When is it too late to plant Tulips?

Bright, bold, and colourful, Tulips are one of the most popular spring-flowering bulbs that gardeners plant in autumn. Many gardeners may think that you need to get all your bulbs in the ground by October, but this isn’t the case! If you haven’t finished your tulip planting yet, don’t worry, keep reading to find out how long you can plant tulip bulbs.

Why you shouldn’t plant Tulips too early

Tulip bulbs are always so eager to get growing. If you plant them too soon, they’ll send their leaves up right away. This will only freeze them in the winter.

When should you plant Tulips?

Wait to plant tulip bulbs until mid-autumn, up until 6 weeks before a ground-freezing frost is expected. Sometimes, even December (or even later) works best if you live in mild winter areas.

What if i don’t plant them by Christmas?

If you missed planting your bulbs during autumn/early winter and you’ve got a pack of tulips or daffodils laying around in January or February, plant them and take your chances. Here are our top tips for winter bulb planting:

  • Clear away snow and loosen soil, if possible.
  • If the ground is totally frozen, scatter fertilizer sparingly and over a larger range than normal.
  • Place bulbs on top of the soil. Do not press them in, as this will damage the bulb base, where roots form.
  • Cover with 2-4 inches of aged mulch or finished compost (go for the thicker layer if planting during the height of winter).
  • Renew mulch covering often with a fresh 2 inch layer.

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How to Create a Cottage Garden

Mesmerising and enchanting, the wild yet simple beauty of cottage gardens have been loved by British gardeners for decades. The cottage garden look is all about unstructured borders, bright and bold colours, and delicately scented blooms. To kick off your own cottage style designs, here are our top six essential cottage garden plants.

Tulips

A springtime treasure. With an assortment of colours, styles and shapes, Tulips are perfect for planting en-masse in borders for a carpet of colourful blooms.

Poppies

A sprinkling of Poppies (otherwise known as Papaver) is essential for any cottage garden. These delicate flowers will bring a burst of life to your gardens from spring into summer.

Alliums

Loved for their culinary uses and beautiful, bobble-like blooms, Alliums are a treat in any garden. Perfect for attracting bees and butterflies to the garden too!

Dianthus

A charming, modern cottage garden plant. These easy to grow flowers are perfect for planting at the front of the border or in containers. They make amazing cut flowers too!

Foxgloves

Providing beautiful architectural height to the garden, the tall spikes of Foxgloves are great for attract garden. Perfect for borders and planting in groups.

Roses

Aromatic, beautiful and versatile, there’s nothing quite like Roses. These striking shrubs are perfect for growing as a feature shrub, at the back of a border, and they also make great hedging plants.

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Perfect Tulip Companions

Tulips and companion plants

Tulips are the herald of spring, pinpointing the exact moment the seasons change and spring flowers grace us with their bright colours and tantalizing scents. Yes, tulips are lovely for spring gardens. But what to plant with them?

Tulip companions are a popular topic, due to the broad range of plants and flowers that accentuate their beauty. This makes for an exciting display throughout the spring season. In this blog, we are going to show you our favourite tulip companions, just in time for bulb planting season.

tulips companion with muscari

Muscari

Muscari is a classic tulip companion plant, perfect for adding variants of height and interest to your beds and borders. You can even plant them in drifts through grass for a woodland effect.

bluebells

Bluebells

Bluebells are lovely companions for tulips as they are low maintenance and easy to grow. Their short stature adds to the overall look, giving you variation among your beds and borders.

white snowdrops

Snowdrops

The king of spring-flowering bulbs; the popular Snowdrop is a wonderful tulip companion. Perfect for creating a woodland theme within your garden, looking natural underneath trees and shrubs or at the forefront of your beds and borders.

the popular tulip companion anemone

Anemones

Anemones are celebrated for their bright colours and wide, open petals. Brilliant for planting with tulips as their colours complement any tulip and their unique palettes.

tulip companioned with cyclamen

Cyclamen

Hardy cyclamen are often used for naturalising under trees and shrubs. Paired with any tulip, the cyclamen flower will provide a natural effect that spring-flowering bulbs are often known for.

View Our Entire Tulip Range

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When to Plant Tulips

tulip garden

The pinnacle of Spring! These popular spring flowers have been loved for centuries due to their bright colours and attractive patterns, as well as their versatility and long-flowering abilities. Since bulb planting season kicks off at the end of September, learn when to plant tulips bulbs and grow a beautiful garden filled with delightful tulip flowers.

Keep reading our easy gardening guide to discover when, where and how to plant tulip bulbs.

tulip bulb

When do you plant tulip bulbs?

The perfect time to plant tulip bulbs is in the autumn. They can be planted from September to December. Remember that the later you plant them, the later they’ll flower!

tulips in garden

Where can you plant Tulips?

These easy to grow blooms grow in any kind of well draining soil. For small spaces, plant tulips in containers or patio pots. For larger spaces, plant them in groups of 10-15 bulbs in beds and borders.

Parrot tulip

How do you plant Tulip bulbs?

Plant bulbs about 8-10cm deep and approx 15cm apart. To give your bulbs a boost, use a little bonemeal or super phosphate mixed in with the soil. For happy plants, position your tulips in full sun.

New Tulip Bulbs for Spring

Wild Tulip Flowers

As we prepare for the autumn months, we try to think ahead and plan out what we need to do in the garden before the weather becomes too wet and miserable. This includes thinking about how we want our gardens to look come spring.

Luckily, we’ve just dropped brand new tulip products to help you plan your spring garden as efficiently as possible! We’ve added new tulips to all our categories, allowing you an easy pick depending on your garden’s theme.

Darwin Hybrid Tulips

Darwin Hybrid Tulips

Originating in the Netherlands, the Darwin Hybrid Tulip is a great pick if you’re looking for bright colours and sturdy foliage.

New Darwin Tulips

Darwin Apricot Impression tulips
Apricot Impression
Rare Darwin Tulip Collection
Rare Darwin Tulip Collection
Fosteriana Tulips

Fosteriana Tulips

Fosteriana tulips are regaled for their wildflower nature, making them the perfect pick for those with a more naturally occurring garden theme.

New Fosteriana Bulbs

Fosteriana Orange Emperor tulips
Orange Emperor
Exotic Emperor tulips
Exotic Emperor
Greigii tulips

Greigii & Kaufmanniana Tulips

These tulips are unique in their range of colours. Providing you with attractive blooms throughout spring, these bulbs are a great addition to any British garden.

New Greigii and Kaufmanniana Bulbs

Kaufmanniana Giuseppe Verdi tulips
Kaufmanniana Giuseppe Verdi
Greigii Haute Couture tulips
Greigii Haute Couture
Lily flowering tulips

Lily Flowering

Often known as the ‘Fluted Tulip’, these blooms are popular for their flared flower heads. Coming in bright colours, this bulb will attract all sorts of attention to your garden through spring.

New Lily Flowering Tulips

Lily flowering fire wings
Tulip Fire Wings
Lily flowering Tres Chic
Tulip Tres Chic
Single early tulips

Single Early Tulips

Single Early’s are traditional dwarf growing tulips. This makes them perfect for smaller gardens, as they look wonderful planted in patio pots.

New Single Early Tulips

Single Early Pink Prince tulip
Tulip Pink Prince
Single Early Ravana tulip
Tulip Ravana
Triumph tulips

Triumph Tulips

As a result of a mix between two premium varieties, the Triumph was born. Known for their outstanding colours and unique shape. Perfect for your beds, borders, or even containers.

New Triumph Tulips

Triumph Affaire tulips
Tulip Affaire
Triumph Grand Perfection tulip
Tulip Grand Perfection

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Spring Photo Competition 2020: Enter to WIN £100

Back by popular demand!

Our annual Spring Photography Competition is back for 2020 with another chance to win up to £100 worth of J Parker’s vouchers.

The competition is simple. All you have to do is take photos of your #JParkersBulbs spring-flowering bulbs in your garden this spring, and send them in online to be in for a chance to win.

Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about our latest competition:

This year, we have 10 amazing prizes up for grabs. Here is the prize list for our 2020 winners:

RHS Award-Winning Bulbs to Inspire your Garden

The RHS Award of Garden Merit is given to plants that have been tested and proven to be good garden worthy plants through a number of factors including: flowering performance, strength and disease and pest resistance.

We have a huge selection of award-winning bulbs and in our blog this week, we will be going through a selection of award-winning varieties, from Tulips to Alliums and Daffodils.

Popular Award-Winning Varieties

Alliums (Ornamental Onions)

A pollinator favourite that deserves a place in any garden. Easy to grow and undemanding, these late spring/early summer flowers have a great range of colours, shapes and height, so there’s an Allium for any garden.

Planting time: September-December

Tulip Trends & Inspiration

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

Complimentary Colours

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

Black/Pink partner collection

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

Click here to view online.

Royal Wedding Collection

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

Click here to view online.

Green Star/Dolls Minuet

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

Click here to view online.

Fresh & Modern

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

Honeymoon

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

Click here to view online.

Shiun

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

Click here to view online.

Harbour Lights

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

Click here to view online.

Colour Schemes

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

Tropical

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

Spring Sunshine

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

Pretty Pastels

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

Planting Partners

RHS Award-Winning Blue Spring Bulbs

Blue can be a difficult colour to find naturally in a flower and is traditionally seen as an emblem of peace and calm. From baby soft blues to dark navy blooms, our selection of award-winning spring-flowering bulbs will surely bring some serenity to your garden.

Each of these bulbs have received an award of Garden Merit by the RHS for their quality, reliability and outstanding performance, so you can guarantee that these spring blooms are the best choices for your spring displays.

Here are our 7 beautiful award-winning blues…

1. Scilla siberica

One of the earliest blooms of spring. Boasting with an intense, true blue colour, these nodding bell-shaped blooms will add a touch of woodland magic to the spring garden. A great naturalizing bulbs for creating a sea of blue in your beds and borders.

 

Plant Scilla Siberica with…

Winter Heather

Loved for their outstanding upright and bushy habit, this mixture of Heather adds a touch of glistening colour to the winter/spring garden.

 

Narcissi ‘February Gold’

Always the first to blooms, this beautiful award-winning Narcissi’s vivid yellow nodding flowers will add a beautiful contrast of colour when planted with Scilla. A great naturalizer too.

 

2. Muscari Latifolium

An increasingly popular, bicolour species. This unique variety produces beautiful, scented flower spikes that transform from a light green, to blue and then open to an unusual plum purple. These bold blue flowers are perfect all by itself or can be used to create a lovely colour combo.

Plant Muscari latifolium with…

Tulip Fashion

Vibrant compact Tulips. These Kaufmanniana beauties bloom an empire rose with purple veins, a perfect companion to blue Muscari for dreamy, romantic spring bedding.

 

 Anemone Nemorosa ‘Royal Blue’

An easy-to-grow naturalizing Anemone. These vivid royal blue flowers will add a beautiful variety of shape and texture to a spring woodland-style when planted alongside Muscari.

 

3. Hyacinth Delft Blue

This extremely fragrant, award-winning Hyacinth has the most beautiful soft, porcelain blue flowers that are guaranteed to create a show-stopping display in spring. These easy-to-grow flowers will make a welcome addition to beds, borders or for the best visual impact, plant in groups with other spring bulbs.

Plant Hyacinth Delft Blue with…

Tulip Apricot Beauty

This award-winning Tulip is an early bloomer with soft apricot flowers. A perfect, sweetly fragrant companion for planting alongside the beautiful scent of Hyacinths.

 

Euphorbia polychroma

Incredibly showy, Euphorbia polychroma is a mounding perennial that bears attractive golden yellow flowers in the spring time. A lovely contrasting companion for the beautiful blue blooms of ‘Delft Blue’.

 

4. Muscari azureum

This lovely compact Muscari will brighten up the spring garden with their light powder puff blue flowers. This long-flowering early spring award winner looks spectacular when planted en masse to create a beautiful drift of colour, for an unforgettable visual impact.

Plant Muscari azureum with…

Tulip Orange Angelique

Make a statement in your garden by pairing the pale blooms of ‘Azureum’ with the soft peachy shades of this beautiful double-flowering Tulip. They also produce a light fragrance and will pair well with Muscari’s fragrant flowers.

 

Hyacinth Pink Pearl

Create a riot of colour with these delightfully bold pink Hyacinths. These highly scented blooms paired against scented Tulips and Muscari will create a heavenly carpet of sweet fragrant spring flowers in the border.

 

5. Puschkinia Libanotica (Russian Snowdrops)

Release an impressive display with this lovely, naturalizing bulb. These award-winning spring favourites will make a striking impact with their blue-striped white fragrant blooms. Ideal for planting in groups for years of spectacular blue flowers.

Plant Puschkinia Libanotica with…

Narcissi Surfside

Create a subtle and elegant display by pairing Russian Snowdrops against the pale yellow and snow white blooms of Narcissi Surfside. These beautiful pastel flowers will brighten up any spring garden.

 

Crocus ‘Snow Bunting’

This award-winning Crocus blooms is well-loved for its sweet scent and clump-forming nature. They bloom with crisp white petals that surround a fiery orange throat. A beautiful fragrant companion for Snowdrops in the early spring.

 

6. Chionodoxa Luciliae

These breath-taking blue flowers are a charming addition to the early spring garden. Their star-shaped blooms create a stunning woodland display when left to naturalize and it’s a wonderful way to add a blue sea of colour to rock gardens or the front of the border.

Plant Chionodoxa Luciliae with…

Cyclamen Coum

Bursting with beautiful charm, these low-growing pink Cyclamen are the perfect companions for planting with Chionodoxa to create a superb woodland-style carpet of colour in early spring.

 

Galanthus Woronowii (Broad Leaf Snowdrop)

A true staple of spring. For planting as a backdrop against low-growing Cylamen and Choinodoxa, the snowy white giant blooms of these snowdrops will make a beautiful fragrant accent plant to a spring woodland display.

 

7. Muscari Armeniacum

These electric blue flowers are guaranteed to liven up any  garden this spring season. As well as their beautiful fragrance, these award-winning blooms are easy to grow, naturalizing and create an amazing colourful impact when planted in drifts around shrubs or under trees.

Plant Muscari Armeniacum with…

Narcissi Jack Snipe

Hardy and striking. The frilled golden-yellow cups are surrounded by delicate pure white petals that deepen to a creamy shade at the base. This free-flowering award winner will create a striking, contrasting colour combination that will dazzle in the spring.

 

Tulip Ballade

This incredibly beautiful award-winner is a spectacular Tulip. Showcasing violet-mauve and white blooms, this unusual colour combination will stand out in borders or containers. An elegant variety for naturalizing in the late-spring garden.

Fragrant Spring-Flowering Bulbs

Fragrance can add a whole new dimension to the spring garden. By planting some fragrant plants this autumn you can create a peaceful, secluded scented garden spot for relaxation, a wonderfully fragrant walkway, or create vibrant and sweetly-scented beds and borders to great you in the spring.

Fill your spring garden with colour and fragrance with these beautifully scented bulbs.

Daffodil Cheerfulness

An award-winning double flowering Daffodil with flecks of sunny yellow nestle within the central cluster of the frilly crisp white petals. This English-grown variety is extremely sturdy and will liven up any borders or containers with their wonderful fragrance.

Click here to view online.

Narcissi Derringer

Soft butter-yellow blossoms complement the bright yellow cup for a charming display. ‘Derringer’ is a fragrant bloomer that smells of spring. We recommend planting in containers or in a location where the sweet aroma can be appreciated.

Click here to view online.

Hyacinth Miss Saigon

This award-winning Hyacinth produces fragrant bell shaped blooms perfectly formed from compact clusters of violet star shaped flowers. With its deep, rich purple color, ‘Miss Saigon’ brings a cheerful sight to the dull days of late winter.

Click here to view online.

Hyacinth Fragrant Sea Mixed

A lovely mixture of fragrant Hyacinth in a soothing blend of white and blue shades for a contrasting display of sea breeze colour. These lovely highly scented flowers are excellent for bedding in early spring.

Click here to view online.

Tulip Orange Princess

You’ll soon see why this double early Tulip has won the Award of Merit. ‘Orange Princess’ Tulips are among the most scented tulips and have a light, pleasingly sweet scent. This garden royalty is a sight for sore eyes!

Click here to view online.

 

Tulip Purple Peony

With wonderful large, peony-like blooms, this gorgeous double Tulip blooms with sweetly fragrant, deep purple flowers. Pair alongside ‘Orange Princess’ for a eye-catching and contrasting spring display.

Click here to view online.

Galanthus Elwesii

A spectacular giant Snowdrop. At the end of a long gloomy winter there is nothing to match the breath-taking sight of a carpet of snowdrops. These award-winning honey scented nodding white flowers are an essential part of the winter/spring garden.

Click here to view online.

Puschkinia Libanotica

Winner of the RHS Award of Garden Merit, these small and fragrant starry, bell-shaped blooms can create a beautiful blanket of white and blue striped flowers under trees and in the grass.

Click here to view online.

 

Ipheion Uniflorum White Star

These sweetly scented, star-shaped flowers produce silvery white blooms that will brighten up the spring garden. Beautiful and long lasting, these cheery flowers are great for the edges of borders and rockeries.

Click here to view online.

 

Ipheion Uniflorum Mixed

These simple yet elegant blooms are an absolute delight in the spring garden. With bright colour and a sweet fragrance, these hardy flowers are great for naturalising in the garden.

Click here to view online.

Muscari Cupido

Add clusters of these sweetly fragrant flowers to your spring garden. This easy to grow perennial bears densely packed blue pea-like flowers, edged in white, which can create a beautiful combination when planted with other spring-flowering favourites.

Click here to view online.

Muscari White Magic

These heavily scented flowers will create a glorious carpet of fragrance that will shine in the spring garden. These white spherical blooms are perfect for partnering alongside richly coloured Tulips.

Click here to view online.

Crocus Snow Bunting

As white as the name suggests, this award-winning Crocus is considered one of the best spring-flowering Crocus varieties. With a sweet scent, their pretty ivory flowers and rich golden hearts are a sight to behold in the garden.

Click here to view online.

Crocus Cream Beauty

These award-winning, creamy yellow fragrant flowers are perfect for planting under taller shrubs and trees in beds or borders. A pure delight in early spring that, if left undisturbed, will multiply year after year.

Click here to view online.