August Plant of the Month – Oriental and OT Lilies

Oriental and OT Lilies

For a large, showy display you can’t go wrong with a beautiful Lily and this month we’re focusing on the Oriental and Oriental Trumpet (OT) Lilies. Native to Japan, these highly fragrant beauties are often called stargazers as their flowers tend to be outward and upward facing, as if they are looking up.

Oriental Lilies


With their unusual and unique colour and markings Oriental Lilies are truly exquisite specimens, producing an abundance of flowers per bulb. Along with Asiatic Lilies they are the most popular of the ‘true lily’ types. Hardy and easy to grow, they will reach heights of two to six feet tall, excellent additions to a bed or tall border and they can even be grown in pots. The Beautiful Oriental lilies will bloom late in the summer season, July – September, later than Asiatic which tend to flower June/July.

OT Lilies


OT lilies are a cross between Oriental and Trumpet varieties producing very tall plants, up to 2.5m mature height, perfect for the back of you borders. They will reach their full height by their third year and will naturalise if left undisturbed.

POTM August Oriental & OT Lilies


Plant at least 15cm/6in deep. Liliums prefer fertile, well drained soils, they’re not keen on lime in the soil. Surround each bulb with a little sharp sand under and above to keep off slugs and excessive wet. They give a much better display when planted in clumps of 3, 6 or 12 bulbs, 45cm apart. They appreciate the shelter of low growing shrubs or other plants near their roots. Planting time is from October to April/May. You can also plant lilies in pots. As they can get quite tall use a large pot that will fully accommodate the roots and you may also need to stake the plants for a bit of extra support. Stake at the time of planting to avoid damaging the bulbs.

Click here to watch our simple video tutorials with our in house garden expert Jeff Turner


Worse pest: The Red Lily Beatle. The adult bugs will eat away the foliage and flowers. Look out for orange-red eggs or black larvae under the leaves or late for full size (8mm) bright red adult Beatles. You can protect your lilies by spraying them or by hand you can remove and crush them but a large infestation could be very time consuming as you need to check daily!

Coming soon…..

Look out for brand new varieties of Oriental Lilies coming soon to J Parker’s including the new Dwarf Oriental Lily ‘Romance’ collection, available to buy Spring 2017!

Lilium Romantics collection
Lilium Romantics collection – Here’s a sneaky peak of our new range of Dwarf Oriental Lilies available in 2017. These fabulous dwarf lilies are ideal for growing in pots or at the front of a border – perfect for smaller gardens that would be overpowered by the taller varieties.



July Plant of the Month – Scabiosa caucasica

Scabiosa caucasica

Scabiosa Mixed

Introduced to the UK over 200 years ago Scabiosa caucasia are a striking alternative to the sunny yellow, orange and red shades that tend to dominate the summer months. They become a beautiful sight once their amazing and colourful blooms appear during the summer, flowering perpetually from June through to the first frosts in autumn. They make excellent cut flowers, but left in the garden are highly attractive to butterflies and bees.

POTM July Scabiosa

Scabiosa like a sunny position. They will do best in temperate weather conditions, do not allow to get over wet in winter. In a really hot summer they can die back but as the weather cools towards October they may start to flower again. Extremely hardy and free flowering; they will thrive in most well drained soils – particularly good for chalky soil.

Deadhead to promote flowering. When established they will be more drought tolerant.

Will naturalise if left undisturbed making them a good addition to a wild garden.




Its competition time!

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We’re very excited about our Summer Competition. We’ll be sharing Environmentally friendly tips and ideas so get in touch for the chance to win prizes!


As we’re all becoming much more aware of our environment and local wildlife the interest in being environmentally friendly is increasing and the most exciting development has been the realisation that the best places to start is in your own back yard!

So in a change to our normal competition format this summer we are looking for your best environmentally friendly ideas, tips and garden experiments! You’ll find the full terms and conditions and how to enter at the bottom of this page.

You can find lots of plants that are useful for attracting butterflies and bees HERE.


In 2012 Dr. Nigel Dunnett filled the Olympic Park with wildflower meadows and a new craze was born. Councils all over the UK started filling roadside verges with wildflowers and you’ll have noticed they were all full of similar plant varieties.


flower verges


Keep local in mind.

Plants protect themselves from predators, understandably not wanting to be eaten! Local insects have spent millions of years evolving so that they can eat their local vegetation, and they will go on to be eaten by birds. Without the birds to eat the insects the harmful insects don’t get eaten, but without the insects the birds don’t come to the garden. Our Eco systems are fragile and take millions of years to establish. Exotic, foreign plants are great but plant some traditional ones as well!

Plant bigger trees if you have the space, conifers, beeches and birch trees are great, or grow fruit trees which will give you free fruit, food for insects and homes for birds!
Plant bigger trees if you have the space, conifers, beeches and birch trees are great, or grow fruit trees which will give you free fruit, food for insects and homes for birds!

Plant Trees!

Growing dense shrubs and trees is good for the environment in a number of ways. As well as cleaning the air buy turning carbon dioxide into oxygen, they are good for reducing noise pollution, great if you live near a busy road or motorway. Trees filter the air we breath, reducing the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere which helps to protect the ozone layer. Trees also combat soil erosion, which has been a real issue with the flooding of recent years.

We’ve posted about composting and saving water before (SEE HERE) but how can we take it further – what about actually planting something to make a difference.


Plant drought resistant plants!

Once established lost of plants don’t require much water to thrive – Verbena, Hebe’s, Gazania’s, palms and some grasses are all great examples. My favourite drought tolerant plant is by far the incredibly useful Lavender plant. There are so many varieties on offer now and along with that heavenly scent, lavender is a huge bonus for bees and can even be dried and brought inside.


Lavender + bee


To enter our competition with your ideas email and keep an eye out on our Facebook and Twitter pages as we will be announcing the winning entries and sharing as many of the best ideas as we can!


Summer Competition

Terms and Conditions:

  • Your written entry can be up to a maximum of 300 words.
  • You may enter a photo with your written entry, in fact we’d love that (!) but any photographs must be accompanied with a written entry – for example a brief description of your eco-friendly idea/tip.
  • 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 social media or in print.
  • Entrants also agree that their names may be published with their entry. No other details will be shared with any third parties.
  • The winning entry will be judged on both the quality of the plant and the image. The Judge’s decision is final.
  • The winner will receive a £100 voucher to spend on any products currently offered by J. Parker’s. This cannot be exchanged for cash and there is no substitution for this prize.

Send your entries by email to (email under 5mb) or you can share it with us on our Facebook page.

The best entries will win up to £100 of J. Parkers vouchers and we will share all the best tips and advice on our website and social media so not only could you win a prize but you will also be helping us all to make the world a better place! So get in touch – we can’t wait to see your ideas.

As an extra thank you all entries will receive a 15% discount on their next purchase, valid for three weeks.

All entries will be considered, and you can enter as many times as you wish. Competition closes 30th September 2016 and winners will be notified by e-mail before 7th October 2016.

For a few eco-friendly tips and ideas to get you started check out our blog here.