Are you in search of long-flowering, easy to grow flowers to add a burst of energy to your summer gardens? With Spring just a few weeks away, it’s time to get your summer bulb lists together in time for the spring planting season. With just a little planning, you can assemble a collection of summer flowers to bring joy and colour to your beds and borders.
To help you in your summer bulb quest, we’ve done all the hard work for you and put together a useful list of summer bulb companions to inspire you and your gardens:
Crocosmia and Agapanthus
A beautifully bold pairing. These glowing perennials combine vibrant shades and shapes of flowerheads to create a spectacular effect in borders. As an added bonus, most of these two wonderful varieties are drought tolerant too!
A colourful and easy to grow pairing. These wildlife-loving partners are perfect for livening up any garden with bees and butterflies in the peak of summer. These low maintenance flowers are perfect for beds and borders.
A fantastic plant combination for a long lasting display. These plants grow harmoniously together in soft pink and purple shades to add a fresh colour palette to borders and containers. Most of these perennials are top performers and some are award winners too!
The summer garden wouldn’t be complete without some beautiful containers. Whatever style you prefer, we’ve done the hard work for you, selecting a range of different flowers and colours to suit any garden.
Add class and colour to your summer garden with some pretty purple perennials! Take a look at a selection of our favourite purple, violet, mauve and lilac perennial plants below and spruce up your garden.
February invites the first signs of spring into our gardens; days are lengthening, bulbs begin to emerge from the ground, and colour in the garden is just around the corner. This month is about cleansing (after the Latin word februum which means purification), and there’s no better time than now to give your garden a little TLC in preparation for spring.
Remove faded flowers, such as Winter Pansies and Violas, from containers to encourage them to flower more during spring and prevent from going to seed.
Deadhead early flowering plants such as Primulas regularly to encourage fresh flowers.
Remove any dead or decaying leaves from container plants to avoid encouraging slugs and snails in early spring.
Deciduous grasses which have been left unpruned over winter should now be cut back to the ground.
Remove dead material from evergreen grasses to make space for new growth in the coming months.
Tidy up decaying material around perennials and remove any leaf litter to discourage the slugs and snails as they arrive in early spring.
Prepare your cut flower beds by removing any stubborn perennial weeds, such as brambles or bindweed, which may be hiding.
If the soil is particularly stony, it can be sieved and raked until the texture is nice and fine.
Borders can also be given a boost by adding organic feed such as chicken manure and seaweed.
Looking after your lawn:
Remember to keep off the grass when there’s a frost, as the blades are more susceptible to damage which could lead to lawn diseases and other problems.
Ensure you brush off any debris or leaves which have fallen onto your lawn, as they can smother and cause discolouration to the grass.
Towards the end of the month, if the grass has produced some growth, you may be able to give your lawn a light trim with the lawnmower.
Planting Summer Bulbs
There are many lovely late-spring and summer bulbs which although usually planted in the autumn, if you missed that slot, early spring provides another opportunity. Below are some beautiful bulbs suitable for planting this month.
Adding colour to your summer garden could not be easier with our exciting range of 10 premium UK-grown hanging baskets. These summer flower baskets have been pre-planted to save you time and effort, meaning they’re ready-to-hang for an immediate display.
On arrival simply unpack our pre-filled hanging baskets, hang them up securely in their chosen location and then after watering they are ready to go. A simple, easy and carefree approach that is quickly becoming all the rage. Buy online now for £19.99 each or order two of one mixture for only £29.98, saving £10.00 off RRP.
Hanging baskets typically need more water than flowers in a garden, as any excess water drains from the bottom of the basket – meaning it is fairly hard to overwater them. How much you water your baskets will depend on temperature and time of year. In spring, watering your baskets
As the flowers die, make sure to remove them by pinching them off where they meet the stem. Not only does this make your baskets look better, but it will also promote the formation of new flowers.
Fertiliser will replenish any nutrients in the soil which are depleted with watering and will help to keep full, healthy looking baskets. Make sure you fertilise when the soil is moist, not when the plants are wilting, and follow the directions on the specific fertiliser you’re using.
If your plants are starting to look a little straggly, don’t be afraid to trim them back once or twice a season. Trimming your hanging plants will increase denser new growth and create a fuller looking basket for the rest of summer.
ROTATE YOUR BASKETS:
It can be a good idea to rotate the location of your hanging baskets occasionally – particularly if one spot receives more sunlight than another. Swapping their location every week or so can ensure that when having multiple baskets, they each receive equal opportunity for sunlight and growth.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
Begonias are a fantastic summer plant to grow, and very rewarding. In the British climate they will flower abundantly from June right through to October. As such versatile plants they look fabulous in pots or containers on the patio, or equally as beautiful in a flower bed. At J. Parker’s we have a huge range of Begonias to add colour to your garden. Take a look below where we have compiled a few of our favourites from each variety.
The salmon-orange petals of this Superba Begonia add zing to borders and patio pots. These giant flowers look wonderful in the garden or make equally as beautiful cut flowers. Flower from June to October.
Growing your own fruit trees has so many benefits, you’ll be wondering why you haven’t got one in your garden already. In addition to delicious, healthy and organic produce, planting trees also improves air quality, reduces flooding, increases soil quality, and provides a wonderful habitat for birds, bees, insects and wildlife. Shop our gorgeous range of fruit trees here, we have something for every garden!
Depending on where you choose to plant your fruit tree, the time of year varies. When planting into a pot or container, the best time is from mid-August to the end of May. Whereas bare rooted trees should be planted anywhere from late October to March.
Our Top Picks for 2020
Our apple trees produce high yields of gorgeous tasting fruit with little maintenance, and are suitable to be planted into large containers or straight in the ground.
This striking deep burgundy apple blossoms with pretty white flowers in spring, and follows with sweet dark fruit in October. The attractive colour of Api Noir makes it a popular choice for decorative gardens.
Our Plum Czar produces fantastically large, juicy and plump dark purple plums which have a lovely flavour. This reliable early fruiting tree has white blossoms in Spring and the fruit arrives early August.
Also known as Denniston’s Superb, this tree is reliable and hardy and holds the RHS Award of Garden Merit. Its fruits are small and have a wonderful flavour with overtones of sweet honey. Blossoms from April and fruits in August.
Also known as Prunus Kordia, this compact dwarf cherry tree was awarded an RHS Award of Garden Merit in 2014. It has pretty white blossom in early spring, followed by large glossy fruits in April and May.
Our patio Nectarine tree produces plump, juicy fruits with a wonderful flavour. This compact variety allows anybody to grow their own produce, regardless of garden size. It has pretty pink blossom in Spring, followed by fruit in the Summer.
All of our full sized trees are provided as 2 year old bare rooted top-quality fruit trees ranging in height from 4-6 foot on arrival, depending on variety.
On receiving your tree you need to soak the roots in a bucket of water for at least two hours, though ideally overnight, to give a head start on soaking up as much moisture as possible before planting.
Choose a planting location which has access to lots of sun, as the more it gets the healthier it’ll be. It’s also worth planting in areas with shelter from harsh winds.
Dig a hole which is large enough to accommodate the roots without cramping them. Drained, fertile soil is best and we recommend that you add some manure or compost when planting.
Place your tree into the hole and fill around the roots, being careful that no air gaps exist.
Stake the tree to keep it secure and provide protection from unexpected winds. Always tie the stake low down so that the tree is able to move in the wind, but the roots are firmly held.
You can also grow your tree individually in a large pot following the same instructions – though it may reduce the fruiting of it slightly.
Our new Spring 2020 range is available online NOW. Take a look at our fabulous collection and happy shopping!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.