Spring Photo Competition 2021 Winners

It is officially British Summertime meaning Spring has finished, much like our competition. We want to thank each and every one of you for participating. We had such a fun time looking at all of your amazing photography, there’s some real talent here! But without further ado, here are the winners!

1ST PLACE – 1 WINNER OF X WIN £100 VOUCHER FOR J PARKERS

Congratulations, Diane Simpson! Your Fritillaria Crown Imperial looks absolutely stunning, the composition of the shot is impeccable. The way the water softly drops off of the petals and the bright blue sky in the background, you can even see the watering can in the shot! A very gorgeous photo that is deserving of our first place prize!

2ND PLACE – 1 WINNERS OF X WIN £75 VOUCHER FOR J PARKERS

Say hello to our second place winner, Pam Reading! Although flowers rightfully belong in the sun, it isn’t easy to find them looking their best in the dead of winter. That is why I like this picture so much, it manages to capture the beauty of winter and the fact that nature is always present. A very pretty picture, that takes second place!

3RD PLACE – 1 WINNERS OF X WIN £50 VOUCHER FOR J PARKERS

Our third place winner is, Jo Johns! I really like how close up this image is as it allows us to get up close and personal with each and every delicate petal. The addition of the butterfly just takes it up a level, showing the beauty of everything that nature has to offer!

RUNNERS UP – 7 WINNERS OF X WIN £25 VOUCHER FOR J PARKERS

A round of applause for our incredible runners up! It was so hard choosing between all of our entries so don’t think you’ve just about made the cut. All of these images were chosen for specific reasons and you should all be very proud of yourselves!

David Ward
Greg Rylatt
Debbie Woollacott
Fiona Haughton
John Fisher
Kerry Adams
Suzanne Thorne

That is it for the Spring Photo Competition 2021! Once again, thank you to everyone who emailed us their entries, we had so much fun looking through all of them. Photography is amazing because it allows us a brief glimpse into someone else’s vision. With all of your amazing gardens, it’s great to see how you’ve been able to transform your space using our bulbs!

Check out some of our other blogs and competitions!

Spring Photo Competition 2021

Our annual Spring Photography Competition is back for 2021 with another chance to win up to £100 worth of J Parker’s vouchers. So this spring, get out in the garden and take some stunning floral snapshots.

How to enter:

For a chance to win, simply send us your J. Parker’s spring-flowering photos. The competition will only run until 28th March 2021, however there’s plenty of time to snap those pretty spring-flowering bulbs!

FACEBOOK – Like our Facebook page and share your image to our page with the caption ‘Spring Competition entry’.

TWITTER – Follow us at @JParkersBulbs and tag us in your photos with the hashtag #springcompetition

INSTAGRAM – Follow us at @jparkersbulbs and tag us in your photos with the hashtag #springcompetition

EMAIL – Email us at [email protected] (Entries must be under 5mb – please include your name and postcode)

What you can win:

This year, we have 10 amazing prizes up for grabs:

1st Place – 1 winner of x Win £100 voucher for J Parkers
2nd Place – 1 winners of x Win £75 voucher for J Parkers
3rd Place – 1 winners of x Win £50 voucher for J Parkers
Runners up – 7 winners of x Win £25 voucher for J Parkers

Competition closes 28th March 2021.

Want some spring competition tips?

Here are a few photo theme recommendations from us to help you bag one of our prizes:

  • Pollinator-themed photos
  • Glorious flower close ups
  • Flower combinations

Good luck and happy snapping!

Terms and conditions:

  • All entries which meet the criteria outlined below will be considered for the prize of up to £100 worth of J. Parker’s vouchers, plus an additional 2nd place (£75 prize), 3rd place (£50 prize) and 7 prizes of £25.
  • All entries using photographs must be original images, taken/produced by the entrant.
  • Entrants agree that their names may or may not be published with their entry.
  • Ten winners will receive vouchers to spend on any products currently offered by J. Parker’s. This cannot be exchanged for cash and there is no substitution for this prize.
  • All varieties of spring bulb will be considered, but only those purchased from J. Parker’s will qualify for the competition prizes.
  • Send your entries by email to [email protected] (email under 5mb) or you can share it with us on our social media pages.
  • All entries will be considered, and you can enter as many times as you wish. Competition closes 28th March 2021. Winners will be notified by email before the 1st April 2021.

Check out our 2020 Spring Competition winners

April in the Garden

“April hath put a spirit of youth in everything.”

–  William Shakespeare 

April is a magical month in the garden; Tulips are showing their cheery faces in a rainbow of colours, the weather gets warmer and it’s the peak month for planting all your summer-flowering favourites.

To keep yourself busy in the garden this month, here’s a list of our essential gardening jobs to do this April.

Add Instant Colour

Enjoy instant colour in the spring garden by planting Primulas and Polyanthus. These pretty plants are perfect for brightening up pots and the front of border during the spring months.

Keep on top of Deadheading

With early spring flowers beginning to fade, keep on top of deadheading garden Daffodils, Crocus and Pansy flowers; this will help the plants conserve their energy for next year’s blooms.

Water as the Weather Warms Up

When it comes to watering, there are no hard or fast rules. It’s a judgement call that depends on the type of plant, the soil and the weather. Ideally, it is best to increase watering during the plant’s growth, and water in the morning to avoid evaporation loss during the day.

Mulch Shrubs and Trees

Mulch Rose and shrub beds with a 3 inch layer of organic matter. This will help retain moisture during dry spells, reduce weed build-up and over time improve soil structure. Take extra care around Rhododendrons, Azaleas and Camellias, as their flowering will be impaired if they are allowed to dry out during their growth in the Spring.

Plant out Dahlia Tubers

Prep for beautiful summer blooms by starting off your Dahlia tubers in the Spring. From early April, start your dahlias off in pots. If you are using tubers that have been stored over winter, give them a thorough inspection and cut off any diseased or soggy pieces with a clean knife. Pot them up, keep them well watered, and after all risk of frost has passed, plant them out in the garden.

HAVE FUN GARDENING THIS APRIL!

5 Simple Steps for Growing Clematis

Available in an assortment of stunning shapes, colours and sizes, it’s no wonder why Clematis plants are so popular! Whether you prefer wall trailers or pretty potted plants, there’s a perfect Clematis out there for every garden and they even flower almost all year round.

With spring planting season upon us, it’s the perfect time to get your Clematis plants in the ground. If you’re in need of some gardening tips, follow our essential Clematis planting steps below:

1. Choose the Perfect Spot

Whether you prefer pots on the patio or planting in the border, Clematis plants can do both. Ideal for planting in the springtime, don’t forget that Clematis plants need plenty of space for adequate air flow as well as a rich, well-draining planting area. Dig the hole large enough to accommodate the plant – at least a two foot depth of soil amended with compost prior to planting.

2. Provide Proper Support

As with other climbing plants, the growing end of the vine is on a mission, always searching for something new to grab onto. When a vine can’t find anything to grab, the end stops growing and will die back. Providing the right type of support from the start helps the plant look good and grow well.

Clematis vines can break very easily. Older stems look woody but will crack if they’re bent. Young stems appear to be supple but are actually brittle. So to avoid the heartbreak of your plant flopping, make time in late spring and early summer to correct wandering stems and tie-in top-heavy growth.

3. Pruning is Key

It is tempting to plant your lovely, leggy Clematis and let it get on with it. In fact, all newly planted clematis benefit from being cut back to just above a leaf node no more than 12″ off the ground. 6″ is even better.

This first prune encourages the plant to sprout from the base and gives you a much bushier healthier plant. If you really must, let it flower, but sometime between planting and the following November, cut all clematis back hard.

4. Water well

Until they establish, Clematis are thirsty plants. They should be watered about an inch or so weekly, and more deeply during dry spells.

5. Keep an Eye on Pests

Be on the lookout for common problems that affect Clematis plant health. Clematis wilt can cause vines to suddenly collapse and die after their foliage and stems have blackened. Powdery mildew often affects plants with poor air circulation. Aphids and spider mites can be a problem as well.

6 Ways to Create a Wildlife Garden

Who doesn’t enjoy seeing butterflies and bees in the garden? There has been a decline in the UK’S wildlife populations in recent decades, with studies stating a decrease of up to 60%, but there are ways to combat this issue in our very own gardens.

With these simple steps, it couldn’t be easier making your outdoor space attractive to pollinators, birds and mammals. Here are our easy tips for creating a wildlife haven in your garden.

1. Choose the Right Flowers

Flowers provide an excellent source of pollen and nectar for bees, butterflies, moths, and other insects.  Here’s just a small selection of our favourite nectar-rich summer blooms to attract an array of pollinators.

Centranthus ruber coccineus

A cluster-forming perennial. This easy to grow plant blooms with stunning tiny pink flowers that are adored by butterflies and bees. Great for borders.

Echinacea ‘Golden Skipper

A cheery sight for summer. These golden yellow flowers are a beacon of joy for pollinators. They also make perfect cut flowers for the home!

Lavender ‘Munstead’

A versatile, dwarf shrub. These fragrant Lavender bushes can be enjoyed en-masse as ground cover or as container centrepieces. A well-loved plant by pollinators.

Echinacea ‘Milkshake

Otherwise known as Coneflowers, Echinacea are fantastic perennials. This creamy white variety blooms with amazing pom pom-like double flowers. Irresistible to butterflies.

Rudbeckia ‘Goldstrum’

An award-winning summer favourite. These cheery daisy-like flowers are a must-have for any wildlife garden. Great for borders and pots.

2. Plant Bird-Friendly Shrubs

Some shrubs can provide a diversity of food and shelter that will certainly attract a range of birds, such as greenfinches. Plant these wildlife-friendly shrubs and watch as the number of feathered visitors in your garden will grow each year.

Pyracantha ‘Golden Charmer’

A mesmerising shrub. With nectar-rich flowers in the spring and golden berries in the autumn, ‘Golden Charmer’ is a haven for a myriad of wildlife.

Chokeberry

A versatile fruiting shrub. With clusters of fragrant Spring blooms followed by blackberry clusters in the Autumn, this shrub provides fantastic multi-seasonal interest.

Beautyberry

Otherwise known as Callicarpa, this eye-catching shrub provides endless interest with their lilac summer flowers followed by vibrant metallic-like berries in the autumn. A valuable food source for birds.

Partridge Berry

Also known as Checkerberry, this dwarf, evergreen shrub is perfect for borders or containers. Their bright pink-red berries are perfect for attracting birds to the garden.

3. Create a Space for Shelter

A pristine lawn may look pretty but they do nothing for nature. Add a pile of old rocks, bricks, and tiles in a quiet corner of your garden to provide a sanctuary for many species of insects and small mammals and encourage biodiversity.

4. Set up Bird Feeders

No matter what season we’re in, a bird seed feeder is such a quick and easy way to help your local feathered friends. If you’re feeling crafty, you can build your own from scratch. Try upcycling food tins or plastic bottles (a great activity for kids!), then pile on a variety of food (peanuts, seeds or fat balls) to give your gardens a boost of life.

5. Add a Water Feature

Liven up any dull space in the garden with a pond. A small, ornamental pond is easy to build yourself and is a great way to attract a variety of wildlife creatures to the garden. If you don’t have the space to build a pond, large pots or upturned bins work too!

6. Start Composting

Not only is composting a great way to lower your household waste, it is also an excellent source of food for wildlife! The community of minibeasts who live among the waste help the decaying process, and in turn, these beasts are a delicious food source for hedgehogs and other animals.

What can i compost?

  • Grass cuttings and dead leaves

How and When to Plant Summer Bulbs

As spring approaches, it’s time to head outdoors and prepare your garden for summer blooms. Flowers categorised as ‘summer bulbs’ are flowering bulbs which grow and bloom during the summer, and so they are planted at the start of spring. Summer bulbs need warm weather and warm soil; a rule of thumb to remember is if it’s time for your tomatoes to go outdoors, it is also time to plant your summer bulb.

J.Parker’s Spring 2020 Collection is available to browse and purchase online NOW! So why not take a look our selection below of some beautiful summer bulbs, and kick-start the inspiration for your summer garden.

Begonias

How to plant: Begonias planted in beds which are enriched with well rotted or leaf mould will make a fine show. They should be started in shallow boxes in light soil; the saucer like tubers should be planted very shallow with the hollow side up. As soon as any danger of frost is passed then they can be transferred to their position in the garden at least 30cm apart.

Helene Harms

These cheerful sunshine blooms will add colour all summer from June to October. A perfect addition to patio pots or containers.

Click here to view online.

 

Odorata Pink Delight

Well-known for its highly fragrant flowers, the Begonia Pink Delight produces an abundance of vivid pink blooms. Flowers throughout summer until first frosts.

Click here to view online.

 Non-Stop White

These stunning white flowers bloom continuously throughout the summer months, contrasting against their glossy dark leaves.

Click here to view online.

Dahlias

How to plant: Dahlia tubers can be planted 10cm deep in fertile well drained soil, outdoors in spring when the frost has disappeared. They prefer to be in a sunny location and spaced at approximately 45cm apart. In areas where there is extreme cold, dig up dahlias and store in a cool peat over the winter. Apply a high potash fertiliser every few weeks in summer and dead head when necessary.

Bilbao

Bilbao is a large, zesty yellow Dinner Plate Dahlia with flowers that really shine during the summer months. Flowers June to September.

Click here to view.

Bishop of Leicester

Bishop of Leicester produces beautiful pink petals and a golden yellow centre. The unusual dark foliage contrasts brilliantly with the bright flower.

Click here to view.

 

Cabana Banana

Cactus Dahlias produce pointed petals which turn backwards to create this stunning tubular effect. The Cabana Banana has a gorgeous creamy yellow flower with a subtle blend of pink.

Click here to view.

Lilies

How to plant: each lily bulb should be surrounded with a little sharp sand both under and above the bulb to keep slugs away and to ward off excessive wetness. As most liliums are stem rooting we strongly recommend you plant at 15cm deep. They give a much better display when planted in clumps of 3, 6 or 12 bulbs (45cm apart). Planting time is October through to April.

Foxtrot

This delicate pale pink Dwarf Asiatic Lily is compact, but produces masses of flowers on very sturdy stems. Flowering from June to August, they make a great summer border flower.

Click here to view online.

Yellow County

Our Yellow County Asiatic Lily produces lovely lively yellow flowers, with a beautiful scent. Asiatic hybrid lilies are the easiest to grow and amongst the first to bloom.

Click here to view online.

 

White Heaven

The pure white trumpet shape of this Longiflorum Lily is a delicate addition to any summer garden, and make for wonderful cut flower displays. Bloom from July to September.

Click here to view online.

Gladioli

How to plant: plant gladioli corms about 10-15cm deep and about 10-15cm apart, in fertile/well drained soil. When planting in a heavy soil, place some sand underneath each corm to help with drainage. At Parkers we recommend planting Gladioli in groups at monthly intervals, starting early spring, to extend the flowering season for a display which lasts all summer long.

Adrenaline

Our Gladioli Adrenaline are a dazzling blend of pale pink, white, and purple stamens. They make a lovely fresh feature in any summer garden.

Click here to view online.

 

Fergie

Fergie is a Butterfly Gladioli that produces tangy lime green flowers with a dramatic contrasting red in its throat. Like all Gladioli they are great for attracting bees and butterflies.

Click here to view online.

 

Nanus Impressive

These Gladioli are true to their name, with amazing dark pink markings upon pale pink petals. The unique pattern certainly attracts the eye and flower from May until July.

Click here to view online.

Our new Spring 2020 range is now available online. Get ahead and begin shopping for your Summer Garden now!

Alternatively, you can request a copy of our Spring 2020 Catalogue here.

Winter/Spring Bedding Plants for a Colourful Garden

Our range of winter/spring bedding plants will breathe life, colour and interest into your garden wherever you decide to plant them. Perfect for beds and borders, winter bedding plants are ideal for adding to plant pots and containers on the patio. With our amazing maxi plug plant range, you won’t find cheaper top quality winter bedding plants to fill your garden with bright blooms to chase away the cold winter weather.

Also, check out our planting guide below on tips and tricks on how to plant and grow plug plants and view our informative plug planting videos.

Primulas

Lift your spirits with the bright colours of Primulas. Hardy and easy to grow, these cheerful perennials provide a wide range of shapes and sizes in almost every colour imaginable and are perfect for any  garden, big or small.

Primula Cottage Cream

With their beautiful cream/white petals with orange centres, Cottage Cream Primula are an old-fashioned, much loved Primrose. These flowers are best planted in patio pots, containers or at the front of the garden border.

Click here to view online.

Primula Emotions Mixed

Our new Primula mix will give you an amazing rainbow of colours until the late spring. Easy to grow, they make the ideal plant for borders, patio pots and containers. Slightly scented, these amazing flowers will bloom from January all the way through to April.

Click here to view online.

Primula Husky Raspberry Punch

A new and colourful Primula. Producing pretty pink flowers with a bright yellow centre, they will give the garden a burst of joy through the gloomy winter months from January until April. Perfect for dazzling in the front of the border.

Click here to view online.

Pansies

Pansies are the colourful flowers with “faces.” A cool-weather favourite, pansies are great for both autumn and spring gardens! Pansies have heart-shaped, overlapping petals and one of the widest ranges of bright, pretty colours and patterns.

Pansy Trailing Cool Wave

The Best Trailing Pansy Ever! This amazing large-flowered series keeps flowering all winter long, and well into spring too. Endless waves of simply gorgeous flowers in shades of golden yellow, violet, mauve, berry purple and white.

Click here to view online.

Pansy Can Can

A stunning double winter flowering plant. Can Can is a fun and unusual variety with frilly, layered blooms of wavy and vibrant petals. These beautiful bedding plants will provide long-lasting colour throughout winter.

Click here to view online.

Pansy Winter/Spring Mixed

A well-loved high performer. Creating a splendid display of colour, Pansies carry on flowering right through to spring and in such a beautiful variation of colours. Also, these super hardy plants can withstand a dusting of snow in the winter.

Click here to view online.

Polyanthus

One of the most popular bedding plant varieties on the market. Blooming their hearts out for weeks and brightening the dullest days, the highly versatile Polyanthus are perfect for creating impressive floral displays from autumn and throughout spring.

Polyanthus Fire dragon

Fire Dragon is a beautiful rosette-forming flower that produces large, yellow petals which are flamed and frilled orange-red at the edges. A delightful sight at the front of the border. What is unusual about this variety is its amazing scent.

Click here to view online.

Polyanthus Crescendo Spring Fever Mix

Create brilliant colour with our Polyanthus Crescendo Spring Fever Mix. Blooming with cheerful orange, yellow and white flowers throughout autumn and spring, they are ideal for brightening up containers and borders.

Click here to view online.

Polyanthus Crescendo Rainbow Mixed

Paint a rainbow with the bold splashes of colour in this mixture of Polyanthus flowers. Flowering from autumn and providing vibrant flowers right through to spring, where it will compliment your bulb display beautifully.

Click here to view online.

Violas

These little shining showstoppers are a beautiful modern flower for any garden. Free flowering and with a soft fragrance, Violas are perfect for adding something unique to the garden that provides a big impact.

Viola teardrops pink blush

Bring a touch of romance to the garden with Pink Blush. Their soft pink flowers with cheerful yellow centres are ideal for winter/spring baskets and window boxes. Flowering from January-April, enjoy this Viola’s lovely soft spring fragrance.

Click here to view online.

viola teardrops yellow jump up

Create a cascade of winter colour with these yellow and purple flowers. This free-flowering Viola is ideal for winter and spring baskets, containers and window boxes, flowering from January through to April.

Click here to view online.

Viola Teardrops Mixed

The perfect solution for brightening up the garden in the winter months. This semi-trailing bloomer showcases a range of bright and bold colours and is the perfect plant for winter and spring hanging baskets and containers.

Click here to view online.

Continue reading Winter/Spring Bedding Plants for a Colourful Garden

Our Favourite Bulb For Planting This Month – Double Daffodils

Incredibly charming and beautiful, Double Daffodils are more than your average daffodil. Their peony-like ruffled blooms are often fragrant and appear packed with rows of petals and thrills in an assortment of delicate colours, from peachy pinks to white and yellows. These exceptional flowers are perfect for adding a burst of romance to your beds and borders, and even for naturalising under shrubs, trees or the lawn.

Check out our favourites for 2019:

Narcissi White Lion

Undoubtedly one of our finest varieties. This award-winning variety produces sweetly scented double flowers in mid-late spring. With warm yellow centres surrounded by creamy-white petals, these pretty blooms will delight in the garden.

Click here to view online.

Narcissi Sweet Pomponette

This gorgeous double Daffodil is one of the prettiest in the Narcissi family. Radiate sunshine in the spring garden with these creamy yellow blooms. These sweet scented flowers are great for the border, or why not enjoy them potted up in containers.

Click here to view online.

 Daffodil delnashaugh

This incredibly romantic Daffodil produces pretty creamy-white petals surrounding ruffled, warm apricot-pink segments. Also, their wonderful scent will attract pollinators to the mid-late spring garden.

Click here to view online.

 

Narcissi Calgary

Create gleaming spring borders with our Narcissi Calgary. These stunning double blooms shine in the garden with their ruffled and wavy white flowers. Not only will they brighten up borders, but they also look great in pots or as cut flowers.

Click here to view online.

Make bulb planting easier with these cheery Double Daffodil Collections:

Daffodil Cheerfulness Collection

Two of our most popular, fragrant varieties together. Our mid-late spring flowering duo Cheerfulness (white) and Yellow Cheerfulness (yellow) are the perfect partners for bringing vibrant colour and sweet scents to the garden.

Click here to view online.

 Narcissi Fragrant Poeticus Collection

Delight your senses with this highly fragrant Narcissi collection. Flowering later than most varieties (April-May), this Actaea and The Bride pairing will liven up your spring borders right up until the end of the season.

Click here to view online.

Need some planting advice?

Planting time: September-November

Tulip Trends & Inspiration

A true staple of spring. Tulips are one of the most popular bulbous perennials in the British garden. With fresh green foliage, amazing colours and shapes, Tulips will brighten up any garden and provide weeks of cheerful blooms. In honour of our fashion-forward customers, we have narrowed down the latest trend setting Tulips to help inspire you before you shop in time for bulb planting season!

Complimentary Colours

Use complimentary colours to create a spring garden scheme full of maximum contrast, resulting in dynamic and exciting displays with a more primal intensity.

Black/Pink partner collection

These excellent Triumph Tulips make the most dramatic display. Their wonderful blend of cherry-pink (Don Quichotte) and deep purple (Black Knight) are a real sight to behold in beds and borders.

Click here to view online.

Royal Wedding Collection

A perfect early Tulip pairing. This electric combination of vibrant orange (Princess Irene) and rich purple tones (Purple Prince) will kick off the spring season with a riot of colour.

Click here to view online.

Green Star/Dolls Minuet

Bring elegance to your garden with these fluted Tulips. The magenta red flowers of Dolls Minuet alongside the stunning green flushed, white blooms of Green Star create a showstopping spring display.

Click here to view online.

Fresh & Modern

Calming cool colours recede and blur the boundaries so can be used effectively to make an area feel bigger as well as fresh and modern. Get this look with these new additions to our range.

Honeymoon

Beauty and class all in one Tulip. These pure white blooms with delicately fringed edges will brighten up any spring garden when planted in pots or the border. Why not even plant them in groups for a sea of gleaming white flowers?

Click here to view online.

Shiun

A stylish Triumph Tulip. Producing showy cream and violet edged blooms, this variety will bring a touch of rich colour to the garden. Perfect for borders or containers, or you can even cut the blooms as part of a beautiful indoor display.

Click here to view online.

Harbour Lights

Producing unusual, feather-like blooms, this outstanding double Tulip is a great feature for an eye-catching display. These bright white flowers will shine in the spring garden, whether they are planted in the border or in pots.

Click here to view online.

Colour Schemes

We’ve scoured the internet to find you the latest trends for your spring-flowering displays. Here are our favourite floral inspirations to liven up and shape your tulip displays this spring.

Tropical

Bring vibrant orange, sunny yellow and fresh green shades to the garden to create a tantalizing tropical look bursting with exciting colours.

Spring Sunshine

Yellow is a colour which shines like the sun and makes days that little bit brighter. Yellow flowers are a great way to express joy and positivity, so here are our favourite yellow bloomers to enjoy this spring.

Pretty Pastels

In a garden space intended for peace, quiet and relaxation, pastels are the perfect garden colour scheme this spring. Pastel flowers look beautiful in bright sunlight, but also stand out in shade gardens and can brighten up especially dark areas.

Planting Partners

Best Plants for Gravel Gardens

A gravel garden is a great option for a low maintenance garden. It also lends itself to Mediterranean-style drought-tolerant planting so plants like Lavender and Euphorbia are ideal and provide plenty of nectar and pollen for visiting insects.

Beth Chatto’s Gravel Garden

One great example is the Beth Chatto Gravel Garden. What was once an old car park is now a famous garden, due to the fact that is has never been watered! Despite being situated in one of the driest parts of the country and with poor, free-draining soil, it has become renowned for its spectacular display of drought-tolerant plants.

Here are our top plant picks for gravel gardens…

Euphorbia

Euphorbia Bonfire

A popular spring perennial. The foliage turns from green/purple to burgundy in summer, then again to a bright fiery red in late summer. In late spring it will produce large vivid yellow flowers. Excellent for edging in rock gardens or in mixed containers.

Click here to view online.

Euphorbia polychroma

Long lived and incredibly showy, ‘Polychroma’ produces bright yellow flowers against a backdrop of contrasting dark green foliage. This award-winning shrub’s green leafy foliage turns to a red, purple or orange in the autumn providing a long, seasonal interest.

Click here to view online.

Nepeta

Nepeta Faasenii

With slender spikes of lavender-blue summer flowers and aromatic, sage-green leaves, this dwarf catmint releases an intoxicating aroma when trodden underfoot. Ideal for attracting wildlife and creating a low growing border when planted in rows.

Agapanthus

Agapanthus Midnight Cascade

A bold, hardy herbaceous plant. Known as the African lily, this unique, drought tolerant plant produces beautiful pendulous flowers in shades of rich purple throughout summer. An excellent addition to Mediterranean beds and borders. Can also be featured in containers.

Agapanthus Melbourne

A stunning bi-colour addition with purple buds that open to reveal white flowers with a lilac purple stripe through each petal. Their vibrant, colourful flowers and shiny green leaves can really spruce up a deck by planting in borders and improve the look of fence lines or garden beds as edging.

Lavender

Lavender Hidcote

A reliable and popular English Lavender. Their natural bushy habit makes it superb for mass planting within a border or flower bed. Producing an array of sweetly-scented lilac-blue flowers in summer, coupled with evergreen silvery-grey foliage that adds interest throughout the year.

Dwarf Lavender Munstead

A beautiful compact and extremely fragrant variety. Producing rosy-purple flowers during the summer months, they can be planted en-masse to produce ground cover/low screening or in lines to create a great border effect. Excellent for rock gardens and herb gardens.

Gaura

Gaura Rosy Jane

A wonderful, free-flowering perennial that will produce bi-coloured blooms in a very pretty-pink and white throughout the summer. It makes the ideal border or pot plant, being clump forming with a neat habit. It is nectar and pollen rich and ideal for attracting bees to the garden.

Gaura Whirling Butterflies

Delicate and incredibly pretty, but tough none the less. This amazing perennial produces beautiful white star-shaped flowers (which resemble the wings of a butterfly) that stand against green foliage. Drought and heat tolerant, this Gaura is perfect for sunny borders and rock gardens.

Do you have any gardening questions or need any planting and care tips/advice? We have created a new Facebook group where you can write your burning plant queries and we’ll help solve them.

Click here to join and check it out!