
Here is a set of easy steps to get you started on creating your hanging baskets in time for summer.
STEP 1: Line your basket to help maintain moisture and stop the compost from falling out (plastic coating, sphagnum moss, coco fibre, felt etc..)
STEP 2: Add a water-saving gel and slow-release plant food to help keep the plants moist and nourished throughout the season.
STEP 3:Around the sides of the basket, gently push the roots of trailing plants through the basket liner and firm them in to the compost. Repeat this all the way around the basket and add a little more compost.
STEP 4: Arrange the remaining plants in the top of the basket (one in the middle and the rest around the edge).
STEP 5: Water plants thoroughly.
STEP 6: Hang the basket to a bracket using the chains.
AFTERCARE: Water daily. Water twice daily during the height of summer.
How-to Planting Tutorials
Planting up a hanging basket is not as daunting as you may think. Here are a handy selection of our video guides to help you create your very own stunning hanging basket displays for your garden!
Mother’s day is this weekend and giving flowers has long been a tradition on this holiday. Giving flowers is a universal gesture for all cultures, societies and ages. They enrich our lives with their variety of colours, shapes and scents.
Your seemingly simple gesture of sending mum floral wishes on the second Sunday in May has a rich history behind it!
In 17th century England, the fourth Sunday of Lent was celebrated as Mothering Sunday, where people attended a prayer service in honour of the Virgin Mary, followed by giving their own mothers gifts and flowers. The idea caught global attention in American in 1908, when Anna Marie Jarvis, held a church memorial for her peace-activist mother, Ann Reeves Jarvis, and distributed white carnations, her mother’s favourite flowers. Over the next few years, Anna campaigned for a day to celebrate mothers. Her efforts bore fruit in 1914 when President Woodrow Wilson declared the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day.
On Mother’s Day, flowers are the perfect gift to show your Mum just how much she means to you, but instead of the usual cut flowers, why not give her flowers that she can treasure in the garden for years to come. Here’s a look at some of the symbolism behind certain flowers to help you find the one best suited to gift to the wonderful woman that brought you in to this world.
Roses have been historically linked to mythological and religious related maternal figures across both ancient and modern times. During the time of the pharaohs of Ancient Egypt, roses were attributed and considered sacred to the goddess Isis, the mother of Horus the tutelary deity of the Egyptian pantheon. Choosing this flower is never the wrong choice, especially when you find the perfect colour.
Within our dwarfRose Miniature Collectionare the varieties Coralin (pink), Pour Toi (white), Lavender Dream, Yellow Doll (yellow) and aptly named Mothers Day (red). This mix of varieties creates the perfect balance between adoring symbolic meaning and visual beauty. Loose rooted plants supplied.
In Australia, the traditional Mother’s day flower gifted is the Chrysanthemum, not only because the flower has the word “mum” in it but also because they are also associated with friendship and support from one’s family. Their different coloured bloom symbolise different meanings. Pink Chrysanthemums stand for honest love, red Chrysanthemums mean motherly love and gratitude and white Chrysanthemums stand for loyalty and honesty.
This collection of Chrysanthemums (or Garden Mums), produce masses of beautiful colour in pots or in the border. As an added bonus, they also make excellent cut flowers as they are long-lasting and have glorious rich colour. UK-grown 3cm jumbo plug plants supplied.
Lilies have gathered a multitude of meanings over time, which differ depending on their colour, shape and variety. Amiability, purity, femininity, unity and transience; it represents all of them. So with these cheerful and loving meanings in mind, here is our top pick for adding cheer to your mother’s garden this summer.
Bring joy this summer to pots with Lily Happy Memories. These bright and beautiful, yellow star-shaped blooms with blushed red edges are a stunning option for adding some extra sunshine to your summer gardens. This dwarf Asiatic variety is perfect for versatile planting, whether it is patio pots, beds or borders. 12/14cm bulbs supplied.
What flower could be more perfect for your mothers summer garden than Lily Perfect Joy? This stunning dwarf growing Asiatic Lily produces vibrant pink blooms with white centers that would be ideal for brightening up patio containers, pots or for the front of the border. 14/16 cm bulbs supplied.
As one of the most widely bred flowering shrubs, there are now over 10,000 unique and recognized varieties of Azalea. The Azalea is renowned as being a Chinese symbol for womanhood, and the Azalea flower is also celebrated annually by cultures all over the world for its beauty and association with love. Yellow Azaleas are primarily focused on friendship and more so family relationships, making them a perfect gift for a mother who has a patio or a terrace she’d like to brighten up with a bold bloom.
This highly fragrant Azalea blooming with large, lemon yellow flowers is truly a sight to behold on a sunny spring day, where the yellow flowers seem to glow in the sunlight. A perfect present to cheer up a gloomy spot in your mothers garden or on a patio in a container. Supplied in 13cm pots.
Similar to Azaleas, Day Lilies are an Asian emblem for mothers. The Day Lily is famous for its beautiful appearance and symbolic association with motherhood and Mother’s Day. Because they come in a variety of bright colours, including vivid oranges and yellows, you can find the perfect Day Lily best suited for your own mother.
A fantastic gift to make the perfect addition to any rockery of border in the summer garden. The flowers of Hemerocallis produce spectacular vibrant colour with their trumpet-like blooms. These hardy perennials are the perfect long-lasting present for your mother this holiday. First grade loose roots supplied.
The soft blue colour of these beautiful spring flowers have come to represent everlasting love , gratitude and constancy; so why not show your mother some gratitude this holiday by gifting her some beautiful spring flowers for the garden.
The original and much loved English Bluebell is perfect for naturalising underneath trees; a spot where other plants struggle. These stunning spring flowers are seen in gardens, parks and natural woodland during April/May so why not treat your mother with these lovely little flowers this holiday and give the gift of a lovely, country feel to her spring garden.
If your mother prefers plants over fresh-cut bouquets, the long lasting Camellia plant is a wonderful option. Camellia plants are native to China, and come in a variety of rich and vivid colours and give off a beautiful, light and delicate fragrance. Camellias are believed to represent longevity and gratitude; making them a perfect way to say thank you to your mum this Mother’s Day.
This marvelous evergreen shrub presents beautiful soft pinky-white double blooms with dark red markings. A great low maintenance shrub for the border, hedging or even for large patio containers to bring that well-needed pop of colour in the spring garden. Supplied as 20cm grown bush plant in 9cm pots.
Looking for advice on how to plant Buddleia this spring? Through this informative guide, we will share all our best knowledge and tips on the planting, arrangement and aftercare for your Buddleia shrubs. When it is covered in butterflies, no other garden plant brings so much pleasure on a summer’s day!
Buddleia, also known as Butterfly Bush, is one of Britain’s most popular summer flowering shrubs. Buddleia comes from Asia and there are more than 100 species that have spread from northern India, China and South Africa to Central and South America, largely after being introduced by the great plant hunters around the beginning of the 20th century.
Buddleia are superb additions to the garden for attracting wildlife with butterflies and bees being big fans of this shrub. Known for their burst of colour and their distinct tubular fragrant flowers, this vigorous, deciduous shrub is the perfect choice for summer blooms. Here are our guides to planting out in the garden and in containers for easy planting this spring.
In the Garden
Great for long-term borders/rockeries. They perform best when planted in full sun (or at least in partial shade) and in fertile, well-drained soil. Dependent on the variety, plant around 5 to 10 feet apart for a gorgeous display. Plant Buddleia in Spring or in Autumn before the first frosts and water thoroughly after planting.
When planting, loosen the soil and mix in compost and dig a hole twice the diameter of the plant container.
They will not perform well if grown in soil that tends to retain a lot of water in the winter.
Do not plant under trees.
Use a pot deep enough to contain the roots and heavy enough to weigh the plant down. Make sure the pot has a good amount of drainage holes to allow the roots to breathe. Place the pot in full sunlight and water regularly. Cut the plant back around 10-12 inches in late winter or early spring.
Whisky Barrels make great planters
Avoid garden soil which becomes heavy/compact in containers.
Dwarf varieties like our Minature Collection are the best choice for pots and containers.
In this gardening tutorial, our resident gardening expert Jeff demonstrates how to plant Buddleia (Butterfly Bush) for summer flowering and shares his tips and tricks for getting the best results out of these beautiful shrubs.
When in bloom, you can snip their stems for honey scented cut flower bouquets.
Buddleia can be pruned hard after flowering, and you should cut shoots back to strong buds/younger growth.
We recommend reducing plants by half in Autumn when they are grown in windy positions.
Removing the dead blooms and watering the plants in very dry conditions will bring butterflies flocking to your Buddleia plants.
You can take softwood cutting in late spring just as the stems begin to harden up a little.
This magical hybrid showcases a mix between the usual blue-purple varieties along with a yellow flowered species. This plant’s gorgeous spikes of flowers blend perfectly from purple to orange for a sensational display of multi-coloured shades and sweet scent to radiate your summer garden.
The stunning fragrant white flowers are displayed on strong arching branches that are amazing for attracting wildlife in to the garden. Ideal for brightening your summer gardens in patio pots and containers.
Purple Lion is a stunning, fragrant dwarf variety of Buddleia. This compact plant bears large purple flower spikes along with attractive silver-green foliage making Purple Lion the perfect long term addition to borders/rockeries and patio pots.
The green foliage of Lantanas are topped with clusters of tiny, vibrant little flowers that are superb plants for attracting birds, butterflies and bees to the garden, making them a perfect pollinator companion for Buddleias.
This variety is the perfect colour complimenting partner for white and purple Buddleias. These snow white, compactly formed flowers with bright yellow centers are an ideal plant for filling your landscape as ground cover or in containers to bring the wildlife swarming to your beautiful pollinator friendly garden.
A border of Asters creates a truly unforgettable spectacle. Combine with Buddleia for a truly delightful show of colour. They are bound to liven up your garden as Asters are great pollinator attracting plants with their bright colours and nectar rich, wide open blooms.
This vivid pink variety of these tough, sun-loving perennial plants are a great easy to grow pairing with Buddleia. Their cheerful ornamental cluster of flowers will certainly bring a pop of colour to summer rock gardens, borders and pots.
Lilies are one of the truly great garden plants for their flower forms, diversity, extended season of bloom, graceful stature, and reliable disposition. Lilium/Lilies are ideal for large, showy displays and many are fragrant varieties, and will naturalise each year for continued pleasure. Keep reading to learn more about our different lily varieties and advice on how to plant them.
These lilies are very cold hardy and often the earliest bloomers. They are usually 3 to 4 feet tall and produce unscented flowers in almost every colour imaginable. Asiatic lilies are an excellent choice for borders or rockeries as they produce very strong stems and are available in several exciting colour combinations, these little garden beauties provide the earliest lily blooms of the year by appearing in June-July each year. Asiatic Lily bulbs produce sturdy and colourful flowers that make cut flowers. Supplied as top sized Lilium bulbs.
Asiatic lilies come in a variation of tall, dwarf, double and bi-colour varieties.
One of our favourite tall varieties is the stunning Lily Yellow County. This Asiatic lily produces beautiful yellow flowers and a lovely scent, which stand upon tall, strong stems and an added bonus of this plant is that they are usually pest free.
A favoured dwarf variety of ours is the Lily Foxtrot. A beautiful pale pink, Dwarf Asiatic lily. Ideal for growing in groups at the front of the border or in pots scattered around the patio.
A gorgeous Double Asiatic variety in our Lily collection is the Lily Red Twin. A stunning double flowering Asiatic Lily, it has deep orange-red flowers. It has a slight fragrance and is ideal for patio pots and containers. They grow to a height of 100-110cm and make wonderful cut flowers for indoor arrangements as they stand on strong sturdy stems.
These amazing Oriental Lilies can grow to 5 feet high, bloom in late summer, and have a strong, enchanting fragrance, flowering in summer (August-September). The colour and markings of Oriental Lilies are very unusual and unique, but still with an abundance of flowers per bulb. Fragrant Oriental Lily bulbs can be planted in late autumn through to spring.
The stunning giant flowers that are a staple feature of this plant are available in double and dwarf varieties.
Our top pick for the Double Oriental Lilies is the Lily Lotus Beauty. Lotus Beauty is from our new range of double flowering oriental lilies that produces large flowers that resemble a lotus in appearance. The ruffled white flowers are speckled with burgundy spots and flower from July throughout August.
One of our favourite dwarf varieties is the Lily Gold Band. This oriental lily is an excellent choice for adding beauty to your summer borders with their gorgeous fragrant flowers and eye catching white and gold banded petals.
Fragrant giant Goliath Lilies are a cross between Giant Oriental Lilies and Giant Trumpet Lilies. These Interspecific crosses between Oriental and Trumpet lilies have produced lily bulbs that easily weather late Midwestern frosts without bud kill but have the sweet fragrance and shape of Oriental lilies. They have large flowers with thick petals that open wide, are extremely fragrant, and tend to last a long time. These beautiful Lilies can be incorporated into the back of your garden borders where they can act as a wonderful backdrop for your display.
One of our top picks for Giant Oriental Lilies is Lily Debby. A stunning red and orange oriental trumpet lily variety that grows to roughly 2m tall and produces up to 30 giant flowers with a diameter of roughly 20cm; a perfect addition to borders and large pots for summer.
Our popular Trumpet Lily bulbs produce large scented, huge trumpet shaped blossoms on very sturdy stems, and these lilies can grow up to 5 feet high. Trumpet Lilies like the same suggests exhibit large trumpet shaped flowers, often with a combination and blend of colours. Fragrant and easy to grow. Flowering early summer from June onwards. Trumpet Lilies are supplied as top size bulbs.
One of our favourite Trumpet Lilies is Lily Anastasia. A new hybrid of oriental and trumpet lilies which reach heights of 2.5m with up to forty 20cm diameter flowers per bulb. Large pale pink flowers with a deep stripe of magenta at the centre of each petal and dappling at the throat giving the lily a bruised, blushing effect.
We have a selection of unusual yet beautiful Lilies in some breath-taking colours that are simply hard to ignore. This range of summer flowering Lilies flower all summer long, offering wonderful sights and fragrance. You can choose from Tiger Lily bulbs like our vibrant Lily Tiger Babies, which produce colourful, speckled brown blooms. The name Tiger refers to the spots inside the petals. Tiger Babies will produce delightful orange flowers, smothered in small spots that we come to expect from Tiger varieties.
Martagon Lilies are a species that varies very little in shape and form, but colours range from dark maroon to mauve and white, with different spotting on the petals, depending on where they’re growing. This was one of the first lilies to be grown in British gardens: Gerard described it in 1596. One of our top picks in this variety is the Lily Martagon Arabian Knight; a striking plant with a mix of gold, red and purple hues, which makes a fantastic choice for cut flowers or as a focal point in the summer garden.
Though lilies look like they’d be fussy plants, they are actually very easy to grow. All of our Lilies are supplied as bulbs, ready to plant on arrival. Lilies are best planted from October up until April/May. Lilies like a lot of sun but not direct sunlight. Therefore, you should place the flowerpot in partial shade. The soil in the plant pots should be loose and permeable. Ensure that the holes in which the lily bulbs are placed are twice as deep as the diameter of the bulb.
Looking for help on planting specific lily varieties? Here are some of our video planting guides to help give you more knowledge on lily planting and how you get the best results out of your Lilies for summer.
Make sure you know which plants are toxic for animals, so be sure to keep out your lily plants out of contact with your animals to avoid your dog or cat from harm!
After planting, they require little care. But you should not forget to water them. However, always avoid watering too much. Depending on the variety, the lily flowers themselves grow 60 to 140 cm tall. Lily varieties which grow tall are unsuitable for pots. For pot plants, you should choose lily varieties which do not grow taller than 60 70 cm. Popular, small tub varieties include Mona Lisa or Cordelia lilies. The flowering period of lilies is from June onwards. Always cut off withered petals immediately, so that no seeds form which would cost the plant unnecessary energy.
Encouraging wildlife into your garden is a winner all-round. They can help out your garden plants and you would be doing a good deed for all those creatures in need of a home or food throughout the winter. Flying visitors such as birds, butterflies and bees are pretty to look at and help improve your garden’s production. Encourage hedgehogs, toads and frogs too – they act as fantastic pest control, reducing the need for pesticides.
Here’s what you can do to turn your garden in to a wildlife haven.
Bees are great to have around the garden. You want them in your garden to feast off your flowers to make them continue to pollinate and keep your garden looking spectacular. Bees love blue, purple and yellow flowers and plants so keep that in mind when planning your garden displays.
Here are some tips to keep bees doing their jobs as pollinators:
Plant single flower plants as most double flowers make it difficult for the bees to get the pollen and nectar.
Avoid using pesticides wherever possible.
Provide water for pollinators using a shallow dish filled with stones/marbles and water to provide a safe water source.
Bee Friendly Plants
Provide nest boxes/wooden houses for birds to nest in. (Place near trees or bushes so the birds can make a short flight to safety).
Improve soil with well-rotted compost to introduce worms and slugs and other soil insects to provide food for birds.
A simple bird bathe will give the birds somewhere to bathe as well as doubling as a water supply.
Bird Friendly Plants
You can plant different shrubs/trees/flowers that will either provide food for birds in the form of seeds, berries or nectar, give shelter and warmth under dense foliage or they will attract insects which birds and other wildlife can feed off.
Here are some of our top choices:
Ladybugs are a great help in the garden for eliminating destructive and damaging crop pests like aphids, mites and scale. Here are some tips for attracting ladybugs to your garden:
There are several pollen plants that attract ladybugs that tend to be yellow and white, such as Angelica, Cosmos and Fennel.
Plant decoy plants what will attract aphids away from your desired bug free plants until the ladybugs remove them for you. Aphid attracting decoy plants could include: Early Cabbage, Marigold and Radish.
Ladybug Friendly Plants
Ladybugs eat two things: insect pests and pollen, and there are several pollen plants that ladybugs like, including:
Did you know that attracting bats to your garden is one of the safest and most efficient methods for natural insect control? One little brown bat can eat 1,200 insects per hour!
A great bat attracting method is to build a bat house to provide a warm cosy shelter for the creatures. Since bats tend to set up colonies in the early spring, building a bat house is the perfect winter project! Some tips are:
Use a rough, nontoxic wood (such as plywood or cedar) to make your box. The rough surface will make it easier for bats to climb in and out of the house.
Place in a warm, sunny position for warmth
Keep it close to a freshwater source (pond, stream)
Support on a pole or the side of a building
Bat Friendly Plants
The key to attracting bats to your garden is to plant night-scented flowers, such as:
Attracting frogs to your garden is beneficial for the welfare of your plants. Frogs make great inset killers so why not attract some garden frogs to help with those little pests.
Build toad houses – overturned flowerpots buried lightly in the soil make great shelters.
Avoid using pesticides in your garden. Frogs are sensitive to chemicals so use natural sources of nutrients in your garden such as compost.
Keep pets away from the part of the garden set up for attracting frogs.
Frog Friendly Plants
Toads and female frogs usually spend winter on land, under rockery stones (or in a log pile). Recommended rock plants are:
Just like the shrew and the vole, the hedgehog is an insectivore with a voracious appetite. An adult hedgehog can eat up to 200 grams of insects per night, making the perfect pest controller in your garden. So, why not attract them to the garden with a few small tips and help these little creatures as their population has dropped in recent years. Here are some tips to draw these little creatures into your garden:
Leave areas of the garden naturally unkempt with fallen leaves, twigs and dead vegetation, which they can use to build nests.
Leave bowls of water out in the winter as hedgehogs drink lots of water. Top the water up regularly.
Avoid using slug pellets as they are fatal for hedgehogs
Hedgehog Friendly Plants
Hedges provide a great habitat for hedgehogs as they provide free access between gardens, unlike walls and fences. Species with large deciduous leaves are great for hedgehogs collecting leaves for their nests. Here are some top picks:
Need help on how to plant Cactus Dahlias? In this blog, we’ve compiled a guide full of tips and advice on planting, arrangement, and aftercare for your Cactus Dahlias, to allow you to get the best performance from your plants.
This special, eye-catching variety of Cactus Dahlias are distinctive by their unusual shaped summer flowers, which look fantastic planted together for colour bursting garden displays and borders, as well as when planted as a standalone item. They can flower until Autumn and have a wide range of interesting varieties, all with very showy flower shapes and rich colour shades.
Dahlia tubers can be planted 10cm deep in fertile well drained soil, outdoors in spring when the frost has disappeared. If you plant before the frosts are over, they may get frosted and die, so pot in March or early April for flowering in early July. They prefer to be in a sunny location and spaced at approximately 45cm apart.
Dahlias start blooming about 8 weeks after planting, starting in mid-July.
Some gardeners start tubers indoors in containers a month ahead to get a jump on the season.
In this video tutorial, our resident gardener Jeff covers how to plant Cactus Dahlia tubers in to pots and shares helpful tips and advice on how to achieve the best results out of your Dahlia plants.
There’s no need to water the soil until the dahlia plants appear; in fact, overwatering can cause tubers to rot. After dahlias are established, provide a deep watering 2 to 3 times a week, preferably more in hotter, dry climates.
In areas where there is extreme cold, dig up dahlias and store in a cool peat over the winter and then replanted the following year.
Apply a high potash fertiliser every few weeks in the summer to help growth and they can be dead headed when necessary.
Pansies are exceptionally colourful plants and these specially selected winter and spring flowering varieties will present a splendid display of colour over a very long period and in such a beautiful variation of shades. A cool-weather favourite, pansies are great for both spring and autumn garden displays!
Our handy guide will help you with Planting Pansies, as well as how to keep your Pansies growing and blooming.
Plant straight away upon arrival into pots or containers into either freshly prepared soil (with a little organic matter added) or else using a balanced potting compost.
Pot up for a number of weeks (minimum of two-three) and then plant out into final position once the roots have become established.
Water regularly and make sure soil does not become too dry. This will also help to produce a bigger plant with greater flowering potential.
In this easy to follow how-to video tutorial, our resident gardener Jeff shows you how to plant winter/spring flowering pansies step by step, with tips and tricks for getting the best results out of your pansy plants.
Here are a few tips on caring for your pansy plants.
Remember to water your pansies regularly. One of the most common reasons pansies fail is because they are not watered enough, so if your pansies are not doing well, try watering them more.
You can use a general, all-purpose fertilizer around your pansies to help them grow.
Always deadhead your pansies as they go over and be sure to pinch off the whole flower to the base of the stem and you’ll then get more flowers.
Our Top Picks
Need help deciding which pansies to buy? Can Can or Cool Wave? Maxi plug or garden ready? Here is a selection of our favourite varieties to simplify your gardening.
The next generation of trailing pansy from seed, Pansy Cool Wave. Simply plant in a hanging basket or container and the plants will naturally spread and trail to create a stunning spring display as illustrated. This pansy has exceptional overwintering performance and is the first to re-bloom in spring, and another highlight of this variety is it’s light scent. Height 15cm. This pansy is supplied as garden ready plug plants, our largest sized plugs on the market and are very easy to grow making them perfect for the novice and experienced gardener alike. Each plug plant supplied is 10-15cm in height and 5cm in width, supplied in trays of 30.
Our stunning double winter flowering Pansy Can Can is an extravagant frilled pansies, which will make your winter basket, patio containers and borders a sight for sore eyes. The ruffled semi-double flowers are exquisitely marked with shades of yellow, red blue, white and orange, perfect for adding a flair of colour to your garden display. Available as Maxi Plugs, a small but robust variety, and Garden Ready plants , which are our easiest plug plant to succeed with, ready to plant on arrival and are the quickest of all to establish and grow. Maxi plug height 15cm. Garden Ready height 20cm.
Winter and Spring pansies never fail to perform, they show a splendid display of multi-colour over a very long period. Pansies really are super hardy plants and don’t mind being covered with a dusting of snow in the winter – they just carry on flowering right through to spring. Height 15-20cm.
Looking to add a vibrant splash of character to your spring garden displays?
This Greigii Tulip has strikingly beautiful, oriental scarlet flowers. It is highly compact, growing to a height of only 20-30cm, and flowers in spring between March/April. The inner petals are brighter, with a dark base and flecks of yellow in the centre. The spectacular, grey-green mottled purple foliage is a highlight of these tulips. These tulips are easy to grow, and create a warm welcoming addition to garden beds, borders, containers, rock gardens and make stunning cut flowers too. These Red Riding Hood tulips are excellent alongside contrasting tulips of a similar style, such as Albion Star, or beside your other red varieties.
Our Red Riding Hood bulbs come in packs of 15 and 60 and are supplied as 10cm+ bulbs. We recommend you plant around 8 to 10cm deep and approximately 15cm apart in well drained, fertile soil, and in a sunny or partially shaded location in the autumn from September to December.
In this simple how-to video tutorial, our resident gardener Jeff shows you how to plant our Red Riding Hood tulips, specifically in pots, with tips and tricks for getting the best results out of your bulbs.
Red Riding Hood tulips are fairly low maintenance plants for aftercare as they do not require pruning. After the tulips have bloomed and the leaves fade and turn brown, the bulbs can be lifted, dried, cleaned and stored in a cool place until planting time. Tulips should not be grown in the same soil for several years, so replace with fresh soil every other year.
Geums were once a severely overlooked plant, often used to plug the gaps in a cottage garden scheme. But then suddenly everyone started noticing new bright, zesty flowers colours appearing all the time at flower shows boasting spectacular long flowering times turning these beauties into stars in their own right.
Each stem produces lots of buds that will flower in succession, giving you a long summer display. Good for cutting but get the most out of them in the garden first.
Yhere are three different groups of cultivars rivale, coccineum and chiloense. The rivale have nodding, bell-like flowers. They like moisture retentive soils and prefer to grow in shade or semi shade. Coccineum are an alpine plant, flowering well after a cold winter and have upward facing flowers. The choloense are tall, sturdy plants producing large double flowers and can tolerate full sun as well as semi shade.
Soil and propagation: Geums like moisture retentive soils and will benefit from an annual mulching. Low maintenance but if you divide them when they start to loose growth from the middle they will last much longer, bringing years of pleasure. You can also take cuttings from the base in early spring.
They may succumb to powdery mildew at the end of the summer, just remove any affected stems. Prune back hard after flowering to give the foliage a boost for the rest of the year.
Geums are very popular for Cottage Garden style designs and work really well with lots of perennials. Featuring a few well places Dahlias amongst your Geums will make them more of a colourful backdrop to the main event. Make them pop by paring the red, yellow and gold tones of Geums against purples from Alliums or Pulmonaria. You can enhance the golden shades by planting daisy like Rudbeckia, Echinacea, Coreopsis or Helenium.
If you need good coverage in a shaded area why not try planting with Helleborus, which boast a similar stock of healthy evergreen foliage but will flower earlier in the year, giving you dashes of colour throughout the seasons as well as a constant lush green coverage.