Plant of the Month: Geranium (Perennials)

Are you looking for a beautiful, low-maintenance plant for your summer garden? As one of the most popular garden perennials on the market, hardy Geraniums will sail through the challenges of the seasons. Bursting with flowers, hardy Geraniums also enjoy a lush foliage which adds valuable texture in the garden. Incredibly tough, pest and disease resistant, perennial Geraniums give a lot and require very little.

Benefits ūüí°ūüďĚ

  • Flowering from late summer to early autumn.

  • Thrive in all soil types.

  • Suitable for growing in full or partial shade.

  • Wide range of colours.

To beautify your landscape and since there is a broad array of colours and textures to choose from, here are some of our most delightful varieties.

Geranium Ballerina

Geranium Ballerina is a fantastic herbaceous perennial that stuns with their masses of dark green foliage, which contrasts beautifully against their lovely vein patterned pink flowers. These flowers are ideal for ground cover, low borders or patio containers.

Geranium Birch Double

This luxury Geranium variety produces wonderful double flowers in a mix of rose pink and violet purple shades. These low-maintenance beauties will tolerate most conditions, making them a great versatile flower for all around the garden. Whether planted as ground cover, around rockeries or in pots, these flowers will brighten up any summer garden.

Geranium Johnsons Blue

These great clump-forming perennials showcase large, deeply lobed leaves and deep lavender blue flowers on long stalks. This hardy ground cover plant is perfect for under-planting at the front of the border and will perform well in any well-drained, moderately fertile soil.

Geranium Rothbury Gem

This delicate and delightful hardy Geranium produces pale pink veined flowers which have beautiful crimson and green centres. Their compact spreading nature make these plants an ideal candidate for borders, rockeries or patio containers and will flower all through summer into early autumn.

Geranium Sanguineum Alba

Looking for a lighter option? You can’t go wrong with this lovely RHS Garden Merit award winner. This lovely, sprawling perennial produces small dark green leaves with pure white clusters of perfectly formed flowers and has been awarded for its reliable performance, colour stability and pest resistance.

Geranium Springtime

Geranium Springtime is guaranteed to add some drama to the garden with their dark maroon flowers and unusual, marbled foliage. These fabulous hardy perennials are certain to create a fantastic display when planted either in your garden borders or patio containers.

Geranium Versicolor

This superb mound-forming ground cover Geranium produces an abundance of unusual white flowers with vivid pink veining that makes them a true sight to behold in the summer time. Their hardy, compact nature makes them ideal for borders, patio pots or containers.

 

Geranium magnificum Rosemoor

 

This stunning dwarf perennial produces a dense carpet of vibrant violet coloured blooms that spring to life during the summer months. These versatile flowers are ideal for planting as ground cover, in borders and rockeries, as well as in patio containers.

 

Collections & Mixtures

Geranium Hardy Collection

Enjoy a low-growing profusion of our most popular varieties of hardy Geraniums. This beautiful collection includes three each of Cinereum Giuseppe (purple), Sanguineum Alba (white) and Johnsons Blue. These varieties are perfect for adding reliable and low maintenance colour and beauty to the front of the border.

Geranium Hardy Mixed

This attractive mix of hardy Geraniums blooms with bright and cheerful flowers will bring beauty to the garden all throughout the summer months. This popular British garden favourite is sure to add a vibrant touch to your summer garden borders.

 

 

 

Planting Guide

  • General rule: Plant in location with early morning and afternoon sun. ‚ėÄ
  • Planting time: From Autumn to late Winter (to ensure they establish well).

Instructions

Dig a hole big enough to easily accommodate the rootball.

Add a layer of organic matter such as compost to the base of the hole and fork it in.

Place the rootball in the planting hole and position the top of the rootball so that it is level with the soil surface.

Mix in organic matter with the excavated soil and fill in the planting hole.

Water thoroughly.¬† ūüíß

TIP ‚ú® Apply bark chippings around the root area to conserve soil moisture and help keep down weeds.

Aftercare

Most hardy geraniums are easy-going plants that don’t require a ton of extra attention, however here are just a few tips to get the best possible performance out of your Geraniums year-round.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Planting! ūüĆł

Top 10: Evergreens for April

Evergreens add¬†constant interest to the garden and can act often as a central focus point to build a garden around. Evergreen shrubs and plants hold their foliage all year around, which is why they are the perfect choice for low maintenance gardening. Since April is the best time of year to plant evergreens and there are many to choose from, we’ve picked out a selection of varieties so you are guaranteed to find one that suits you.

 Benefits

There are many benefits to having evergreens in the garden other than their beauty. Here are some of the overlooked benefits:

  • Energy Saving ūüí°

Shrubs planted on the north side of your home can serve as a protective windbreaker during the harsh winter winds.

  • ¬†Wildlife-friendly ūüź§ūüź¶

Shrubs provide much-needed shelter for birds and their many pretty blooms are great for attracting butterflies too.

  • Reliability ‚Ćõ

Since they keep their leaves all year-round, they can provide privacy to your garden and work as a natural fence.

So, without further ado, here are our top 10 picks for beautiful evergreen shrubs to plant this spring! ūüŹ°

Nothing is more beautiful than an Azalea shrub in spring bloom. These easy-care shrubs flower in spring each year and are an excellent way of introducing colour to the garden and with a rainbow of shades to choose from, you are certain to find the right Azalea to suit your needs.

Azalea Diamond Japonica Mixed

This mixture of premium Japanese Diamond Azaleas are ideal for creating a colourful and effective spring display. These dwarf growing varieties make a real impact and are very easy to grow. These versatile plants are perfect for the patio pot, container or border. Supplied as 9cm pot plants.

 

Azalea Red Half Standard

These beautiful Japanese Azaleas are a real treat in the garden. These shrubs form a large bushy yet compact shape. The attractive evergreen leaves bring all round interest with the added attraction of the flowers which burst into a riot of bright red funnel shaped blooms in spring. Supplied as 2 litre pot plants.

Rhododendron Midnight Mystique

Rhododendron Midnight Mystique is a striking shrub which produces one of the showiest flowers of any Rhododendron. Wavy edged, white flowers boast huge, raspberry red-purple margins, with matching speckles in the throat, accompanied by a flash of gold speckles too. Each truss rests on shiny oval shaped foliage. Supplied in 13cm pot.

 

Rhododendron Percy Wiseman

The semi-dwarf Rhododendron gives the benefit of having traditional giant flowers but only growing to a height of 1 meter. Rhododendron Percy Wiseman produces clustered blooms that showcase an array of beautiful pink, red and yellow shades. Supplied in a 13cm pot.

Clematis ARMANDII

Originally found in China, Clematis armandii is one of the most vigorous evergreen climbers around. It produces plenty of long, lance-shaped waxy leaves which will provide a year round protective screen against stark walls or fences. The real highlight of this plant is the abundance of strong scented, star shaped white flowers in early spring. Supplied as 9cm pot plants.

 

Clematis aRMANDII aPPLE bLOSSOM

Clematis armandii Apple Blossom is one of the most popular evergreen climbers. It produces an abundance of baby pink buds with deeper pink flushes, which open out to four or five petalled baby pink flowers in spring. You can enjoy the gorgeous almond scent when planted by a doorway or seating area. Supplied as 9cm pot plants.

Daphne Tangutica

This superb RHS Garden Merit Award Winner, Daphne Tangutica is guaranteed to brighten up any garden. A medium-sized evergreen shrub, Daphne Tangutica produces beautifully fragrant white/pink flowers from late spring into early summer. Supplied as a 9cm pot plant.

 

 

Daphne Eternal Fragrance

Daphne transatlantica Eternal Fragrance is a semi-evergreen variety, producing sweet scented, tubular star-shaped flowers in creamy white with pink flushes at the base of each flower. This non-stop flowering shrub offers an astounding three seasons of bloom to delight the senses: spring (April), summer (June-July) and early autumn (late August/September). 10.5cm pot grown plants supplied.

Euonymus fortunei ‘Goldy’

Euonymus ‘Goldy is a fantastic dwarf evergreen shrub that will really brighten up any border or patio display. They have a compact growing habit and produce dense foliage that starts off as green but quickly changes to a bright golden yellow in summer. Supplied as a 9cm pot grown plant.

 

 

Euonymus fortunei Blonde Beauty

The evergreen foliage of this Euonymus variety produces leaves in lovely creamy white tones with irregular markings, often on the edges of leaves of dark green. Their pleasing colour is a true showstopper, especially in winter. They also make perfect ground cover for livening up a border, rockery or container. 15cm plant in 9cm pot supplied.

Gardenia Jasminoides Kleims Hardy

Gardenia jasminoides ‘Kleim’s Hardy’ is the original frost hardy evergreen Gardenia. Their highly fragrant single white flowers are produced throughout the summer. Growing to just 80cm, this compact shrub is ideally suited to a patio pot or a sheltered border. 13cm pot grown plants supplied.

 

Gardenia Jasminoides Crown Jewel

This sensation dwarf shrub has enjoyed immense popularity in recent years and it’s easy to see why. The glossy forest green leaves provide a dramatic backdrop to the fragrant, pearly white star shaped double flowers that bloom in abundance from early summer right through to the autumn. 9cm pot plants supplied.

 

Lavender Kew Red

Lavender Kew Red (French Lavender) is an elegant and exquisite plant with pretty deep crimson pink flowers topped with a delicate pale pink. Along with their highly aromatic foliage, they flower from late spring onwards and are a great way to attract bees and butterflies to the garden. UK-grown 3cm diameter jumbo plug plants supplied.

 

Lavender Stoechas Papillon

Also known as French Lavender, this pretty evergreen plant produces dark purple and lilac coloured blooms with highly aromatic, evergreen foliage. These beautiful flower spikes are great for creating a wildlife haven in the garden as they attract butterflies and bees from late spring. UK-grown 3cm diameter jumbo plug plants supplied.

Hebe Silver Dollar

This low-growing, compact, evergreen shrub boasts gorgeous variegated, grey-green foliage with cream margins. The margins transform from magenta pink in winter to a delicate mauve in summer, which then fade to white. This low maintenance shrub with constantly transforming beauty is perfect for borders. 9cm pot grown plants supplied.

Hebe Wild Romance

Hebe Wild Romance is a bushy, compact evergreen shrub . Dense purple flowers appear in summer that turn in to a deep pink/maroon in winter and lightens in the spring. The vibrant foliage of this Hebe is perfect for adding interest to the garden in borders and patio displays all year-round. 9cm pot grown plants supplied.

Euphorbia Blackbird

This beautiful and unusual Euphorbia is guaranteed to be a unique showstopper in the spring. This dwarf evergreen perennial has striking lime green flowers contrast against the dark maroon foliage, which is ideal for adding colour to the garden border or patio container. 9cm pot grown plants supplied.

 

Euphorbia Martinii

This fantastic evergreen shrub produces wonderful evergreen foliage through winter with flowers blooming from spring in to summer. Their hardy bracts are a vivid lime green with a bright red eye and two white ‘tear drop’ shapes in the centre. This stunning shrub is perfect for brightening up the garden. Supplied in 9cm pots

 

Skimmia Japonica Red dwarf

The Skimmia Japonica is a dwarf evergreen shrub. Our ‘Red Dwarf’ flowers from spring into summer and produces an abundance of red buds against a vibrant green foliage. They are hardy shrubs which perform exceptionally well when planted in the border or in a patio container. Supplied in 9.5cm pots.

 

Skimmia Japonica White Dwarf

Skimmia japonica White Dwarf is a fairly compact evergreen shrub that produces a flurry of bright green buds on top of a darker green foliage. Their hardiness allow them to perform well in a variety of places in the garden, from garden borders to patio pots. Supplied in 9.5cm pots.

Summer Gardens for Small Spaces

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do you have a compact garden and are looking to create an amazing summer display but don’t know how? In this guide, we will be sharing all our small garden tips and tricks to turn your miniature garden/tiny terrace and petite patios in to a show stopping display of shapes and colours.

Design Ideas

  • Vertical Planting: Create a Living Wall

With a little bit of creativity, a few plants and a vertical corner just waiting to be brought to life, there’s no reason for anyone to give up having a garden due to lack of space. If you don’t think your gardening skills are up to a whole host of plants, try growing a climbing plant up one wall for an easy display of stunning foliage and flowers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our Top Choices

Honeysuckle American Beauty

Honeysuckle is a fantastic climber with the added bonus of attracting wildlife with their sweetly scented flowers. Our American Beauty variety is a beautiful, eye-catching plant for their mulit-coloured rich tones of blooms, making them a popular choice for the summer garden.

 

 

Clematis Viticella Huldine

 

This gorgeous variety of Clematis is a strong grower producing a dazzling array of white flowers with creamy yellow stamens. This climber makes the perfect addition to the summer garden for coverage on trellises and archways.

 

 

 

  • Think Big (Impact)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ample pathways can make a real statement in a small garden. Planting scented plants, flowers and herbs will create an impact on the senses with a variety of bold colours and fragrant scents, as well as attracting wildlife to the garden.

Our Top Choices

Lavender Rosea

 

This twist on the traditional lilac evergreen Lavender varieties, Rosea is ideal for planting in rows along pathways, around the patio and in the garden for a display of beautiful pale pink blooms and their staple lavender fragrance.

 

 

Penstemon Mixed

Bring a bright mixture of colours to your pathways this summer with there pretty foxgloves. Penstemon Mixed have a neat compact habit making them a versatile option for the summer garden as they are suitable for beds, borders and containers. Also, as an added bonus, they are loved by bees and butterflies!

 

 

  • Create Secluded Areas

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Divide the garden and make your own secluded areas of the garden to break up the space to make your garden feel larger by adding areas of interest. By using tall narrow plants or climbers you can create spaces for different functions like a place for contemplation or an edible garden.

Our Top Choices

Phyllostachys aureacaulis Yellow Bamboo

 

Noted for it’s fascinating yellow colour, this variety of yellow bamboo can create a striking structure in the garden when planted together for a captivating and contrasting effect. A fantastic strong plant for designing a beautiful summer garden structure.

 

Pennisetum Alopecuriodes ‘Hameln’

 

This ornamental grass produces strong green stems topped with pink cloud like flowers making this the perfect variety for creating an area of relaxation in the garden with their dense foliage and feathery flowers.

 

 

 

  • Smart Planting

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t bombard your garden with plants. For smaller spaces, keeping clutter at bay is the best way of creating the feeling of more space.¬†Choosing the right plants for your space can be detrimental to creating a beautiful garden design and hanging basket, potted and patio plants are perfect for small spaces as they do not take up too much room and can be placed on the ground or up on shelves for an explosion of blooms and colour.

Our Top Choices

Begonia Superba Mixed

The fabulous bright colours of our Begonia Superba are the perfect eyecatching potted plants for your garden spaces. Suitable for planting in pots on the patio, place these flowers in clusters around your front porch, corners of decking or on low walls for a burst of summer colour.

 

 

Calibrachoa Chameleon Pink Passion

 

The beautiful shades of pink blooms in our Calibrachoa Chameleon Pink Passion make a stunning addition to summer pots and hanging baskets. Pot up in clusters around corners or along walls for a pretty display or plant in baskets for wall hangings.

 

Types of Small Gardens

  • City Garden/Balcony

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With more and more people being drawn to urban living and if you’re lucky enough to have your own inner city garden or outdoor space, creating your own private green oasis is possible. Small city spaces can be challenging but it’s an opportunity to get creative. You could pot up a mini orchard on your balcony and grow your own produce, create a small herb garden for a delight on the senses, or pot up a selection of plants along narrow spaces to give an illusion of a larger space. Transform your small spaces with these compact design hacks for beautiful summer displays.

Tips:

  • Container planting to keep clutter to a minimum.
  • Try portable planters to allow for adjusting your garden plants.
  • Vegetables, fruits and herbs are the best easy growing options for urban spaces.

Our Top Choices

Miniature Patio Fruit Trees Collection

Fancy growing your own fruit produce on your own patio? Our Miniature Patio Fruit Trees collection is ideal for producing a reliable source of delicious fruit and bringing colour and variety to your spaces. Their compact proportions make them perfect for placing in small, compact spaces.

 

Herbs Mixed

With small gardens, any surface can be an opportunity for planting. For an easy herb garden, our Herbs Mixed provides a range of herb varieties in a lucky dip style to allow you to harvest your own herbs for cooking or just as a focal piece on your balcony, patio or garden.

 

 

  • Courtyard Garden

Courtyard gardens may be small but they can be beautiful spaces with strategic planning, they can become alive with colour and textures without looking cluttered. Why not draw the eye by using repetition of container plants along paths or paving? or since courtyards are often shady, why not plant up big, glossy green plants to create your own tropical jungle feel?

Tips:

  • Plant in Containers to establish usable space.
  • Evergreens are great year round choices for creating structure.
  • Go vertical and plant climbers along walls or fencing for a large garden feel.

Our Top Choices

Hosta Touch of Class

 

This beautiful patterned variety of Hostaceae is perfect for container growing or in the border for adding a tropical feel to your small spaces with their waxy bottle green and lime yellow striped leaves. As an added bonus, this variety produces light lavender flowers in late summer.

 

Euphorbia Silver Fog

 

This compact evergreen perennial produces an array of silver-grey foliage and small white flowers throughout summer, making this plant the perfect versatile option for borders, patio pots and containers. They can even be used as a filler for hanging baskets for a pop of delicate blooms.

 

Small Space Hacks

  • Pallet Planters

Wooden pallets are a great DIY idea for creating unique vertical planters to help save space in the garden. Turn an old pallet lying around your home in to a fun herb garden, vegetable patch or a unique floral display.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Verticle Vegetable Gardening

For a modern twist on the ordinary vegetable garden, using different variations of planters can help spruce up a cluttered garden to bring a touch of individuality and organisation to your green spaces.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Windowsill Gardening

If you live in a city, space for gardening can be sparse, so why not try growing plants indoors? Succulents have become popular indoor plants but try growing some unique options like a windowsill herb collection and bring the green indoors.

 

 

Attracting Wildlife to the Garden

Encouraging wildlife into your garden is a winner all-round. They can help out your garden plants and you would be doing a good deed for all those creatures in need of a home or food throughout the winter. Flying visitors such as birds, butterflies and bees are pretty to look at and help improve your garden‚Äôs production. Encourage hedgehogs, toads and frogs too ‚Äď they act as fantastic pest control, reducing the need for pesticides.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s what you can do to turn your garden in to a wildlife haven.

Bees

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bees are great to have around the garden. You want them in your garden to feast off your flowers to make them continue to pollinate and keep your garden looking spectacular. Bees love blue, purple and yellow flowers and plants so keep that in mind when planning your garden displays.

Here are some tips to keep bees doing their jobs as pollinators:

  • Plant single flower plants as most double flowers make it difficult for the bees to get the pollen and nectar.
  • Avoid using pesticides wherever possible.
  • Provide water for pollinators using a shallow dish filled with stones/marbles and water to provide a safe water source.

Bee Friendly Plants

  • Dahlias
  • Asters
  • Sedums
  • Cornflower
  • Heather

Birds 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Provide nest boxes/wooden houses for birds to nest in. (Place near trees or bushes so the birds can make a short flight to safety).
  • Improve soil with well-rotted compost to introduce worms and slugs and other soil insects to provide food for birds.
  • A simple bird bathe will give the birds somewhere to bathe as well as doubling as a water supply.

Bird Friendly Plants

You can plant different shrubs/trees/flowers that will either provide food for birds in the form of seeds, berries or nectar, give shelter and warmth under dense foliage or they will attract insects which birds and other wildlife can feed off.

Here are some of our top choices:

  • Honeysuckle
  • Rowan
  • Viburnum Opulus
  • Holly

Ladybugs 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ladybugs are a great help in the garden for eliminating destructive and damaging crop pests like aphids, mites and scale. Here are some tips for attracting ladybugs to your garden:

  • There are several pollen plants that attract ladybugs that tend to be yellow and white, such as Angelica, Cosmos and Fennel.
  • Plant decoy plants what will attract aphids away from your desired bug free plants until the ladybugs remove them for you. Aphid attracting decoy plants could include: Early Cabbage, Marigold and Radish.

Ladybug Friendly Plants

Ladybugs eat two things: insect pests and pollen, and there are several pollen plants that ladybugs like, including:

  • Calendula
  • Chives
  • Cosmos
  • Marigold

Bats

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Did you know that attracting bats to your garden is one of the safest and most efficient methods for natural insect control? One little brown bat can eat 1,200 insects per hour!

A great bat attracting method is to build a bat house to provide a warm cosy shelter for the creatures. Since bats tend to set up colonies in the early spring, building a bat house is the perfect winter project! Some tips are:

  • Use a rough, nontoxic wood (such as plywood or cedar) to make your box. The rough surface will make it easier for bats to climb in and out of the house.
  • Place in a warm, sunny position for warmth
  • Keep it close to a freshwater source (pond, stream)
  • Support on a pole or the side of a building

Bat Friendly Plants

The key to attracting bats to your garden is to plant night-scented flowers, such as:

  • Yucca
  • Evening Primrose

Frogs  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Attracting frogs to your garden is beneficial for the welfare of your plants. Frogs make great inset killers so why not attract some garden frogs to help with those little pests.

  • Build toad houses ‚Äď overturned flowerpots buried lightly in the soil make great shelters.
  • Avoid using pesticides in your garden. Frogs are sensitive to chemicals so use natural sources of nutrients in your garden such as compost.
  • Keep pets away from the part of the garden set up for attracting frogs.

Frog Friendly Plants

Toads and female frogs usually spend winter on land, under rockery stones (or in a log pile). Recommended rock plants are:

  • Aubretia
  • Hardy Geraniums
  • Sedums

Hedgehogs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just like the shrew and the vole, the hedgehog is an insectivore with a voracious appetite. An adult hedgehog can eat up to 200 grams of insects per night, making the perfect pest controller in your garden. So, why not attract them to the garden with a few small tips and help these little creatures as their population has dropped in recent years. Here are some tips to draw these little creatures into your garden:

  • Leave areas of the garden naturally unkempt with fallen leaves, twigs and dead vegetation, which they can use to build nests.
  • Leave bowls of water out in the winter as hedgehogs drink lots of water. Top the water up regularly.
  • Avoid using slug pellets as they are fatal for hedgehogs

Hedgehog Friendly Plants

Hedges provide a great habitat for hedgehogs as they provide free access between gardens, unlike walls and fences. Species with large deciduous leaves are great for hedgehogs collecting leaves for their nests. Here are some top picks:

  • Beech
  • Berberis
  • Buddleia
  • Pyracantha

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Winter Care: Spring Flowering Bulbs

Bulbs are the epitome of nature’s talent for packaging, containing within themselves all the essentials they need to grow to provide gorgeous blooms year after year if well cared for. Your spring bulbs may be snug underground awaiting the warm weather of Spring but they need to be cared for until then. Bulbs are designed by nature to withstand cold winter temperatures. Indeed they rely on winter‚Äôs cold to trigger the biochemical process necessary to bring the bulb to flower in spring, but to help you get the best height, colour and performance out of your spring bulbs, here are some must-know tips for caring for your spring bulbs after they are planted.

General Tips

  • During a warm winter spell, the bulb leaves may start to sprout but do not worry as the foliage and flower bulbs can withstand freezing temperatures without damage. Only when brittle stems are broken, or the weather changes are too abrupt will be when the flowers suffer.
  • If you wish to feed your spring bulbs, feed them at planting time or just as they begin to emerge in the spring.
  • In colder areas, apply a nice layer of mulch over the bulb bed once the ground temperatures have dropped.

Daffodils/Narcissi

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  • For sprouting Daffodils, water sparingly as Daffodils do not require much care but some watering will help establishing roots.
  • Potted Daffodils require regular watering as the soil tends to dry out quicker.
  • If there is no snow cover, the bulbs will also need water throughout the winter.
  • Apply a low-nitrogen, high-potash (potassium) fertilizer after flowering if bulbs are not performing as desired.

Crocus

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Apply fertilizer after bulbs flower if your spring is long and temperate; bulbs will have a chance to use the extra nutrients to produce bigger carbohydrate¬†stores.
  • In late February, remove mulches from snowdrops and crocuses so the shoots can come¬†through.
  • In February and March, keep plastic milk jugs or other coverings on hand to protect the flowers of crocuses and other early bloomers against the return of severe¬†weather.
  • Do not let the soil dry out. If the ground is fairly dry in the spring, make sure to water sparingly.

Snowdrops

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Water during the autumn/ winter with a water-soluble fertilizer to nourish the bulbs as they develop new roots and top growth. Your bulbs will survive without fertilizer, but providing extra nutrients encourages more flowers, larger blossoms and longer life for your bulbs.

Tulips

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • After the tulips bulbs are planted, you need to water them thoroughly and then cover the area with a mulch of pine bark or shredded leaves to protect them.
  • You can build up their strength further by giving them a liquid feed every 10 to 14 days while they‚Äôre still in leaf.

Flower Aftercare

  • After your spring bulbs have bloomed, remove spent flowers of large-flowered bulbs, such as Tulips or Daffodils, as soon as they fade.
  • When the season’s blooms are past, your snowdrops need to store energy for next year’s show. Allow the leaves to photosynthesize (process sunlight to produce food) until they yellow and wither, before removing the spent foliage. Trimming still-green foliage will reduce plants’ ability to nourish next year’s flowers, resulting in fewer, smaller flowers.
  • Six weeks after blooming is when it will be safe to mow the green leaves of any naturalized crocus and snowdrops on your lawn.

Have you completed your gardening jobs for January?

Click HERE to check out our garden job list.

Good luck with your flowers this spring!

How to Plant: Cactus Dahlias

Need help on how to plant Cactus Dahlias? In this blog, we’ve compiled a guide full of tips and advice on planting, arrangement, and aftercare for your Cactus Dahlias, to allow you to get the best performance from your plants.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This special, eye-catching variety of Cactus Dahlias are distinctive by their unusual shaped summer flowers, which look fantastic planted together for  colour bursting garden displays and borders, as well as when planted as a standalone item. They can flower until Autumn and have a wide range of interesting varieties, all with very showy flower shapes and rich colour shades.

Planting

Dahlia tubers can be planted 10cm deep in fertile well drained soil, outdoors in spring when the frost has disappeared. If you plant before the frosts are over, they may get frosted and die, so pot in March or early April for flowering in early July. They prefer to be in a sunny location and spaced at approximately 45cm apart.

Tips:

  • Dahlias start blooming about 8 weeks after planting, starting in¬†mid-July.
  • Some gardeners start tubers indoors in containers a month ahead to get a jump on the¬†season.

Video

In this video tutorial, our resident gardener Jeff covers how to plant Cactus Dahlia tubers in to pots and shares helpful tips and advice on how to achieve the best results out of your Dahlia plants.

Aftercare

  • There‚Äôs no need to water the soil until the dahlia plants appear; in fact, overwatering can cause tubers to rot.¬†After dahlias are established, provide a deep watering 2 to¬†3 times a week, preferably more in hotter, dry climates.
  • In areas where there is extreme cold, dig up dahlias and store in a cool peat over the winter and then replanted the following year.
  • Apply a high potash fertiliser every few weeks in the summer to help growth and they can be dead headed when necessary.

Click here to view our full range of Cactus Dahlias.

How to Plant Daffodil Bulbs for Spring

Need advice and guidance on planting Narcissi and Daffodil bulbs? We’re here to help. Our easy to follow guide will lead you through the planting, a visual tutorial on planting tips and advice to get the best results in your spring garden, through to the aftercare of your plants.

The Narcissi or Daffodil as is it more commonly known, is one of the most recognisable perennial bulbs in the British garden and has been for centuries. The joy that these simple to grow bulbs can bring is prominent in the poem entitled ‚ÄúI wandered lonely as a cloud‚ÄĚ by William Wordsworth where he stumbled across “a host of golden Daffodils”. The sight of Daffodil flowers dancing adds thoughts of joy and pleasure to the poet and to millions of British gardeners to this day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There is a huge range of premium Daffodil and Narcissi bulbs available to buy now and plant in autumn, for a superb spring show, ideal for borders, rockeries or pots on the patio. Daffodils are typically synonymous with Spring time. They are a true British favourite and have been cultivated for hundreds of years for their bright and beautiful display of colour in the Spring. We offer over 150 different Daffodils and Narcissi here at J. Parkers with many kinds of these great plants to choose from.

Planting

Plant Daffodil bulbs at least 10cm deep in the autumn. Space as desired or plant in clumps for a cluster display. Daffodils prefer a spot well sheltered from the wind, preferably with plenty of access to sun. Best planted in well drained, fertile soil.

To help offer our customers great practical advice alongside our top quality products, our resident gardener Jeff explains in this how-to guide just what it is that makes these Spring flowers a true British favourite and why they’re a must have for any garden. Planting a mixed variety of Daffodils is the perfect way to create a unique blend of colour for your Spring display. Below, we’ve listed some of our great mixtures and collections to get you started!

Aftercare

  • Keep soil moist during the growing season and allow the leaves to die back naturally before deadheading.
  • They can be lifted and moved once the foliage has died off or they can be left to naturalise when planted in grass or under trees, where they can be left undisturbed for years.

Click here to visit our website for more information or check out our extensive range of Narcissi and Daffodil bulbs.

Halloween In the Garden

It’s that spooky time of the year again! Why go out and buy cauldrons, candles and pumpkins, when nature provides such bizarre and beautiful creations? To celebrate Halloween, we’ve conjured up our 13 creepiest, darkest varieties guaranteed to give your gardens a haunted makeover, along with individual facts and superstitions.

13 Frightening Plants

1. Fritillaria Meleagris (Snakeshead)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The snakes head Fritillaria is a popular variety due to their unusual drooping pendants, flowering in the spring. This spellbinding plant displays a mixture of white and purple bell shaped flowers.

Fact:¬†The nodding, pink-and-purple-checkered flowers of the Snake’s-head Fritillary are said to resemble a snake, hence the name!

2. Iris pumila ‘Hokus Pokus’

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Iris pumila ‘Hokus Pokus’ is a truly magical variety producing velvety petals of deep lilac and rust atop robust, fleshy stems. These exquisitely mystical blooms are guaranteed to add a touch of intrigue to your borders.

Fact: Iris take their name from the Greek word for a rainbow, which is also the name for the Greek goddess of the rainbow, Iris.

Superstition: Iris symbolize eloquence. Purple iris are symbolic of wisdom and compliments. Blue iris symbolize faith and hope. Yellow iris symbolize passion while white iris symbolize purity.

3. Tulip Black Parrot

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tulip Black Parrot is a mysterious and elegant variety, with large flared heads draped in rich, velvety maroon-black petals. Once the flower matures and opens, their serrated appearance of the petals edges become symbolic of a parrot’s plumage.

Fact: These tulips were developed from mutations of certain varieties of late-flowering and Triumph tulips!

Superstition: Wear Tulips for prosperity and protection.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tricyrtis ‘Dark Beauty’ adds an exotic edge to any borders with their strikingly unique bruised purple/blue spotted petals with a dusky white accent, and their tentacle-like tepals bursting from the center with their yellow and white stamens and purple anthers.

Fact: Known in England as Toad Lilies, this wonderful perennial is native to eastern Asia and the Himalayas. A wonderfully weird introduction to the garden.

5. Hemerocallis ‘Whoopy’

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This dark and mysterious day lily is a popular perennial flowering garden plant, producing a velvety purple edge surrounding a dark black core and green throat.

Fact: The genus name is derived from Greek, meaning beauty and day, referring to the fact that each pretty bloom lasts only one day.

Superstition: Wearing lilies and poppies was thought to lighten people’s distress, causing the wearer to forget all their troubles.

6. Tulip ‘Queen Of Night’

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Add a dramatic cloak of darkness to your gardens with Tulip ‘Queen of Night’, with deep velvety maroon flowers that give the appearance of a silky black sheen. ‘Queen of Night’ is classified as a single late tulip, meaning it has a single, rather than double row of petals and blooms in late spring.

Fact: The Queen of the Night is the closest that hybridists have come to creating a pure black tulip.

Superstition: Carrying Tulips in your pocket brings good luck.

7. Athyrium niponicum ‘Ursula’s Red’

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fronds are a soft grayish-green with an overlay of silvery hues accented by contrasting dark maroon midribs. Silvering is best for several weeks in the spring, with fronds becoming greener as hot temperatures arrive. The attractive foliage and shape of this fern provide colour, contrast and texture.

Fact: Genus name comes from Greek athyros meaning doorless in reference to the slowly opening hinged indusia (spore covers)

8. Sedum Spurium ‘Dragons Blood’

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Also known as ‘Caucasian stonecrop’ or ‘Dragons blood’ this creeping perennial bursts to life with blood red flowers from June through to August. The large simple shaped leaves create a glossy evergreen that are¬†thick, flattened, rounded, succulent and toothed or lobed near the tips.

Fact:¬†In autumn, ‘Dragon’s Blood’ earns its name as the leaves turn from greenish-red to dramatic deep red!

9. Tulip ‘Kingsblood’

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dark cherry red edged scarlet. Tulip Kingsblood is a striking tall, strong tulip that will bring a hit of colour to the late spring garden. Mix with dark maroons and oranges for an eye-catching combination or planted on it’s own for a bold statement.

Fact: The meaning of tulips is generally perfect love . Like many flowers, different colors of tulips also often carry their own significance. Red tulips are most strongly associated with true love.

Superstition: In Persia, Tulips are used as a ward against evil.

10. Dicentra Spectabilis ‘Bleeding Heart’

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Bleeding Heart is both bold and dramatic which makes a fabulous border plant producing fern-like foliage and arching sprays of heart-shaped deep Pink and White flowers.

Fact: The Royal Horticultural Society has given this plant the Award of Garden Merit for its reliable performance, stability of colour and form and good resistance to pests and diseases.

11. Rose Black Baccara

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Add some dark glamour to your summer border with Rose Black Baccara, a striking fragrant variety of Hybrid Tea rose with petals of deepest maroon which fade to luxurious red as the plant matures. The Black Rose Bush produces large, velvety blooms and glossy foliage from its tall, statuesque stems, making it favourite cut flower of florists.

Fact: According to the Language of Flowers or floriography in the 19th Century, a black rose implies hatred, death, and despair. It can also signify rebirth or farewell for good, in certain situations.

Superstition: Rose petals falling unexpectedly without any cause is a negative omen, potentially portending death.

12. Fatsia japonica ‘Spiders Web’

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A bushy evergreen shrub with palmately lobed leaves, dappled with white, making it look as though it is covered in a ‘spiders web’. In autumn it produces clusters of white flowers that give way to black berries.¬†Fruits persist on the prominent stalks for several weeks.

Fact: These evergreens are happiest in light shade, although it will still thrive where it is verging on the gloomy.

13. Tulip Perfect Partner Collection

Tulip ‘Havran’ is a truly beautiful, silk-satin almost black tulip with two to three flowers to a stem, providing that elusive darkness of colour for your patios, pots and borders. Pictured along side ‘Grand Perfection’, which flames blood red¬†on a soft yellow background.¬†As they mature, the yellow fades and turns creamy white.

Fact: In magical traditions, tulips appear in spells and rituals aimed at love, joy, safety, success and meaningful dreams. You can carry tulips as a charm that attracts prosperity.

Superstition: There is a superstition in Holland that Pixies live in tulip beds.

 

Happy Halloween!

How to Plant: Fritillaria (with Video Tutorial)

Looking for help and advice on planting Fritillaria bulbs? Look no further, we’ve compiled this handy guide full of information on Fritillaria planting, tutorial guide and aftercare advice.

Fritillaria Lutea (Crown Imperial)                 Fritillaria Meleagris

Fritillaria are a stunning accompaniment to any garden display with their elegant drooping bell-shaped flowers that are particularly effective when grown in groups, as well as being versatile enough to add charm to rockeries, borders, flowers beds or even on the patio in pots. Our extensive range of Fritillaria includes smaller varieties such as Fritillaria Meleagris, which produce a mixture of white and purple flowers, and taller varieties such as Fritillaria Imperialis and many bi-colour favourites such as Fritillaria Uva-Vulpis and Michailovski.

Our beautiful Fritillaria bulbs flower between April and May in the spring, and our bulb sizes vary between 5cm up to 24cm, with certain varieties growing up to 120cm. They can be planted at 8-10cm deep and 10-15cm apart in well drained/light and moist soil. They can be planted in areas with full sun access or preferably with partial shade, and can be left to naturalise in grass, borders or even cold greenhouses. Fritillaria are very hardy and are an excellent choice for border displays, rockeries or for woodland areas, where their elegant drooping bell-shaped flowers are likely to add that little something different to your garden.

In this simple how-to video tutorial, our resident gardening expert Jeff shows you how to plant Giant Fritillaria with tips and tricks for getting the best results out of your bulbs!

Aftercare

When established in the right environment you can easily begin to see fritillaria plants multiply. In good growing conditions crown imperials will readily form large clumps. If a well-established colony begins to flower poorly then lifting in early autumn when dormant, thoroughly improving the soil and replanting, or moving to a new site may be enough to restore satisfactory flowering. The bulbs may take a year or two to re-establish.

Click to view our Fritillaria range!

Plug Plants in Trays – Which size should you choose?

A selection of our top quality bedding and basket plants are available in a choice of up to three different plug sizes. We’ve compiled this handy guide to help you choose which one is best for you.

Rapid Plugs

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These are the smallest plugs we offer and the earliest to be delivered. Exceptional value, we supply these in trays of 120, each robust 4-7cm plug has strong roots.

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Care

All our rapid plugs are delivered from March/early April.

They require potting on in a light humid atmosphere at a temperature above 15C while they establish, and can be planted out into their final location once rick of frost has passed, these plugs are supplied at a height of 4-7cm and plug diameter of 1.7cm.

Click on the link below to watch our helpful how to video tutorial with our garden expert Jeff Turner on planting Petunia Frenzy supplied as Rapid Plugs.

Maxi Plug Plant Trays

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These incredibly popular plug high quality plants are grown in Maxi Trays of either 33 or 66 plants, each plant measuring from 6 to 8cm in length, depending on the variety, the plug itself is 3.7cm in height as illustrated.

Our specially designed blister packs are delivered in a specially designed sleeve for added protection to get them to you nursery fresh.

 

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Care

Plant straight away upon arrival into pots or containers. Pot up for a number of weeks (minimum of two-three) and then plant out into final position once the roots have become established. Water regularly and make sure soil does not become too dry. Perfect for pots, containers, borders or window displays. Only plant outside when all risk of frost has passed.

Click to watch our helpful how to video tutorial with our garden expert Jeff Turner on planting Dianthus barbatus / Sweet William supplied as Maxi Plugs.

Garden Ready Plant Trays

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This year we are introducing a new plug plant option to our budding range, the garden ready plug.

These premium plants are out easiest to grow, and are supplied in trays of 30 at a height of up to 15cm. Each plug plan measures 5cm in diameter. These are delivered individually and later than our Rapid or Maxi Plugs – from mid-May.

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Care

They are ready to be planted straight into their final location on arrival. This makes them the best choice for novice gardeners as they don’t require the same time and effort as smaller plugs.

Jumbo Plug Plants

Many of our summer bedding and basket plants are supplied as jumbo plugs, please see in catalogue or in the copy of individual varieties on our website to check this. Where this is the case, you will receive our quality jumbo plugs which are between 7 and 11cm from base to tip, ready for planting straight into baskets, borders and pots.

Care

Please see individual varieties for extra planting tips, but we recommend you plant 3 or 4 in an average 30cm basket or pot and put outside from early May. If the weather is cool on arrival, pot on for 2/3 weeks before transplanting in to a basket outside.