Spring Photo Competition 2020: Enter to WIN £100

Back by popular demand!

Our annual Spring Photography Competition is back for 2020 with another chance to win up to £100 worth of J Parker’s vouchers.

The competition is simple. All you have to do is take photos of your #JParkersBulbs spring-flowering bulbs in your garden this spring, and send them in online to be in for a chance to win.

Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about our latest competition:

This year, we have 10 amazing prizes up for grabs. Here is the prize list for our 2020 winners:

Winners Announced: Community Garden Competition

We would like to thank all of the entrants for joining in and helping make this year’s Community Garden Competition a success. We’ve had just over 100 entries, who have shared the story of their community garden via email or social, and we have been moved by how many of you are involved in such amazing and caring communities!

Our 3 lucky winners have been randomly selected and each entry had to answer this question:

How does your garden benefit the local community and how would a donation help it thrive?

Each community garden donation winner has been informed via email about their big win. So, without further adieu… here are this year’s winners!

Catterall Village ‘Chatty Bench’ WIN £30 worth of bulbs!

A little village situated north of Preston in Lancashire are trying to put the heart back into the community with gardening!

They have recently made a community garden. At its centre is a beautiful stone bench, west facing, where we hope people will sit and socialise with others. We are going to call it the ‘Chatty Bench’ and surround it with flowering shrubs and plants so people can sit and be joined by others who fancy a chat. This Chatty Bench is intended for young or old and may be the start of other Chatty Benches in the village. It will enable the lonely, vulnerable, or isolated amongst us to feel connected to the world around us and there is no better way than by being in a garden.

The Chatty Bench team would like to win a bulb donation to organise a community Bulb Planting afternoon and involve families especially children, to help decorate the village with flower bulbs.

Southborough SOS Community Garden WIN £50 worth of bulbs!

Southborough SOS’s mission statement is “Help tackle problem areas within Southborough Community, i.e. weeding, cleaning, vandalism etc. General goings on and events. Let’s help each other”.  

Since April 2019, members of Southborough SOS as well as beavers and cubs from the 19th Royal Tunbridge Wells St Matthews Scout Group have started transforming two areas of land in Southborough into two community gardens. Sadly the area has a mixture of community problems but the gardens have made a vast difference and given the community a huge lift. The local beaver and cub groups now can’t wait to get out and help again this year.  They would like to win a bulb donation to continue the good work started last year!

Leicester’s Hospital Secret Garden WIN £100 worth of bulbs!

This garden based at Glenfield Hospital in Leicester is centred on promoting health and wellbeing.

They have a project underway to restore a neglected Victorian walled garden, to provide not only a haven of tranquillity for the users, staff and visitors of Leicester’s Hospitals, but also an environment and facilities to benefit the local and wider community. Plans for the garden include sensory areas, space for quiet reflection, an organic growing area and open spaces for people to gather.

With a focus on the therapeutic and social benefits of gardening, they would like a donation of bulbs and plants to help provide a valuable and much-appreciated boost to the hospital’s garden.

Our Annual Spring Photo Competition is coming soon so stay tuned!

Bulbs to Plant in March

With Spring fast approaching, it’s finally coming up to the time when we can start to enjoy getting out in the garden again! With Daffodils now starting to show their cheery faces, we can enjoy the beauty of spring and start prepping the garden for summer.

Not all summer bulbs can handle the early spring weather, but these are 7 exceptional favourites that are both beauty and hardy.

Lilies

Large, showy and exotic. These easy to grow bulbs can be planted up until May and will naturalise annually for continued pleasure.

Begonias

One of the most popular summer flowers in the British garden. Easy to plant and grow, you can start planting these versatile tubers now. Perfect for pots.

Gladioli

A traditional and well-loved summer flower. This perennial makes a beautiful cut flower for the home in summer.

Ranunculus

Add a dose of colour to any summer garden. As one of the easiest bulbs to grow in pots, why not add some of these beautiful frilled flowers to your containers.

Roses

Bare rooted Roses can still be planted until May. These much-loved flowers add ornamental value to the garden and make stunning cut flowers.

Bulbs in the Green

Didn’t have time to plant your spring bulbs? Our bulbs in the green are an easy and efficient way of adding your favourites spring flowers to the garden straight out the box.

Perennials

Perennial plants are the backbone of nearly every flower garden. Plant now from March-May to brighten up the garden year after year.

Rose Guide: 8 Simple Steps to Pruning Roses

Wondering when to prune your Roses? The moment you choose to prune your Roses can be the difference between a beautiful, healthy plant that produces an abundance of blooms, to one that might not make it through the winter. Late winter is the ideal time to prune Rose bushes, and the right care can ensure healthy growth in the spring time.

Pruning Tips

Here are our 8 simple steps for pruning Roses:

1. Remove the foliage

Community Garden Competition – WIN £100 WORTH OF BULBS

Are you a part of a local community garden? If so, we want to donate!

Whether it’s a tiny wildlife garden, fruit and vegetable plot on a housing estate, or a school garden, tell us how your community garden benefits your local area and we’ll choose three gardens to donate a selection of bulbs/plants to. The prizes will consist of a specially selected range of J.Parker’s plants and bulbs that we will hand pick to compliment your community garden’s theme.

WHAT CAN I WIN?

There will be 3 prizes for our top 3 favourite community gardens.

1st Prize – £100 worth of bulbs

2nd Prize – £50 worth of bulbs

3rd Prize – £30 worth of bulbs

COMPETITION DETAILS:

Simply answer this question (in 250 words or less):

How does your garden benefit the local community and how would a donation help it thrive?

HOW TO ENTER:

Send us in your entries by MARCH 2ND 2020

Enter via email at:

competition@jparkers.co.uk (please keep your entries under 5mb to ensure we receive them)

or enter via social media:

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

RULES OF ENTRY:

  • We will view all entries and any which meet the criteria outlined below will be considered for the prize of a donation of J. Parker’s products to go towards the local projects.
  • Three winning entries will receive a donation of bulbs or plants from J. Parker’s for use in their community project.
  • Entries should be under 250 words. Images can be used so long as your entry email is less than 5mb in size.
  • Send your entries by email to competition@jparkers.co.uk (please keep your entries under 5mb to ensure we receive them) or entry via social media.
  • Entrants agree that their names and stories may be published publicly with their entry. No other details will be shared with any third parties.
  • Entrants agree that, should they be successful, their story and their project may be used in future for coverage on our blog and social channels.
  • All entries using photographs or drawings must be original images, taken/produced by the entrant. You must own all rights to the image and in entering the competition you agree to allow us to use your image in further promotions, on our blog, on social media or in print.
  • The following criteria will be used to judge entries;
  • How the idea will benefit local communities and environments.
  • The originality of the idea and anything that sets it apart from other entrants.
  • The winners will receive a donation of J. Parker’s products with a value of up to £100 subject to available stock. This will be made up of products of our choosing based on the project described in the entry, cannot be exchanged for cash and there is no substitution for this prize. This donation of products can only be used for the purpose outlined in your entry.
  • All entries will be considered. Competition closes 2nd March 2020.
  • Winners will be notified by email before the 11th March 2020.

GOOD LUCK EVERYONE!

6 Easy to Grow Climbing Plants

Climbers can give the garden an instant makeover. Covering bare walls and fences, trailing over trellises and pergolas to brightening up an unused corner of the garden, there’s nothing a climber can’t fix. Discover our top 6 climber plants to add a dose of colour to your garden.

Clematis

Easy to grow and many to choose from, it’s easy to see why Clematis plants are one of the most popular climbers on the market. Plant in spring or early- to mid-autumn and transform a pergola or wall with a waterfall of colour.

Clematis ‘Winter Beauty’

Create a blanket of colour with this lush evergreen Clematis. Their white, bell-shaped droplet flowers bloom until February to bring a burst of colour to the winter garden.

Clematis ‘Huldine’

An elegant summer climber. With a profusion of fragrant white star-shaped flowers, create a blanket of blossom when planted up trellis or along walls.

Clematis ‘Apple Blossom’

An abundance of baby pink buds with deep pink flushes,  will open into baby pink flowers in spring. Enjoy their gorgeous almond scent by a doorway or seating area.

Clematis ‘Broughton Star’

A rich, romantic bloomer. This free-flowering Clematis boasts vibrant double flowers in the spring and you can enjoy their blooms all the way into the summertime.

Clematis ‘Amber’

RHS Chelsea ‘Plant of the Year’ 2016. This award-winning climber produces delightful pale yellow blooms and will add warmth to the summer garden. Perfect for covering over a trellis.

Ivy

There are few places that ivy cannot grow. This beautiful climbing plant is perfect for bringing life to walls, fences or even hanging baskets.

Boston Ivy

A vigorous climber with glossy leaves and amazing autumn colour. This enchanting plant can be planted almost anywhere in the garden from sunny spots to shaded areas.

Virginia Creeper

A popular climbing plant. With an effective and rustic look, their reddish-bronze foliage look extremely eye-catching when grown up walls.

Jasmine

Few climbers can rival Jasmine’s beauty and fragrance. Despite vigorous growth habits, Jasmine plants are easy to grow in the garden and flowers from November to March.

Fragrant Star Jasmine

Need something to cover an unsightly wall or fence? Try the highly fragrant, white star-shaped blooms of Star Jasmine. A truly stunning addition to the summer garden.

Jasmine nudiflorum

Brighten up any wall with this cheery evergreen climber. Easy to grow and hardy, the vivid yellow flowers are also highly fragrant. We recommend planting as a feature on a prominent wall or trailing over a garden fence.

Wisteria

Looking for a spectacular, fast growing climber? Try the beautiful vines of Wisteria. Easy to establish and versatile, these plants are known for their traffic stopping colours and high performance.

Wisteria ‘Black Dragon’

One of the most spectacular of all the climbers. With fragrant, violet blue pendular flowers, this early summer beauty is a delight when trained around trees or over bare walls.

Wisteria ‘Multijuga’

An RHS Garden Merit winner. ‘Multijuga’ is one of the most desirable varieties of Wisteria on the market today. Their fragrant lilac flowers bloom from summer into the autumn.

Honeysuckle

Bright and beautiful. Honeysuckle are an easy to grow, effective climber that makes a great addition to any landscape.

Honeysuckle ‘Gold Flame’

Enjoy the masses of colourful tubular cartwheel-shaped red and orange flowers are produced from June through to September. This vigorous grower that can quickly cover a wall or fence.

Honeysuckle ‘American Beauty’

A cottage-style Honeysuckle. With strikingly beautiful peach and summer pink flowers, this beauty will make a wonderful feature plant in the sunshine.

Climbing Roses

Climbing Roses are truly resilient plants. Vigorous and relatively easy to grow, plant a rose to add a touch of charm to the summer garden.

Rose ‘Zephirine Drouhin’

A free flowering, thornless Rose. Adorned with an abundance of fragrant, silvery pink blooms, this climber is perfect for covering the wall of a house or gracing a trellis, arch or pergola.

Rose ‘Golden Showers’

Add some sunshine to the summer garden with these bright yellow blooms. Easy to grow and versatile, there is nothing more beautiful than a climbing colourful rose decorating the wall of a house.

Our Spring 2020 competition is now up and running – Enter to WIN £100!

Dazzling Dahlias for the New Year

If you love bright colours in your borders, you won’t go far wrong with dahlias. Dahlias are among the lowest maintenance, highest production cut flowers and garden plants you can grow. So, with our premium Dahlia range now available to order online (for dispatch from mid-January), why not kick the new year off with a bang by planting these showstopping bloomers.

Dahlia Ambition

Marvel at the profusion of spectacular rich purple blooms of our Dahlia Ambition. A great choice for borders, containers or as superb cut flowers.

Click here to view online.

Dahlia Tartan

This striking Dahlia will steal the show in any summer garden. Their gently ruffled, velvet wine and white swirled petals are great for cutting or plant in groups for a hypnotizing display.

Click here to view online.

 

Dahlia Blue Boy

Big, bright and blue. These cool toned Decorative Dahlia flowers will add a touch of class to your summer borders.

Click here to view online.

 

 

Dahlia Art Nouveau

Art Nouveau is a fabulous dwarf Dahlia variety that produces amazing deep pink, almost purple flowers. Perfect as pretty cut flowers for the vase.

Click here to view online.

 

Dahlia Toto

Anemone flowering Dahlias, commonly known as Powder Puff Dahlias produce unique flowers with double feathered central petals, resembling a Powder Puff.

Click here to view online.

 

Dahlia Painted Lady

Bring joy to the summer garden with Dahlia Painted Lady‘s pink and crimson flecked flowers. A perfect choice for a feature plant in the border or potted up in a patio display.

Click here to view online.

Dahlia Collarette Pooh

A truly charming Dahlia. Bright orange-red petals adorn a ring of small ruffled gold petals at their heart. A real stand out for borders or as cut flowers.

Click here to view online.

 

Dahlia Honka White

A Dahlia with style. These unique cartwheel style flowers look will look like little sunny faces in the summer border.

Click here to view online.

 

Dahlia Boom Boom Yellow

Silky, spherical flowers. These Pompom Dahlias brighten up the summer season with their unique, pale yellow blooms. An uplifting sight in a sunny garden.

Click here to view online.

Dahlia Bishop of Leicester

Dark and dramatic showstoppers. These attractive pink flowers with cheery yellow centres contrast beautifully against their dark foliage.

Click here to view online.

 

Our Favourite Dahlias for a Cutting Garden
Dahlia Apricot Desire
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How to plant Dahlia tubers

  • Plant dahlias on free-draining, lighter soils, where they are more likely to survive the winter.
  • Plant in a sunny or partially shaded location for best growth.
  •  Space about 60cm (2ft) apart and 10-15cm (4-6in) deep.
  •  As dahlias are tender, you’re best starting the tubers into growth in the greenhouse, then plant them in their flowering site after the frosty days are passed.

NEW SPRING 2020 CATALOGUE COMING SOON!

Our new spring 2020 catalogue has landed! Filled with our latest range of fantastic offers on spring/summer bulbs, plants and shrubs, keep an eye out for your copy in the post in January!

Not signed up for the catalogue? Click here.

December in the Garden

There are always things to do in the garden in December. These simple gardening tasks will offer some calm and relief amid the busyness of the festive season. So, here are our top jobs to get done in the garden this month.

FROZEN PONDS
  • Don’t smash the ice on a pond with a spade as the shock waves could kill fish or other wildlife. Create a breathing hole by putting a rubber ball in the water before it freezes, removing it once ice forms.
Prep Beds and borders

 

potted plant care

• Potted plants are vulnerable to water logging over winter, which can cause root rot. Raise them up onto pot feet or stand on bricks, to allow excess moisture to drain away.

• Water pots when necessary to counteract the dry winter winds.

Trees and shrubs

• Cut off dead stems of wall shrubs and climbers, then tie in any wayward shoots to prevent them being snapped off in windy weather.

• Remove any dead, diseased or dying branches from deciduous trees.

 

HELP WILDLIFE
  • Leave out bowls of fresh water for wildlife to bathe and drink.
  • Don’t throw out any scraps, birds love bits of cheese, pasta, and bread.
  • Plant a feast of berry-filled bushes that birds and other wildlife can enjoy during the cold months.
GET FESTIVE

• Why not spruce up the bare branches in the garden with fairy lights or decorative baubles in spirit of the festive season.

  • Use broken twigs to make ornaments for your trees and gift toppers. Star twigs are a favourite.

 

fOLLOW US ON FACEBOOK AND WIN £50

Enter our Christmas Wreath Photo Competition by sharing snaps of your own festive wreaths on our social pages for a chance to win a £50 PARKERS VOUCHER!

Enter by midnight Sunday the 15th!

 

FILL YOUR 2020 GARDEN WITH BASKETS

We’ve just made your gardening so much easier! Our NEW premium pre-planted summer floral hanging baskets are the perfect way to enhance your displays and keep your garden looking fantastic all summer long!

Top 10 Flowering Trees For Your Garden

First launched in 1975, #NationalTreeWeek is the UK’s largest tree celebration, annually launching the start of the winter planting season. Take this fantastic opportunity to discuss the importance of trees to our planet as well as key environmental issues, so why not get inspired to plant through our fantastic selection of bestselling trees?

Here’s our top 10 flowering trees to spruce up your landscape and help the planet.

Prunus Kanzan (Japanese Flowering Cherry)

One of the most popular Japanese flowering cherry trees, Prunus ‘Kanzan‘ is loaded with pinkish/purple double flowers with a frilly edge. The flowers bloom from March until its bronze foliage begins to unfurl. The bronze coloured leaves turn green before adopting burnt orange colours in autumn.

Click here to view online.

Magnolia ‘Nigra’

Holder of the RHS Award of Garden Merit, Nigra is a beautiful Magnolia variety. Their tulip-shaped deep purple-pink flowers blossom in late spring and add an exotic touch to the garden border. Also, their blooms are fragrant and well-loved by pollinators.

Click here to view online.

Halesia monticola (Snowdrop Tree)

A lovely and unusual alternative to a Cherry. The largest of this Halesia genus produces clusters of small, beautiful snowdrop-like pendular flowers that adorn the branches in May and June. Their colour-changing leaves are a real feature in the autumn.

Click here to view online.

Amelanchier canadensis

This bushy little tree that provides interest all year round, with masses of white flowers in spring followed by red, edible fruit in summer (get them before the birds do!). One of the most striking plants for autumn colour with its vivid flamed leaves.

Click here to view online.

Cercis ‘Avondale’ (Chinese Redbud)

A real showstopper. This phenomenal tree is the centerpiece of any spring garden. The rich magenta pink flowers bloom on bare stems in late spring before the large heart-shaped green glossy leaves emerge and turn into a vivid yellow in autumn.

Click here to view online.

 Eucalyptus (Cider Gum Tree)

Fast growing and easy to care for. This extremely hardy tree is tall and slender, with almost blue young foliage. Pretty white flowers emerge in early summer and their sprigs of grey-blue foliage can also be brought inside and used in cool-themed flower arrangements!

Click here to view online.

Viburnum Opulus Roseum (Snowball Tree)

Brighten up the summer garden with this vigorous, deciduous shrub. The large and fragrant pompom-like white floral clusters bloom in late spring. In autumn, vibrant red berries appear and are an excellent food source for birds throughout the cold months.

Click here to view online.

Wisteria multijuga

A winner of the RHS Award of Garden Merit, Wisteria ‘Multijuga‘ is one of the most desirable varieties of Japanese Wisteria on the market today. Noted for its excellent fragrance, their trailing clusters of highly fragrant lilac flowers bloom from May through to September.

Click here to view online.

Apple Cox’s Orange Pippin

The definitive English desert apple with an aromatic flavour. This red tinted apple ripens in October and is ready to pick. During April and May, the tree itself develops beautiful white flowers that attract butterflies and birds into the garden.

Click here to view online.

ACER ‘SANGO-KAKU’ (JAPANESE MAPLE)

Winner of the RHS Award of Garden Merit back in 1993 and for good reason. This year round beauty dazzles with its feathered, yellow-orange spring leaves , which turn in to a lush green in the summer and then yellow in the autumn.

Click here to view online.

 

8 Top Roses for Scent

One of the many delights of strolling through the garden, beyond the visual is the fragrance and nothing combines both better than the Rose. We’ve hand-picked a selection of the most renowned, sweet-smelling bloomers that are impossible to resist.

 

Scroll down and discover some of the most fragrant roses you can grow.

Rose Black Baccara

Dark and alluring. Rose Black Baccara showcases petals as close to black as you can get in the Rose world. This Hybrid Tea Rose will be the envy of your neighbours when the scent of their highly fragrant petals fill the summer air. Perfect for border and containers.

Click here to view online.

Rose Arthur Bell

Bring the bright beams of sunshine to the summer garden with these golden yellow, scented blooms. Flowering from summer in to autumn, this beautiful Floribunda Rose produces large layered petals that give off a delightfully sweet fragrance. An ideal bloomer for showcasing at the front of the border.

Click here to view online.

Rose MargAret Merrill

Margaret Merril has a delicate beauty and one of the best perfumes. This repeat flowering Floribunda Rose was rated number one for fragrance by England’s Royal National Rose Society ahead of all of the English Roses. These blush-tinted white flowers will brighten up the garden, without a doubt.

Click here to view online.

Rose Prima Ballerina

Why not add a pinch of pink to the garden border? Rose Prima Ballerina is a beautiful large-flowering Hybrid Tea Rose with delightfully strong scented candyfloss pink blooms. Enjoy this intoxicating shrub as a striking statement plant at the back of the border or in containers.

Click here to view online.

Rose Blue Moon

One of the original and still the best of the ‘blue’ shade Roses. This magical Hybrid Tea Rose will dazzle in the garden with their profusion of icy-blue flowers. This florist favourite is perfect for summer borders and as cut flowers for the home and will add a pleasant fragrance that cannot be missed.

Click here to view online.

Rose Fragrant Delight

One of the most popular Floribunda varieties. Finely shaped trusses of heavily scented blooms flower in a blend of coral pink and orange shades. Plant where you can appreciate and enjoy their sweet fragrance. Perfect for small spaces, pots and containers and borders.

Click here to view online.

Rose Fragrant Cloud

An excellent all-round Rose with deep coral-red blooms. Noted for its incredibly powerful perfume, this lovely Hybrid Tea Rose produces a strong fruity fragrance that will create a beautiful sensory experience in the summer garden. Perfect for attracting pollinators to the garden.

Click here to view online.

Rose Double delight

Meet one of the world’s most famous Roses. This award-winning Rose Double Delight was voted into the Rose Hall of Fame in 1985. A fantastic Hybrid Tea Rose with ravishing ruffled, strawberry-edged blooms. Their extremely fragrant flowers are perfect for cutting.

Click here to view online.

 

Don’t forget! All these Roses make great cut flowers too.

Continue reading 8 Top Roses for Scent