Climbing Roses – How and When to Plant Them

Climbing Roses are quintessentially English. They are often found in gardens across the UK and are a popular plant for cottage-style gardens as they add height to your garden. However, climbing roses can sometimes be difficult than some plants to grow, confusing many of us who are new to gardening.

That’s why we’ve gathered our expert knowledge to help those at any level achieve the cottage-style aesthetic they’ve always dreamed of. From planting to caring for your roses, we’re going to talk you through the entire process in this handy guide.

How to Plant Climbing Roses

Firstly, you need to decide what kind of roses you’d like to grow. Climbing roses are available in many popular rose variants, including English, single, double, scented, etc. You want to make sure you pick the perfect rose for you as they can last for decades.

A rose plant in its bare root form

Our climbing plants are sent in bare root form in mid-autumn. To plant your roses, dig a hole twice the depth and width of the root ball. Gently tease out some of the roots and place them in the hole; cover with soil and water once finished.

To train climbers up trellises and walls, put supports in place and prune out stems that start to grow in the wrong direction. Eventually, the rose plant will grow in one direction, needing pruning every so often.

Where to Plant Climbers

Climbers can be trained to grow on walls, fences, pergolas, and trellises.
When thinking of how and where to plant your roses, make sure you pick the area that catches a lot of sunshine and is planted in well-drained soil.

Ensure that you have chosen the ideal place for your roses, as they can become quite unruly. This suits the cottage-style aesthetic perfectly but can become hard to manage if you don’t keep your eye on it throughout the seasons.

When to Plant Your Roses

Bare-root roses should be planted in late autumn and early winter before growth resumes in the spring. Avoid planting them when it’s icy in the deep winter months, as this will affect the plant and will stop it from growing in the springtime.

Caring for Your Rose Plants

Once your climbing roses have been planted, the most care they need is to be trained up their supports. Pruning and caring for your roses usually comes a year or two after planting, once they’ve grown to a certain point.

Climbing plants tend to grow horizontally, as it is their natural response to do so. They can grow upwards with the use of supports and gentle encouragement.

Eventually, the stems should develop shoots that grow vertically, which will carry the flower heads of the plant. Once this happens, you can prune back the horizontal stems, encouraging the flower to grow upwards in future seasons.

Shop Our Climbing Roses

Rose Climbing Zephirine Drouhin
Rose Climbing Golden Showers
Rose Climbing Compassion

How to Train Climbers

Clematis Mr President
Clematis The President

Climbers are magical plants. They can be used to quickly transform a bare fence or wall in to a stunning, foliage or floral display. When buying young plants, they need careful training to ensure they grow in to happy and healthy established plants. If you’re looking to grow amazing Ivy or maybe a colourful Clematis, keep reading to discover how to properly train climbers and grow the garden of your dreams.

Clematis Apple Blossom

Start with Supports

Plant supports in the desired area prior to planting. Always fix your supports approx 5cm away from the desired surface (wall or fence).

Support ideas:

  • Vertical wires: Space them 30-45cm apart with the lowest wire 30cm above soil level.
  • Wooden trellis: place the bottom 30cm above soil level to prevent plant rot.
Clematis Piilu

Training

To grow a climber or shrub to a wall/fence, horizontal wires are the best way to go. Keep read below to find out how to train you climber against a wall or fence.

How to Train Climbers:

  1. Planting

    Plant the climber around 30-45cm from the base of the wall/fence. This will allow enough room for room development.

  2. Remove ties

    Remove all ties provided upon delivery from the supplier. Use scissors to cut off any ties that hold the climber to its bamboo support cane.

  3. Start your support

    Select three bamboo canes to train the climber at an angle up to the wire supports on the wall. Place the bamboo canes under the wires to hold them in place, adjusting the positioning to create a fan shape. 

  4. Fix the supports

    Tie in the main shoot vertically to the wires, then fan out the side branches and tie in too. 

  5. Give your plant some TLC

    Once the plant is secured to the training structure, give your climber an initial prune and remove any weak growth with secateurs.

Our bestselling climbers:

Clematis Aromatica
Honeysuckle American Beauty
Clematis Prince William

Check out our competition – 3 days left to go!

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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What Bulbs to Plant in September

Easy to grow and extremely versatile, flower bulbs are a blessing for gardeners. With autumn-planting season just around the corner, discover what bulbs to plant in September and grow your very own spring garden paradise.

Daffodils

September is the perfect month for popping your Daffodil bulbs in the ground. These cheery, versatile flowers are easy to grow, bloom from March onwards and look great in pots, borders or naturalising in the grass. Perfect for any amateur and experienced gardener.

Daffodil ‘Golden Ducat
Daffodil and Narcissi Mixed

Crocus

Plant a carpet of jewel-like flowers for spring with Crocus bulbs. Easy to grow and perfect for naturalising under trees, shrubs and in lawns, fill your garden with these popular spring flowers. These delightful early spring flowers bloom from February into March.

Crocus Grand Maitre
Winter Crocus Species Mixed

Muscari

Compact plants that truly pack a punch. Easy to grow and bursting with vibrant colour, Muscari is the perfect plant for any garden. Flowering from March into April, plant them alone in pots and borders for a clustered look or pair them alongside Tulips and Daffodils to add a pop of colour to your spring displays.

Muscari Armeniacum
Muscari Cupido

Hyacinths

With rich colours and a heavenly fragrance, September is the perfect time to plant Hyacinths for March/April flowers. Plant them where you can enjoy their gorgeous scent: around walkways, in borders or on a patio.

Hyacinth Jan Bos
Hyacinth Miss Saigon

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New Pansy Introductions for Winter and Spring!

Our team has been working hard behind the scenes here at J Parker’s, finding us new products to add to our 2021 catalogue. With that being said, we would like to introduce our brand-new pansy flowers that have been recently added to our website.

Pansies are the perfect winter and spring bedding flower, highly respected for their hardiness throughout the colder months. With their signature pops of colour, they will perform great in your beds, borders, containers and hanging baskets! Take a sneaky peek at our new additions.

Winter Pansy Flower Collection

Winter Flowering Pansy Collection

Including 33 bulbs of each flower: Ocean Breeze mix, Autumn Blaze mix, Raspberry Sundae mix, and orange and lemons mix.

Pansy Britannia Mix

These beautiful large flowering pansies will brighten any garden with their red, white and blue petals.

Pansy Cool Wave Frost

Their powder blue petals will compliment any bed or container. Will flower from late winter into early spring.

Pansy Cool Wave Lemon

This flower is a gardener’s dream, producing attractive lemon yellow petals. Are lightly scented and perform well in any bed, border or container.

Pansy Flower Cool Wave Purple

Pansy Cool Wave Purple

This eye-catching deep purple bloom will compliment any garden. Perfect for hanging baskets or containers and will last throughout the colder months.

Pansy Cool Wave Strawberry Swirl

Producing an amazing display of pinkish-red and lemon coloured flowers, the Strawberry Swirl will brighten any space.

Pansy Morpheus

This modern pansy flower produces large royal blue and bright yellow petals. Will live happily in any bed, border or patio container.

Pansy Flower Orange and Lemons Mixed

Orange & Lemons Mixed

This vibrant pansy mix offers yellow, orange, and white blooms. Pair with any other winter flowering pansy to create the perfect display.

Trailing Pansy Raspberry Swirl

This deep maroon and white speckled flower will be the focal point of any garden. Flowering in winter, this pansy will compliment your arrangements wonderfully.

Pansy Cool Wave White

Producing a brilliant white pansy flower with a complimentary yellow center, the Cool Wave White will thrive in your winter display.

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How to Plant Muscari

Muscari with bee

Fragrant, wildlife-friendly and easy to grow, Muscari is the perfect spring flower for gardens of all sizes. Commonly known as Grape Hyacinths, these spring-flowering bulbs can be used to cover a lawn in pretty blooms, fill containers and borders with vibrant colour and add colour to any tricky, shaded spot. These highly versatile plants know no bounds, so keep reading to discover how to plant Muscari bulbs this autumn.

When do you plant Muscari?

Muscari bulbs

Our Muscari is supplied as top-quality bulbs. Plant Muscari bulbs in the autumn for spring flowers. You can plant them right up until the ground starts to freeze over. Once planted, they are great for naturalising for years of joy.

How do you plant Muscari?

Muscari pot

For containers:

Plant your bulbs around 10cm deep and space them approximately 8cm apart. The dimensions of the pot do not really matter as long as they are spaced correctly.

Muscari and Tulips

In the ground:

Plant in groups of 10 or more in the ground, and at a depth of twice the height of the bulb. They look great planted amongst other perennial plants. Tip 💡 Plant bulbs in groups of 25 for optimal effect!

Our favourite varieties for Spring 2021:

Muscari mixed
Muscari mixed
Muscari armeniacum
Muscari armeniacum
Muscari Peppermint
Muscari Peppermint

Looking for some inspiration?

Muscari and Tulip display
Bright and Colourful: Muscari armeniacum and Tulip Queensland

Get the look:

Muscari armeniacum
Muscari armeniacum
Tulip Queensland
Tulip Queensland
Fritillaria, daffodil and muscari display
Tropical Paradise: Fritillaria and Muscari

Get the look:

 Fritillaria Imperialis Aurora
Fritillaria Imperialis Aurora
 Muscari latifolium
Muscari latifolium
Muscari range

WIN A £50 BULB BUNDLE IN OUR WILDLIFE COMPETITION:

Wildlife competition

How to Grow Indoor Daffodils

Indoor Daffodils

Learning to grow daffodils indoors is a popular practice, perfect for indoor Christmas displays or to be given as gifts.
Our indoor flowering bulbs have already gone through the forcing process that allows them to flower earlier in the season, meaning planting them is somewhat different to DIY forced bulbs.

Buy any of our indoor narcissi bulbs to ensure the plant grows correctly, as using any old bulb would not do the trick. Indoor flowering bulbs have been treated specifically to recreate the cold conditions they would experience when planted in autumn.
To grow these spectacular blooms in time to be the perfect Christmas centrepiece, follow our cultivation steps.  

Step 1 – Picking Your Bulbs

There are various breeds of indoor daffodil and narcissus. For example, the Narcissus ‘Paper White’ is a popular bulb, due to its attractive peony-shaped flower heads and its sweet scent. They are perfect for Christmas displays, due to it taking just 6-8 weeks to flower. However, with other indoor daffodils, this time will increase to 16-18 weeks.

Our Favourite Indoor Daffodils:

Narcissi Paperwhite Flower
Narcissi Paperwhite
Narcissi Erlicheer Flower
Narcissi Erlicheer
Narcissi Grand Soleil D'Or
Narcissi Grand Soleil D’Or

Step 2 – How to Plant

To grow daffodils indoors, plant in a pot with several bulbs in each pot. For smaller pots, go with 2-3 bulbs and for bigger pots, aim for 3-5. Indoor flowers tend to make a more attractive display when planted en masse.
Aim to plant your bulbs in September to see them flower in time for Christmas.

When planting, place the bulbs in good multi-purpose compost or bulb fibre, with their tips just below the surface. Water well once planted and leave somewhere that is warm and receives a lot of sun. Indoor daffodils can grow to impressive heights, so be aware that you may need to provide support if this happens.

Step 3 – Aftercare

Avoid placing your newly planted daffodils near anything that creates a lot of heat, like radiators or fireplaces. This can make them dry out quicker, risking the chance of them dying. Keep near a window to allow them lots of natural light when the weather allows.

Watering Indoor Daffodils

If the leaves of the plant appear faster than the flower buds, move your pots to a cooler place in your house until the flower heads appear. Top up with water regularly, but only when the soil in the pot feels dry to touch.

Step 4 – What To Do When Your Daffodil Dies

After the flower has bloomed, look for a dry and frost-free place so the bulb has a chance to die down. Once they have returned to their bulbous state, replant outside in a sheltered and sunny spot to see them flower the next year.

Now You Know How to Grow Daffodils Indoors, Check Out Our Entire Range!

How and When to Prune Lavender

Pruning Lavender

Loved for their decadent, aromatic fragrance, Lavender is one of the most versatile and beautiful summer-flowering plants. These fast-growing perennials require little upkeep and are very easy to grow. However, they do benefit from an annual prune as this will help maximise flowering and keep your plants looking nice and healthy.

Keep reading our gardening guide to discover exactly when and how to prune lavender.

When should I prune Lavender?

Bee on lavender

Late summer through to early autumn is the perfect time to trim your lavender plants. When the last flush of flowers has faded, that’s the signal to get out the secateurs and do some pruning.

How do I prune lavender?

Cutting lavender

Using secateurs or scissors, simply prune the plant stems down to about an inch above the wood. This cut will help with air circulation. Also, trim away any dead or damaged stems for a tidier look.

Here are even more reasons why pruning lavender is important

  • When left to their own devices, lavender can become woody and less productive over time.
  • If you want your lavender to flower along with other plants, prune their stems to delay their flowering time.
  • Expand their flowering time throughout the whole season.

Check out our best-selling varieties:

Lavender munstead
Lavender ‘Munstead’
Lavender hidcote
Lavender ‘Hidcote’
Lavender rosea
Lavender ‘Rosea’

or shop our full online range:

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How to Make a Small Garden Look Bigger

Sadly, we aren’t all blessed with large sprawling grassy gardens with more space than we know what to do with. With a small garden, you have to be more creative with your space (which isn’t always a bad thing!).

However, having an undersized outdoor space can put a dampener on the outlook of our home. But do not fret as there are plenty of ways to create the illusion of space and create the outdoor Eden that you have always wanted. So, if you are searching for the best ways to make any garden look bigger, then you have come to the right place!

Fill Some Containers

If you’re seriously lacking in grass and do not have any room for flower beds, then consider starting a low-maintenance flower display.
What we mean is creating a makeshift flower arrangement by planting flowers in containers and window boxes.

You could even arrange them depending on how much sun each flower will need. For example, if you planted anemones in a container, you could place them somewhere in your garden that does not tend to be in the sun throughout the day. The same could be said for flowers that need lots of sunlight to thrive!

Have a Cohesive Theme

If you have a mixed and match approach to your garden, it can sometimes make the space feel cluttered. This then makes the garden feel smaller which is the opposite of our goal.

For more petite gardens, it is a great idea to coordinate your flowers by colour scheme. For example, light coloured flowers (white, pale pink etc) have a brightening affect, making your space feel tidier and bigger in the same breath.

Limit Your Garden Furniture

Going all out with your garden furniture is making your garden feel smaller. If you have tables, chairs, benches, and sofas, you are limiting your manoeuvre space. It makes it harder to move in your garden and will ultimately make the space feel smaller. Stick with the essentials to make your garden feel homey and won’t hog all the space.

Use Mirrors

Just like in your home, mirrors are a great way of making any space feel double the size. Full-sized mirrors strategically placed on one wall in your garden will make it feel more open and adds an effortless, eye-catching piece of décor.

Make sure you use acrylic mirrors instead of glass, just so accidents don’t happen when the mirror is exposed to the sun. Hide the mirror’s edges to make the overall look feel flawless.

Create Different Levels

Another way to create the illusion of space is to have different levels in your garden. For example, having the option to walk down into an area or up some stairs onto a patio can make the entire space feel sectioned off, and bigger overall.

You could add stairs leading down to your flower beds and grass area or utilise decking to separate the two sections.

Not Sure What to Plant in Your Small Garden? Here’s Our Top Picks.

Narcissi Dwarf Mixed
Crocus Grand Maitre
Ipheion uniflorum Mixed

What to Grow in a North Facing Garden

North facing cottage garden

Planting in north facing garden can be a real struggle. Since these gardens usually in shade for most of the day, it’s important to learn about which plants will be able to thrive in a north facing garden.

Keep reading to discover our selection of plants that will prosper in any environment with little sunshine.

Is my garden north facing?

To find out if you have a north facing garden, you need to find out the aspect of your garden – the direction that it faces. You can find this out one of two ways:

  • Go to your front door and open the compass app on your phone. With your phone facing forward, read the direction that the compass is measuring. If the reading is between 270° and 90°, your house is northfacing.
  • Simply by standing in the garden and looking where the sun is.

1. Hostas

Hostas

Hostas are versatile and well-loved foliage plants. This family of plants thrive in shade, so they are perfect for gardens that don’t receive much sunlight. Ideal plants for pots or borders.

Our top picks:

Hosta So Sweet
Hosta Collection

2. Snowdrops

Woodland plants are perfect for north facing gardens. Since woodland native plants are adapted to surviving in dark, damp areas, plants such as beautiful Snowdrops are a perfect shade-loving plant for spring.

Our top picks:

Double flowering Snowdrops
Russian Snowdrops

3. Ivy

The fast growing and reliable nature of Ivy, make them the perfect climbing plants for any north facing walls or fences. Available in a range of green, red and yellow tones, they are the perfect leafy climbers to brighten up dark spaces.

Our top picks:

Boston ivy
Boston Ivy
Virginia Creeper ivy
Virginia Creeper

4. Euonymus

One of the best things about these ultra-reliable shrubs is that they’re so easy to grow. Perfect for creating hedging or for growing in pots for a modern look. Euonymus tolerate most soils and almost any amount of sun.

Our top picks:

Euonymus Goldy
Euonymus Alatus

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