Weird and Wonderful Halloween Themed Plants

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

Tulip QUEEN OF NIGHT

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

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

Sambucus ‘Black Lace’

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

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

Iris ‘Oktoberfest’

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

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

Corylus avellana Contorta

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

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

Lysimachia Atro Beaujolais

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

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

Hemerocallis ‘Voodoo Dancer’

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

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

Athyrium Ghost

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

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

Hamamelis mollis (witch hazel)

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

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

salix melanostachys (Black Pussy Willow)

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

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Folklore: Willow leaves act as charms against jealousy.

Cephalanthus occidentalis (Button Bush)

 

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

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Folklore: The bark was chewed to relieve toothaches.

Dicentra ‘Burning Hearts’

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

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

Halloween Tips:

Pumpkin Plant Pots

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

 

Floral Pumpkin centerpiece

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

 

Little Leaf Ghosts

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

 

 

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!

Halloween In the Garden

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

1. Fritillaria Meleagris (Snakeshead)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

2. Iris pumila ‘Hokus Pokus’

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

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

3. Tulip Black Parrot

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

Superstition: Wear Tulips for prosperity and protection.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

5. Hemerocallis ‘Whoopy’

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

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

6. Athyrium niponicum ‘Ursula’s Red’

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

7. Sedum Spurium ‘Dragons Blood’

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

8. Tulip ‘Kingsblood’

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

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

9. Dicentra Spectabilis ‘Bleeding Heart’

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

10. Rose Black Baccara

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

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

11. Fatsia japonica ‘Spiders Web’

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

12. Tulip Perfect Partner Collection

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

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

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

 

Happy Halloween!

How To Plant: Iris Reticulata Pixie

If you’re looking for an easy to grow bulb that will bring some vibrancy to your garden in early spring, you can’t go wrong with Iris Reticulata.

 

Of all our spring flowering Iris, Iris Reticulata Pixie is a particularly popular variety for a number of reasons. This beautiful Iris Reticulata flowers early in spring when little else in the garden is in flower, bringing vibrant violet-blue hues to your borders and patio pots. Each petal is delicately marked with golden yellow and white flecks. These exquisite flowers are sure to brighten up the garden in February and March.
You can plant these beautiful Iris in the front of your border, or in pots for the patio. Jeff talks us through both options in the below video so you can get the most out of your bulbs.
Bulbs are to be planted 8cm deep and around 10-12cm apart, in well drained soil. It is often best to try to position then with plenty of access to sun. For best results, plant in September through to November.

 

Take some care to prevent slugs and snails from attacking the Iris once planted, Jeff uses fine alpine grit to get the job done!
Most Iris can naturalise well if left undisturbed or alternatively bulbs can be lifted and separated in autumn. After flowering feed with a high potash fertilizer to encourage large bulbs to form.

Flower Garden Stories: Legendary Spring Flowering Bulbs and Plants

After an unusual spring and a glorious summer, its time to start thinking about autumn planting. Our full autumn range is now available for pre-order, ready for you to start thinking about what you’ll be planting this year for your spring 2019 display.

To give you a bit of inspiration, we’ve taken a look at how these gorgeous flowers have been catching our eye for thousands of years. Many of the plants we sell to this day have origin stories in the myths and legends of ancient cultures. In Ancient Greece, everything from the sky to the tiny flowers of the earth had their own deity and mythology.

We’ve chosen six of our favourite plants and bulbs that earned a place in the stories of Ancient Greek mythology;

Narcissus

The story of Narcissus is one of vanity and, yes, narcissism.

The beauty of Narcissus was apparently so incomparable that his mother feared he would meet some tragic demise, but was consoled by a local seer that his life would be long and happy so long as he never recognised himself. Like most of these ancient prophesies, Naricissus’ fate came to pass when he fell madly in love with his own reflection and drowned trying to reach himself.

The beautiful Narcissi sprang up where he died, their delicate nodding heads hanging downwards presumably to admire their own reflection.

Anemone

Greek myth states that the Anemone was traditionally white, but was turned red by the death of Aphrodite’s lover Adonis. A similar connection is made to Jesus, who’s crucifixion in Christianity is often associated with the anemone when depicted in art.

Crocus

The story of Krokos in Greek myth depicts him as a young man who’s lover, the nymph Smilax, had died tragically. In his greif, Krokos prayed to the Olympians for mercy. The gods deemed to turn the man into a Crocus and his lover to an evergreen tree, so that the pair may live in each other’s company for eternity. The delicate crocus can often be found flowering in the shade of larger plants to this day.

 

Iris

The colourful, delicate Iris are supposedly named for the greek goddess of the same name. Iris, which means eye of heaven, would deliver the word of the gods to earth via a rainbow. It make sense that the flower would take this name for its rainbow of colours and unusual eyedrop markings.

Hyacinth

Another tragic love story of greek mythology was that of Hyacinth, a mortal who found himself in a love triangle with the sun god Apollo and Zephyrus, the western wind. When their quarrelling lead to his demise, Apollo’s tears burst into life as they hit the ground and bloomed into wonderful, fragrant Hyacinth.

Peony

This particular myth makes more sense in its own time. Paeon worked as a healer under the god Asclepius, who’s symbolism still inspires the medical industry with the Rod of Asclepius forming the logo of health organisations across the world. So talented was Paeon that Asclepius himself envied him, and the king of the gods himself was forced to intervene. In an effort to save the healer from his tutor, Zeus turned Paeon into the flower Paeony, which was in ancient times more widely used for its apparent medicinal properties.

Hopefully these have offered some inspiration to modern gardeners also, and right now you can shop our full autumn range online with our latest free gifts. Get planning!