How to Prune Your Roses

pruning roses

Roses are a hardy plant and are often happy to grow undisturbed, so it can be difficult to tell when to prune your roses. However, light pruning at the right time of year helps to promote healthy growth and flowering as well as helping to maintain a sensible size for your rose plant.
To see your beautiful roses effortlessly bloom year after year, it’s best to prune them at the start of each year. But when? and how?

Keep reading this rose pruning guide to find out how and when you should be pruning your roses.

When Should You Prune Your Roses?

single yellow rose after pruning

Your pruning window may be slightly different depending on where you live. For example, if you live in the south, you can get away with pruning in mid-February. If you live further north, you should probably wait until March when the weather is warmer. Pruning can also depend on the type of rose plant.

Rose Shrubs should be well pruned in mid-March in Southern England, or in the second week of April when you get further north.

Climbing Roses shouldn’t be pruned for two years after planting and then only sparsely, removing unnecessary growing tips. It’s best to prune this rose type in autumn.

How to Prune Roses – Best Methods

pruning roses in the garden

For most roses, you can prune in late winter. Take care to remove dead/diseased wood and deadhead faded blooms which can be done with your annual pruning. Cut no more than 5mm above a bud with a clean, sloping cut away from the bud so water cannot gather. Keep your secateurs sharp for a clean cut.

Pruning Tip 💡 – Use fertilizer on your roses once you’ve pruned them to encourage healthy growth throughout the year!

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How to Grow Camassia

blue_camassia_bulbs

Have you bought yourself some Camassia bulbs but you’re not certain on how to plant them? We’ve written this handy how-to guide to get you started!
Native to North America, the Camassia plant is an exceptional perennial. It’s incredibly hardy and will grow in most conditions.

planting camassia bulbs

How to Plant Camassia Bulbs

Camassia is easy to plant and can be done by anyone. Simply dig a hole around 2-3 times the depth of the bulb and space them apart at twice the bulbs width. Cover with soil and water.

white camassia bulbs

When to Plant Your Camassia

Plant your Camassia bulbs in early autumn. The start of bulb planting season is best (September – October). Camassia is the only bulb that doesn’t mind being damp, so proper irrigation isn’t completely necessary.

camassia bulbs in bedding

Where Should You Plant Camassia?

Plant your Camassia bulbs wherever you’d like around your garden. They prefer full or part shade areas, so plant your bulbs in places that are more likely to receive sunshine.

Camassia is a wonderful spring-flowering bulb and pairs wonderfully with its fellow spring flowers and plants. Plant around the garden for drifts of colour throughout your beds and borders during the season.

Shop Our Camassia Range

Camassia Leichtlinii Semiplena
Giant Camassia Collection
Camassia Leichtlinii Caerulea

Check out our NEW Autumn catalogue!

Grow Your Own Gifts With Indoor Bulbs

Indoor bulbs are many gardeners go-to pastime when winter appears and hoards us all inside. Amaryllis, Daffodils, Hyacinths – they’re all wonderful indoor bulbs and create incredibly bright displays throughout the colder months.

As indoor bulbs flower from early December, they make perfect and thoughtful Christmas gifts to give to family and friends. However, they take some forward planning to get right.

Prepare Your Bulbs

Often, normal garden varieties of bulbs are fine to force. This goes for tulips, narcissi, crocus, and many more. However, there are specially prepared bulbs that have been treated in cold conditions, making them appear earlier than you would traditionally expect.

Hyacinths are a good example of this treatment. They are placed in a fridge up to 15 weeks, triggering their biochemical response that makes them flower. At J Parkers, we sell our own range of prepared bulbs, making your life that much easier. However, if you wanted to take your own crack at it, keep your desired bulbs in a cool place (garage, shed, etc) for 10 to 15 weeks. Once this period has finished, it’s time to pot your bulbs.

Planting Your Bulbs

Once you’ve treated your bulbs, they’re ready to be planted. Your indoor bulbs should be planted in well-drained but moist soil. Try to use grit where you can to create the proper amount of drainage. Take your container and fill the bottom with a layer of grit. Lay some soil on top and make a well for your bulbs.

If you’re looking to plant more than one bulb, space evenly so they’re not too packed together. Place your bulb with the pointed tip facing upwards and cover with soil. Water lightly once done.

Caring for your Bulbs

You should see your bulbs flower from early December. If you’re having trouble with your bulbs growing straight, pot in gravel and stones instead of soil as it helps anchor the bulb in place. Wait for the plant to flower and voilà! The perfect hand-made gift.

Our Favourite Prepared Indoor Bulbs

Amaryllis Christmas Gift
Hyacinth Prepared Woodstock
Narcissi Indoor Collection

What to Do In the Garden This October

child outdoors raking leaves

September is over and October has officially begun! When it comes to our gardens, many of us tend to linger for as long as we can before terrible chills plague our cities and towns.

October is often considered a chilly month, but there is still plenty to do in the garden before winter officially arrives!

flower bulbs on a spade

Plant Your Bulbs

The time’s arrived to dig some holes and plant some bulbs! Autumn is the ideal time to plant spring bedding and other spring-flowering bulbs. Flowers such as Primulas, Violas, and Wallflowers should be planted this month.

Pruning

Now that the colder weather has appeared, it’s time to prune and divide your plants and flowers. Cut back faded perennials to add to your compost and lift and divide poor-flowering plants.

Fruits and Vegetables

If your garden is more vegetable based, or you own an allotment, then this section is for you. The best veggies and fruits to plant this month are usually your rhubarb crowns, winter lettuce and asparagus crowns.

General Tidy

If you’re not planning what to plant in October in terms of bulbs and plants, there’s still plenty to do! Raise patio pots on bricks to avoid them sitting in water throughout autumn and remove stakes and other supports on plants that have died down for winter.

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What to Plant In October

What to plant in October head image

As the cold weather is finally upon us, you might be wondering what to plant in October.
Gardeners across the UK are probably getting their gloves on as we speak!

The end of September marked the start of bulb planting season, and this continues throughout October. However, if you’re new to gardening and are unsure of where to start this month, this blog is for you.
From bulbs to shrubs, there’s plenty to be getting on with this coming month.

Tulips

Our tulip range is truly extensive. There’s definitely a tulip variety for everyone to choose from, regardless of garden themes or personal taste. Offering a bountiful pop of colour to your beds, borders, and patio pots, the reliable tulip is a must-have for any spring garden display.

Tulip Anfield
Tulip Anfield
Double Early tulip collection
Double Early Tulip Collection

Snowdrops

Achieve a woodland aesthetic with our snowdrop range. These little bells of pure white remind many of spring forest walks. The perfect height for adding to the front of your bedding, as well as being incredible naturalisers. See these beauties reappear year after year throughout the spring months.

snowdrops single flowering
Snowdrops (Single Flowering)
snowdrops double flowering
Snowdrops (Double Flowering)

Iris

If you’re still unsure of what to plant in October, the Iris is truly something to behold. Available in a myriad of colours and heights, the iris is the perfect spring bulb. Add interest to your borders and patio pots with our spring-flowering irises.

iris spring flowering collection
Iris Spring Flowering Collection
iris reticulata natascha
Iris Reticulata Natascha

Daffodils

One of our more popular spring-time bulbs is the humble daffodil. No spring garden would be complete without some of these beauties. Dot around your garden for sporadic pops of colour, or cut in spring for beautiful cut flower displays.

daffodil and narcissi mixed
Daffodil and Narcissi Mixed
daffodil double flowering collection
Daffodil Double Flowering Collection
brand new autumn 2020 catalogue

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How to Plant Crocus Bulbs

blue crocus flowers

Crocus bulbs are great additions to your spring garden, contributing a display of small purple, white, and yellow flowers. Crocus are also wonderful pollinators and invite plenty of insects and critters to your beds and borders!

However, if this is your first time planting crocus throughout autumn, then you may feel a bit stuck on where to begin. We’ve written this guide with you in mind, to help you go from bulb to border in just a few easy steps.

When to Plant Your Bulbs

When it comes to spring-flowering bulbs, you should always aim to plant them in early autumn. This gives the bulb time to grow through the winter and appear in spring!
Once you receive your bulbs, get them in the ground as soon as possible. Avoid frosty conditions and plant your crocus bulbs in soil that is warm and well-drained.

planting bulbs in the garden

Where to Plant Your Bulbs

Where to plant your bulbs depends on the display you would like to achieve. For example, if you’re aiming for a uniform look, plant your bulbs among your beds and borders. If you’d like a more natural look, plant your bulbs informally through grassy areas of the garden.

Crocus bulbs can be planted just about anywhere, as long as they are in full or partial sunlight and have plenty of soil, moisture, and grit for drainage.

How to Plant Your Crocus Bulbs

To plant your bulbs, you should follow these easy steps. First, dig a hole in your desired area that is two to three times the depth of your bulb. Make sure they’re spaced twice the bulbs width apart.
Plant with the pointed tip facing upwards, cover with soil, and water once done.

Shop our crocus bulbs!

Large Flowering Crocus Mixed
King of the Striped
Yellow Mammoth

The Best Fragrant Flowers for Spring

Planning a garden takes a lot of thought and decision making. Which flowers would you like to see every day? Do you prefer perennials that reappear each year, or annual bulbs for short-term fix? Texture or colour? Colour or fragrance? What about all four?

We understand the struggle of planning a garden as avid gardeners ourselves. We also know that a garden isn’t just to look pretty. It’s about texture, smell and seasonality, too. Marry together all garden concepts with these spring-flowering bulbs. Not only do they look wonderful, they smell wonderful too!

Hyacinths

Hyacinths are a popular spring-time flower, heralded for their bright colours and refreshing fragrances. Supplied as easy-to-plant bulbs, the Hyacinth is perfect for all gardeners as they require little attention to thrive. Plant these bulbs in your beds or containers for an attractive display throughout the season.

Bedding Sized Hyacinth Collection
Hyacinth Passion Mixed

Honeysuckle

Honeysuckle (Lonicera) offers a profusion of aromatic blooms. Some don’t flower until summer, but a select few appear in the spring months. This makes them the perfect additions to your fragrant spring garden. Produces small, colourful blooms all season long.

Lonicera Winter Beauty
Lonicera tatarica Rosea

Iris

The Iris is a popular spring and summer flowering bulb. It’s heralded for it’s ability to withstand harsh weather like frost and rain, as well as their colourful flowers. Their short stature also makes them perfect for the front of borders and beds! We’ve hand-picked our favourite fragrant iris bulbs, but feel free to browse our entire Iris range.

Iris Danfordiae
Iris Reticulata Pixie

Daphne

Many Daphne shrubs are spring-flowering, producing fragrant flowers throughout the season. Perfect for introducing a large area of colour to any area of you garden. These compact shrubs are perfect for gardens of any size and shape!

Daphne Pink Fragrance
Daphne mezereum Rubra

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New Daffodils & Narcissus for Spring 2021

Daffodils are a beautiful sign that spring has officially begun. At J. Parker’s, we pride ourselves on our extensive collection of narcissus and daffodil bulbs. However, we always keep an eye out for potential new additions.

Daffodils are the perfect plant for your spring display, adding much needed colour after the colder months.
As it is officially bulb planting season, we decided to share our newest additions to our daffodil range.

Narcissi Peach Cobbler

Peach Cobbler is a distinguished variety that flowers from March to April. It produces buttery yellow layers of petals with a bright orange centre. This eye-catching Narcissus will be the envy of your neighbours. 

Jonquilla Narcissi Collection

Jonquilla bulbs produce the most incredible sweet scent, as well as stunning flowers. Perfect for your beds, borders, containers, or even as cut flowers. This collection includes 15 of each variety: Pipit, Kedron, Quail, Pueblo, Golden Echo, and Blushing Lady.

Rare Double Daffodil Collection

Create an awe-inspiring display in your spring garden with our Rare Double Daffodil Collection. Includes 10 each of Delnashaugh, Obdam, Heamoor, and Peach Cobbler.

Narcissi Heamoor

Introducing this exceptional Double Daffodil, layered with sunny yellow petals that swirl in the center of the trumpet. The perfect addition for your spring garden display!

How to Plant Ground Cover Plants

purple ground cover plants

Depending on the time of year, you can find plenty of ground cover plants that will accentuate your borders and add a much-needed pop of colour throughout any season.
Perfect for planting alongside your other plants and flowers, ground cover plants are perfect for jamming in empty spots along your beds and borders for a more cohesive style.

If you’ve got your eye on some beautiful ground cover flowers but you’re not quite sure how to go about planting them, follow this guide to achieve the best display all year round.

Pick Your Plants

If you’re struggling with problem areas in your garden, like an influx of weeds in your beds, then ground cover plants are the perfect remedy as they suppress the growth of the unwanted pesky plants. They’re easy to grow and maintain and they fill in those unsightly gaps between your favourite plants and flowers.

There’s plenty of options when it comes to ground cover, depending greatly on what time of year you’d like them to flower and what theme you’re looking to achieve. For example, if you’re looking to fill in the gaps between when your flowers die back and to when they reappear in spring, winter bedding plants are a great option. This could be anything from the classic Pansy to the fragrant Sweet William’s.

Our Favourite Ground Cover Plants

Anemone Nemerosa Robinsoniana
Phlox Subulata Snowflake
Pansy/Polyanthus Collection

Prepare the Area

First things first, you want to prep the area where you’d like to plant your ground cover. This includes pulling up weeds like dandelions and couch grass from the root, preparing the soil by breaking it up with a spade or fork, and adding plenty of new compost to the area.

Where Should You Plant Your Ground Cover?

Ground cover plants are best for planting in your beds and borders, but can also be planted as solo plants in containers or patio pots. For an impressive bedding display, plant in between bulbs and plants for a flawless finish. If you lack garden space, use pots and containers for an impressive patio decoration.

How to Plant Your Ground Cover of Choice

Like we mentioned before, ground cover plants are entirely accessible to any gardener, regardless of skill. This is because they are so easy to plant. Our ground cover arrive in plug form, needing little effort to plant. Simply dig a decent-sized hole where you’d like them to grow, pop it in and cover with soil.

Once that’s done, all you need to do is sit back and watch them grow the following year!

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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