Summer Garden Make-Over Competition

The sun is out and the weather is hot, which means it’s time to for our Summer Garden Make-Over Competition! We are giving you the chance to win a large selection of some of our best plants for your garden. Let us help you make your garden main event this summer. Dust off your decking and break out the BBQ, let US get the garden!

What you win

  • Mystery mega Summer Bedding & Basket collection!

How to enter

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

“Why should you win our Summer Garden Makeover?”

Please send your answers to us via email at: competition@jparkers.co.uk(Remember to please keep your entries under 5mb to ensure we receive them).

When does the competition end?

Get your answers to us by June 26th to be within a chance of winning. The winner will be announced the following Monday.

T&Cs

  • The winning entry will receive a mystery collection of summer bedding and hanging basket collections.
  • 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, should they be successful, their story 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 winnings cannot be exchanged for cash and there is no substitution for this prize.
  • Competition closes 26th June 2021.
  • The winner will be contacted and announced 28th June 2021.

Check out what else we’ve got going on:

How To Plant Calla Lilies


Zantedeschia, often known as Calla lilies, are popular exotic looking plants that are native to South Africa. If you’re new to gardening, or would like to learn how to plant Zantedeschia, you’ve come to the right place! This handy guide includes everything you need to know about planting and caring for Zantedeschia (Calla Lilies).

How to Plant Zantedeschia

Learning how to plant Zantedeschia is as easy as pie! They like moist, well-drained soil and prefer to be planted closer to the surface. Where possible, plant them in a sunnier location. As a native to Africa, they will appreciate it!

Plant the tubers shallow, so the top of the tubers are slightly exposed. Water freely and apply a balanced fertiliser every two weeks until the flowers have faded. Keep slightly moist in winter.

Each tuber will produce several stems, perfect for creating cut flowers. Brighten up any room with a delightful bouquet or surprise your friends and family with a bunch of these stunning flowers.

Getting the most from your tubers


Calla Lilies can be lifted after flowering and stored throughout winter, allowing you to plant them again in spring. Simply dig them up once they have died back. The best time for this is usually in autumn, around the time the first frosts are beginning to set in. Dust off the soil and place them somewhere cool and dry on some old newspaper for several days to allow them to dry off. They can then be stored in a dark, dry area and a cool spot in some peat moss over the winter.

Once spring arrives again and the temperatures turn mild, you can replant your Calla Lilies for a gorgeous show throughout the season!

Some of our Favourites

Zantedeschia Cantor (Calla Lily)

A very popular variety for contemporary flower arrangements, exotic Zantedeschia Cantor boasts deep purple blooms.

Zantedeschia Lipstick (Calla Lily)

The Calla Lipstick presents gentle cream spadices, surrounded by contrasting vivid pink spathes.

Zantedeschia aethiopica (Calla Lily)

Zantedeschia aethiopica is a wonderful Calla Lily, also known as the White Arum Lily. This premium variety looks superb grown in groups within the flower bed and border.

Read more from J Parker’s

New Gladioli for Summer 2021

Native to the Mediterranean and prized for their majestic flower spikes, Gladiolus (Sword-Lilies) are one of the most treasured flowers in the summer garden. Whether used in borders, containers or as cut flowers, these easy to grow blooms always provide a spectacular effect. Blooming in late-spring to early summer, these beauties can grow up to 2-3 feet tall. Discover the new additions to our Gladioli range for your 2021 garden.

Gladioli Amber Mystique

A striking, bi-coloured plants. Gladiolus ‘Amber Mystique’ is a creamy white Gladioli with contrasting lilac throats. Ideal for planting in summer borders.

Gladiolus Circus Club

A sight for sore eyes, with white backgrounds, purple edging, yellow centres and maroon eyes. While taking little space to grow, they combine so well with other plants. They make striking cut flowers too.

Gladiolus Fergie

Add a whimsical finish to your summer borders with gladiolus ‘fergie’. Ideal for borders and pots. Their vivid lime-green flowers will bring an exotic look to garden displays.

Gladiolus June

Warm up your summer garden with the sunny gladiolus ‘June’. June is a delightful orange and yellow butterfly Gladioli variety; guaranteed to brighten up any garden.

Gladiolus Nanus Nathalie

Nathalie is an elegant light pink nanus gladiolus. Their pretty pink petals contrast against the deep throat markings. This ever popular variety looks perfect planted in groups, and they also make beautiful cut flowers.

Click the image below to browse our full range of Gladioli bulbs. Available to pre-order now for delivery from mid-January.

Check out some of our other blogs:

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

“The 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 — 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!

beautiful, flowers, and gif image

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’
 

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.

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 £8.99), Follow us on Facebook and LIKE our Giveaway post!

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