5 Steps to Planting Hanging Baskets

Transform any garden with the beauty of hanging baskets. Incredibly versatile and easy to maintain, hanging baskets add long-lasting colour, height and interest to patios, doorways and balconies; the perfect accessory in the summer garden!

To add a pop of colour to your garden with the help of a beautiful basket, here are our 5 easy steps to planting up hanging baskets.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • A lined hanging basket (the bigger the better)
  • Multipurpose compost
  • A selection of plants
  • A wall bracket
  • Scissors

Here’s how to do it:

1. Stand the hanging basket on a wide, heavy pot to keep it stable. If the basket isn’t already lined, use moss or a proprietary liner.

2. Cut some holes in the basket liner about 5cm (2 inch) above the base for trailing plants. Fill the basket to that level with multipurpose compost.

3. Place the largest plants in the centre of the basket to create structure and impact. Place three or four trailing plants (such as Ivy) around the sides.

4. Add extra compost and firm it around the plants.

5. Fix the wall bracket according to instructions and position your basket in a sunny spot sheltered from wind and water well. Feed and water regularly.

Top tips to remember:

  • Go big! Bigger baskets allow for greater water retention and will allow the plants to really bloom. A smaller one will mean more work on your behalf, as it needs more regular pruning and watering. 
  • For the ultimate basket compost – Look for a good brand of peat-free compost and mix it with slow release fertiliser granules and a water retaining gel. 
  • Plant picking – Choose colours that go well together and that reliably flower, such as Pansies, Petunias and Geraniums

Bulbs to Plant in February

Spring is usually the most popular time for planting out summer flowering bulbs. However! February is a great time to begin planting some of the hardier varieties, or for putting them out into pots and containers for a fabulous display. Generally, bulbs prefer a light, well-draining soil – so try to avoid wet and heavy soils. But don’t worry if your garden soil isn’t well-drained, as all the bulbs below are suitable for pots and containers.

LILIES

Lily bulbs can be planted any time from autumn to spring in a sunny spot, in rich well-drained soil, around 15-20cm deep. If your soil is heavy, wet or badly drained then you could plant in pots or containers for a lovely patio display.

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Lily Gran Tourismo

This deep pink oriental Lily has a striking green centre and a wonderful fragrance. This unusual giant star-shaped flower is brilliant for a cut flower display.

Martagon Hansonii

A beautiful Lily with delicate golden flowers and small burgundy markings. This flower has unusual recurved petals, making it a lovely feature.

Short Stemmed Lilies Mixed

This bright and attractive mixture will produce upright flowers that will add a splash of colour to your garden in the summer. This selection is perfect for exotic-looking pots, containers and borders.

EUCOMIS

Eucomis bulbs are usually planted in spring, however February is not too early to plant them into pots and containers. If planted in well-drained soil the bulbs should be hardy to around -6 °C . Plant the bulbs 15cm deep in pots for a summer display, or out in the border once actively growing – but only after the last frosts.

Sparkling Rosy

This extraordinary Eucomis produces contrasting deep purple and delicate pink flowers. The star-shaped blooms are accompanied by bold green foliage.

Autumnalis Alba

Our Autumnalis Alba is a more elegant Eucomis, with a refreshing colourway of crisp white flowers and bright green foliage. It makes a beautiful patio plant.

LIATRIS

Liatris are tough herbaceous perennials originating from North America, and are great for attracting wildlife such as bees and butterflies. They produce large blooms which eventually form a clump and can be later divided in spring. Plant in light, well-draining soil around 5cm deep.

Spicata

Our Liatris Spicata produces a mass of bright spike-shaped blooms in a bold purple-pink colour. The flowers stand tall at 80cm from July to September.

Spicata Alba

The Spicata Alba is a beautiful white variety of Liatris, which looks superb when complementing the pink. These blooms are wonderful for attracting bees and butterflies.

MISCELLANEOUS

Here are a few more summer-flowering beauties for you to plant NOW!

Ixia Mixed

Our fun mixture of Ixias produce wonderful candy-coloured flowers for a cheerful summer display. Their star-shaped blooms in brilliant and varied colours. 

Butterfly Gladioli Mixed

This stunning mixture of miniature Gladioli will add a splash of colour to your garden this summer. They produce delicate florets that are shaped like the wings of a butterfly. 

Decorative Dahlia Mixed

This delightfully bright and huge blooms of our Decorative Dahlia mix will bring months of joy to the summer garden. Plant in a border for an eye-catching, rainbow display.

Quick Guide to Bulb Planting:

Generally bulbs need to be planted approximately three times the depth of the bulb itself, though if you’re unsure it’s better to dig a little deeper than not.

  • Dig a hole deep and wide enough for the bulb size.
  • Place the bulb with the shoot facing upwards into the hole. Space your bulbs at least twice their width apart.
  • Fill the hole with soil and gently firm. Avoid stepping on the soil as this could cause damage.
  • After planting, water bulbs once and then regularly once in active growth.

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March Plant of the Month: Magnolia

After the gloomy grey of winter, its always a joy to see the garden return to its glory in spring. Magnolia delivers that joy in abundance, bursting into life in early spring with large, magnificent blooms.

Magnolia plants are wonderful ornamental trees, available in a wide variety of shapes and sizes with something to suit any garden. These easy to grow beauties are very low maintenance, making them perfect for experts and novice gardeners alike.

Even so, here are some tips on getting the most out of your plant.

Planting tips

 

 

 

 

 

 

On arrival, plant in moist, acid-to-neutral soil in full sun or partial shaded areas. Shallow planting is required for magnolia bushes, in areas that have great drainage. It is often recommended that you provide some protection from strong winds, and provide a mulch in early spring. Do not allow plants to dry out in hot weather and water regularly.

Little pruning is required for these magnificent shrubs, but if required you can prune lightly once the flowers have faded.

Varieties

We have several varieties of Magnolia available to buy online from just £9.99, so you are sure to find the perfect choice for your garden. Here are just a few of our favourites;

Magnolia soulangeana, also known as the Saucer Magnolia or Chinese Magnolia, is probably the most popular of the Magnolia family. It has dark green leaves and deep saucer shaped flowers that are white to rosy-pink. Great for smaller gardens, as it remains a shapely shrub for many years.

Magnolia liliiflora Nigra is a compact shrub native to Southwest China and Japan, also known as the Black Lily Magnolia. The flowers are held erect on sturdy branches amongst glossy elliptic shaped leaves. Deep purple-red outer petals in a narrow tulip shape gently reflex at the tips like a lily revealing a paler colour within. Flowering April to June, later than other magnolias.

Nigra holds the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit for its reliable performance, stability of colour and form and good resistance to pests and diseases.

 Magnolia loebneria Merril is another award winning Magnolia, with branches laden with dainty buds in spring open to milky white flowers, abundant and smaller than most other magnolias. Later, oblong deciduous leaves cover the branches when the fragrant flowers have fallen. A hybrid of the magnolia kobus and stellata varieties loebneri Merrilli is prized for the upright habit and robust natures of its parents although is smaller and more free flowering than both, its mature height and spread rarely growing beyond 2m.

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Complete Guide: How To Plant Begonia Tubers

There’s no denying that Begonias are one of the most popular and sought after flowers for the summer garden. With a beautiful and rich assortment of colours and a long flowering season, there are so many qualities to enjoy when it comes to these vibrant beauties.

Check out our guide to find out more about tubers and how to plant them, as well as a summary of our beautiful types of Begonias, so you can find a variety that best suits you and your garden’s needs.

What are Tubers?

Tubers are a thick underground part of a stem or rhizome and Begonia sizes are measured by the diameter of the tuber. Many of our varieties are supplied either as:

  • Standard size (3/4cm) – great for mass planting
  • Exhibition size (5cm+) – excellent for large flowering displays

How Do I Plant Begonia Tubers?

  • Planting Time: February – May 📆
  • Position: Full Sun/Partial Shade ☀
  • Flowering Time: June-October 🌸
  1. Start off your Begonias indoors (until all risk of frosts have passed) in a light room or greenhouse.
  2. Plant the tubers in pots with the hollow side facing up.
  3. Cover the tubers with no more than 1cm of soil or potting compost.
  4. Watered regularly during the summer, so that the soil is not allowed to dry out.
  5. Feed once every two weeks with a high potassium up until the blooms begin to fade.
  6. Lift tubers after flowering has finished and the leaves have begun to turn yellow.
  7. Store in a dry, cool (but frost-free) location over the winter. Store in soil that is only a little moist and keep this a little moist over the winter (with irregular watering) to keep the tubers from drying out.

Check out our video tutorials

How to Plant Cascading Begonias
How to Plant Cascading Begonias
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Begonia Types

Which tuber suits you? To help you get a head start on your summer planning, we’ve listed out the different types of Begonias, so you can decide which magnificent bloomer will best suit your garden.

Double Flowering
A British favourite. Their ruffled, double flower heads bloom in an array of bright colours. Perfect for summer borders and pots.

Cascading
Create a waterfall of elegance with these beautiful, trailing Begonias. Perfect for hanging baskets and patio pots.

Non-Stop
As the name suggests, these beautiful Begonias will produce masses of flowers all throughout the summer months. Great for summer baskets, pots or beds.

Superba (Mighty Mini) Our premium Superba (Mighty Mini) Begonias are a stand out for the summer garden. This colourful, compact and versatile plant is perfect for pots, hanging baskets or window boxes.

Fancy Frills (Fimbriata)
A remarkable, flamboyant Begonia. Add charm to your summer patios with these large, frilly blooms. Available in an assortment of magnificent colours.

Grow Your Own: Blueberries (A Modern ‘Super Food’)

Fruit_BlueberryIt’s inevitable that each New Year we will constantly read and see ways in which we must improve our lifestyle and become healthier all around. In gardening terms this often means going “organic” and what can be more organic than growing your own fruit and vegetables. There are of course many wonderful choices of fruit and vegetables to get you started, and personal choice should always be the best reasoning for choice. Reading through the usual Sunday papers in early January got me thinking about my own personal favourites, and right up there on top of my list has to be the Blueberry, or Vaccinium to give them their proper name.Great tasting fruit to give you a health kick

The deliciously sweet tasting fruit grown from the Blueberry bush is the most appealing part of this summer fruit. The lovely small, round and colourful fruit appears in abundance throughout the summer, into autumn, providing months and months of enjoyment. Almost all Blueberry shrubs are self-fertile, but to enhance production and yield then why not try growing with partners/pairs. By planting with multiple varieties and various harvesting dates, this allows you to extend the season and allow for more wonderful fruit. Once established and properly cared for they will fruit easily year on year. By growing fruit yourself you can allow them to fully ripen on the vine prior to harvesting for a sweeter taste, a luxury that many large scale growers cannot achieve due to economic restrictions.

We have all come to refer to the Blueberry has one of the most healthy fruits around and it’s easy to see why. Recent research have helped shine light on the high levels of antioxidants, minerals and vitamin C present within Blueberries and often sees this labelled as a modern day ‘Super Food’. By growing your own fruit you control the level of pesticides used within your product, a major concern for many when buying mass produced products.


Blueberry_DixiHow to grow your own Blueberries

Blueberries are versatile enough to accommodate growing in the ground or in containers spread out around the patio. Planting in acidic soil is vital to the success of Blueberries, with a PH level of four/five. Make sure the soil is well aerated and rich in humus. If planting in containers then make sure they are large enough to allow the roots to fully spread, and add a handful of crocs or pebbles to the bottom of the container.

Looking after Blueberries is relatively easy and suitable for all skill levels. Make sure the soil is kept moist throughout, but never allowed to become waterlogged. Many organic gardeners choice to use recycled or rain water instead of tap water, to save the environment and in fact this should help keep PH level of the soil a little more balanced. We suggest applying a liquid feed once a month to help encourage larger and more successful fruit.


Top Varieties to Try

1. Blueberry Top HatThe versatile and compact Blueberry Top Hat produces white flowers during spring which develop slowly into fruits come summer before its foliage finally turns reddish-green as autumn approaches. One of our best-selling varieties, the Top Hat Blueberry plant will thrive in a patio container, and grows to a mature height of just 50cm tall making it the perfect choice where space in minimal.

 

2. Blueberry Pink LemonadeBlush white flowers are followed by flavoured and good textured Pink Blueberries in August. Although self-fertile, you can plant in pairs to achieve a greater crop. A real garden novelty, equally effective as an ornamental shrub with all year round interest. Height 1.5m.  

 

 

3. Blueberry Spartan (Early season Flowering)Blueberry Spartan is a popular early fruiting variety, reaching heights of 1m. The fruit is high in Vitamin C and can be eaten fresh of the tree or for culinary purposes such as creating a pie or tart. Pot grown plants supplied.

 

4. Blueberry Dixi (Late season flowering)The versatile and compact Blueberry Late Season Fruiting Dixi shrub, also known as the ‘vaccinium corymbosum’, is an intensely flavoured variety, producing fruit in August and September as well as fragrant foliage which is highly attractive to bees and other pollinators.

 

5. Blueberry Giant Patriot The largest and juiciest of all blueberry shrubs, Patriot fruits July/August. Blueberry Giant Patriot produces some of the largest and most flavoursome fruits of all blueberry varieties. This impressive specimen  produces fragrant foliage which is highly attractive to bees and other pollinators. Grows to a mature height of one metre, supplied as a 9cm potted plant.