Summer Garden Essentials

With Spring upon us and summer on the way, plan a spectacular garden with our list of essential summer garden plants. From colourful, pollinator-friendly blooms to gorgeous leafy foliage plants, discover our top choices for transforming any space into a nature haven in the summertime.

Essential Container Plants

Container plants are so versatile, add a flash of colour to patios, create a focal point in the garden and they’re perfect for smaller spaces; the possibilities are endless. Here are our favourite compact plants for summer pots:

Geraniums

Noted for their fragrant, bright flowers, Geraniums have become increasingly popular in the summer garden. Versatile and long-flowering, our Patio Geraniums are perfect for summer pots.

Dahlias

With a rich assortment of flower colours, shapes and sizes, along with their amazing bloom time, are what makes Dahlias a staple of the summer garden. Our Dwarf Dahlia range are ideal for patio pots or the front of the border.

Hydrangeas

Hydrangeas in pots and containers bring a burst of elegant beauty to any corner of the garden. Their compact floral clusters make an impressive display in containers.

Essential Border Plants

Planning a border is one of the most exciting aspects of gardening, where you can truly let your creativity flow. We’ve selected our favourites plants that are guaranteed to add colour, texture and character to the summer border.

Hostas

Create a border full of natural beauty with Hostas. These amazing perennials are easy to grow and are perfect for shaded borders.

Petunias

One of the most popular and easy to grow summer bedding plants. These prolific bloomers are superb way of introducing fun and bright colours to your beds and borders.

Carex

These evergreen grasses bring height and texture to the border. These easy to care for plants are great for softening harsh landscapes and adding a contrast against summer blooms.

Essential Basket Plants

Hanging baskets, with their colourful flowers and lush plants, add an extra dimension to houses, patios and garden walls. From bringing bees and butterflies flocking to the garden, to adding a burst of colour for small spaces, here are our top hanging basket varieties.

Fuchsias

Blooming non-stop from early summer to autumn, Fuchsias are great for attracting pollinators and look amazing in baskets. With a colourful assortment of shades and sizes to choose from, the options are endless.

Begonias

A traditional garden favourite. Trailing Begonias will give endless months of bright colour and look especially eye-catching in hanging baskets. Easy to grow and long-flowering bloomers.

Million Bells

Fill your summer garden with the cascading blooms of beautiful Million Bells. With a rainbow of colours to choose from, add a dose of vibrancy to the summer garden with these prolific-flowering plants.

Why Gardening is Great for Your Wellbeing

“Flowers always make people better, happier, and more helpful; they are sunshine, food and medicine for the soul.”

Luther Burbank

According to the World Health Organisation, good health means more than just the absence of bad health symptoms. It means the presence of positive emotions, quality of life, sense of community and happiness. Research has shown many times that gardening is good for our mental and physical health. With GPs now even prescribing gardening to patients with depression and anxiety, here’s how our gardens are special spaces with many restorative qualities and benefits.

Gardening Connects Us with Nature

“Embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.” Albert Einstein

Nature has long been recognised for its relaxing qualities as a place for humans to find tranquillity and healing. Recreating nature around our home is a savvy way to develop that special bond with our environment. Surround yourself and your family with cheer everyday by planting an array of pollinator-friendly trees, bushes, and flowers to attract of bees, butterflies and everything in between to your garden.

Gardening Brings Responsibility

“Remember that children, marriages, and flower gardens reflect the kind of care they get.” – H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

A person who can grow things is a person a little more in tune with the earth. Gardening is also a great way of caring for something; sometimes just the satisfaction of keeping a plant alive, and the responsibility that comes with it, is enough to give us a sense of purpose and pride. They are places where our efforts result in a real sense of achievement, boosting confidence and self-esteem.

Gardening is Great Exercise

β€œThe key to happy living is that Mind should be at rest and body must be exercised and active.” – Hiyamedia

The health benefits of gardening are impressive. Gardening uses all the major muscle groups – the legs, shoulders, stomach, arms, neck, and back all get a workout. Gardening also increases flexibility and strengthens joints. Recent research indicates that 30 minutes daily of moderate exercise such as gardening lowers blood pressure and cholesterol levels, helps prevent diabetes and heart disease, and prevents or slows osteoporosis. You may even live longer. It’s all good news for gardeners!

Gardening is Therapeutic

“I like gardening β€” it’s a place where I find myself when I need to lose myself.” – Alice Sebold

Even the simplest things can brighten our mood, as soil has been found to have similar effects on the brain as antidepressants to lift mood. A study by the University of Bristol and colleagues at University College London found that the ‘friendly’ bacteria normally found in soil, altered their behaviour in a similar way to that produced by an antidepressant. Simply planting up some potted Dahlias or a watering a hanging basket can have a huge impact on your stress levels, helping to stave off anxiety, slash depression risk, boost productivity and ease insomnia.

Happy gardening this spring planting season!

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Our Best Dahlias for Cut Flowers

Big, bold and beautiful, Dahlias are one of the most popular summer flowers due to their breathtaking flowers. Available in a wide assortment of colours, shapes and sizes, these eye-catching blooms not only shine in the garden but they make the most amazing cut flowers!

With Spring officially here, now is the perfect time to kick off your cutting garden and order some delightful Dahlia bulbs for planting in April. All Dahlia make exceptional cut flowers but we’ve done all the hard work and narrowed down a list of the most desirable varieties to add to your shopping list.

Dahlia ‘Edge of Joy’

The name says it all, these raspberry streaked white Decorative Dahlias will bring joy to the garden all summer long. A beautiful cut flower to pair with other pink Dahlias.

Dahlia ‘Painted Lady’

A stylish variety with the most unique colouring. ‘Painted Lady’ showcases fantastic pale pink blooms with flashes of crimson markings.

Dahlia ‘Toto’

These Dahlias shine like a ray of light inside the home. Their bright, daisy-like white flowers with yellow centres are hard not to fall in love with.

Dahlia ‘Ice Crystal’

These pure white blooms will bring a breath of fresh air to the home in the summer time. A gorgeous Cactus variety – reliable and sturdy.

Dahlia ‘Honka Red’

A prestigious RHS Garden Merit Award Winner. This cartwheel shaped Dahlia boats vibrant red blooms and will certainly add a unique touch to your summer flower vases.

Dahlia ‘Thomas Edison’

A big and brilliant Dinner Plate Dahlia. These dramatic deep purple blooms grow to an amazing 25cm in size. A real cut flower showstopper.

Dahlia ‘Cafe Au Lait’

A delicate Dinner Plate Dahlia. Add a touch of elegance to your vases this summer with these rich creamy peach flowers.

Dahlia ‘Purple Puff’

These Anemone-flowering Dahlias (commonly known as Powder Puffs) are a glorious sight in the summer. Their purple-crimson flowers look perfect paired with other purple Dahlias.

Need some cut flower tips?

  • The more you cut the more they bloom!
  • Give you Dahlias a longer life by immersing the stems in boiling water for a few seconds – this will help to keep them fresh!
  • Cut your Dahlias just above a set of leaf nodes and side buds – new shoots with grow from the nodes.
  • Change your vase water every 2-3 days for maximum Dahlia lifespan.

Pretty Pink Flowers to Inspire Your Garden

Looking for something pretty in pink? For decades, pink flowers have been a popular choice for gardeners, and add a sweet, delicate and playful touch to our flower borders and pots. From scorching hot pinks to soft pale pastels, discover the perfect pink blooms to create a dazzling summer garden.

Dreamy Dahlias

Dahlia ‘Painted Lady’

Plant a border filled with masses of these romantic, bi-coloured Dahlias. Blooming with crimson streaked, pale pink petals, these unique flowers are nothing short of breathtaking.

Dahlia ‘Wizard of Oz’

Bright and cheerful, this Pom Pom Dahlia’s soft pink blooms are made up of layers of silky, curved petals that create their perfectly formed spherical shape.

Dahlia ‘Pink Blend Mix’

From lovely lavenders to magenta pinks, this assortment of pretty pink Dahlias will fill all your summer garden needs. An easy to grow mixture of Pompom and Decorative varieties.

Blushing Begonias

Begonia ‘Sweet Spice Appleblossom’

Fill your baskets and window boxes with these cascading Begonias. Their fragrant, double blooms will radiate beauty in the summer garden for months of pleasure.

Begonia Superba ‘Pink’

These giant deep pink blooms are the perfect choice for a smaller garden. Compact and versatile, enjoy these vibrant flowers in the border, in pots or as cut flowers for the home.

Begonia Sweet Spice ‘Bounty’

Become the envy of your neighbours with hanging baskets that practically glow with beauty. These soft pink, double blooms will brighten up the summer garden and bring a gorgeous scent.

Lavish Lilies

Lily ‘Perfect Joy’

Short and sweet. This compact Lily boasts with the most beautiful strawberry petals that fade into a cream colour in the centre. Perfect for summer pots.

Lily ‘Curly Sue’

Add a touch of style to your summer garden with these delicate and exotic blooms. These light pink, star-shaped flowers make stunning cut flowers for the home.

Calla ‘Lipstick’

Why not try a classic Calla Lily? These outstanding fuchsia flowers will shine in the summer garden and will bloom all season long. They also make stunning cut flowers.

Beautiful Summer Flower Companions

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!

Crocosmia ‘Sunglow’
Agapanthus ‘Back in Black’

Echinacea and Rudbeckia

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.

Echinacea ‘Hot Papaya’
Rudbeckia ‘Little Goldstar’

Salvia and Verbena

Plant a mix of these perennials and welcome to your very own wildlife haven. Both varieties are easy to grow, low maintenance and drought tolerant, what more could you want in the summer garden?

Salvia ‘Gigantimo Bluestripe’
Verbena ‘Pink Spires’

Dahlias and Hemerocallis

Inject a dose of colourful drama into the summer garden with these bold bloomers. Even though both varieties are eye-catching on their own, together they are a real burst of joy in the border.

Dahlia ‘Great Silence’
Hemerocallis ‘Double Dream’

Monarda and Geraniums

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!

Monarda ‘Blaustrumpf’
Geranium ‘Rozanne’

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Gladioli for Every Garden

Bright and beautiful, Gladioli, also known as Sword Lilies, are one of the most sought-after bulbs for summer flowers in the UK. Long admired for their spectacular spikes of funnel-shaped flowers, these perennials are also known for their stunning range of colours.

Easy to grow and long flowering, Gladioli deserve a spot in any garden. Since March is the perfect time to start planting these bulbs, discover what type of Gladioli are the best fit for your garden below.

Dwarf Flowering Gladioli

Benefits:

  • Compact plants
  • Height – 60-80cm
  • Sturdy
  • Perfect for containers and patio pots
  • Great cut flowers

Gladioli ‘Whitney’
Brand new and beautiful, our Gladioli ‘Whitney’ boasts stunning salmon pink flowers with dark pink margins. They even attract bees and butterflies!

Gladioli ‘Byzantinus’
An RHS award winner. This elegant variety lights up the garden with vibrant magenta pink flowers. Flowering in early summer, they are ideal for adding colour to beds and pots.

Gladioli ‘Dwarf Butterfly’ Collection

Bring a rainbow of colour to the summer garden. These pollinator-friendly blooms are the perfect versatile plant. Plant them in pots, borders or grow them for cut flowers, the choice is yours!

Large Flowering Gladioli

Benefits:

  • Produces large flowers
  • Height – 90-100cm
  • Perfect for beds and borders

Gladioli ‘Oscar’

A stunning scarlet beauty. This hot red Gladioli will definitely bring the heat to your summer border displays. Top tip – Plant in clumps with other shades for an eye-catching sight.

Gladioli ‘Tricolour

Add an unusual focal point to the garden with these bi-coloured blooms. With striking apricot flowers and a contrasting mauve throat, bring a touch of glamour this summer with this unusual variety.

Gladioli Unusual Collection

An array of vibrant, large flowers. This collection includes ‘Adrenaline’ (cream with pink blush), ‘Black Velvet’ (violet-blue), ‘Carthago’ (orange), ‘Cha Cha’ (yellow), ‘Espresso’ (deep red) and ‘Sancerre’ (milky white). 

How Do I Plant Gladioli Corms?

These easy to grow flowers can be planted from early March. To help you get ready for the spring gardening season, here’s our handy Gladioli planting guide:

In beds/borders:

  • Plant from early March – May
  • Plant corms 10-15cm deep and about 10-15cm apart in fertile/well drained soil.
  • If planting in heavy soil, place sand underneath each corm to help with drainage.
  • Plant in succession from early March onwards to the end of May at fortnightly intervals to ensure a continuity of flowers throughout the summer.
  • Water regularly during growth.

In containers:

  • Minimum pot size: 12 inch deep and 12 inch in diameter.
  • Add gravel to the bottom of the container to ensure good drainage.
  • Plant corms 3-6 inches deep and 2-3 inches apart with the flat side down.
  • Plant in 2 week intervals for continuous blooms.
  • Water generously after planting.

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Our Favourite Flowers for Summer Containers

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.

Buddleia ‘Purple Lion’

A stunning, fragrant Buddleia. This compact variety is low maintenance and will bring pollinators racing to your garden.

Skimmia ‘White Dwarf’

Thisa hardy evergreen shrub produces striking creamy white buds against stunning foliage. Perfect for year round containers.

Hydrangea ‘Runaway Bride’

An award-winning Hydrangea. Producing 6 times more flowers than the average Hydrangea, the white lace-cap flowers on this beautiful plant are a true summer showstopper.

Escallonia ‘Pink Elle’

This wildlife-attracting evergreen blooms with pretty clusters of white, pink and red flowers, which will certainly add a splash of colour the the summer garden.

Begonia Splendide ‘Ballernia’

A myriad of warm apricot, orange and yellow blooms. This improved strain of cascading Begonias will brighten up any summer window box or container.

Lily ‘Majestic Joy’

A lively dwarf-growing Lily. Lily Majestic Joy produces wonderful golden dark pink/yellow flowers that will bring a touch of exotic beauty to summer pots and containers.

GIVEAWAY TIME!

For a chance to WIN our Begonia Fimbriata Mixed (worth Β£8.99), Follow us on Facebook and LIKE our Giveaway post!

One lucky winner will be selected at random on Tuesday the 25th February!

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.

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 Non-Stop White

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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.

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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.

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Dahlia Blue Boy

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

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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.

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Dahlia Toto

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

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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.

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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.

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Dahlia Honka White

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

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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.

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Dahlia Bishop of Leicester

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

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Our Favourite Dahlias for a Cutting Garden
Dahlia Apricot Desire

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.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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 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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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