When to Grow Indoor Daffodils

When the days get colder and darker, nothing warms the soul more than bright and cheery indoor flowers. Perfect for showcasing around the table in the festive season, the elegance and delicate fragrance of indoor daffodils are simply unmatched.


Quick Summary:

  • Grow time: 8-10 weeks
  • Soil: Peat moss-based potting mix
  • Temperature: After the cold treatment, keep cool, approx 16°C, while plants are in bloom.

When should I plant them?

Typically, indoor daffodils take between 8-10 weeks to bloom. For specific times, stick to this planting schedule:

  • For Christmas blooms: plant mid-October/early November
  • For January blooms: plant mid-November

How to Plant in Pots

Choose a wide pot about 6 in (15 cm) deep with drainage holes in the bottom. Cover the bottom of the pot with potting soil. Now, pop in the bulbs; they can be placed tight, side by side. Cover the bulbs with additional soil, leaving the top third of the bulb above the soil. Water well.

The Growing Process

Move pot to a dark, cool location such as a basement, unheated garage or refrigerator. Keep them in cold storage for about 8-10 weeks. Keep the medium barely moist.

When shoots reach about 5cm tall, bring the pot out of cold storage and place the growing daffodils on a bright windowsill. Rotate the pot daily for even growth.

Daffodils in Bloom

When in full bloom, keep potted daffodils in a bright location out of direct sun. Make your daffodils last longer by keeping the pot in a cool room.

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The Best Autumn Woodland Walks in the North

With the leaves changing colour and birds singing, autumn is the perfect season to go and enjoy the wonderful beauty of nature. So if you’re looking for a nice place to go and wander, here’s our favourite natural beauty spots in the North of England to go to this autumn.

Dunham Massey, Greater Manchester

Escape the hustle and bustle of the city and head to this delightful village for a breath of fresh air. This easy walking route follows a circular route around the impressive grounds of Dunham Massey Hall. Spend a frosty morning or sunny autumn afternoon trailing through the magnificent deer park with its 17th century mill and the tranquil Island and Smithy pools.

Allen Banks Ancient Woodland, Northumberland

Set on the steep valley sides of the river Allen, go on a spontaneous day out and explore the woods and see what wildlife you can spot on this gentle riverside walk. It’s the largest area of ancient woodland in Northumberland and has been here since at least medieval times.

Formby Woodland Walk, Merseyside

UK coastal walks: Formby – is this Britain's most exhilarating coastal  landscape?

Take a leisurely stroll through the pine woodland of Formby. With many different paths to take, look out for red squirrels, sweeping coastal pinewoods, prehistoric footprints and dramatic sand dunes are just waiting to be discovered.

Wallington River Walk, Northumberland

Enjoy the river walk around the beautiful Wallington Hall grounds. With the trees changing colour, take a tranquil walk along the banks of the River Wansbeck, crossing over bridges, stepping stones and enjoying the local wildlife as you go. The perfect walk for any season.

Alderly Edge Woodland Walk, Cheshire

Alderley Edge picked as one of the most romantic destinations in the UK |  Knutsford Guardian

There are many different walks to take around Alderly Edge. Enjoy the stunning views from The Edge while avoiding the crowds at this popular tourist spot, or head south from Alderley Edge and explore quiet lanes, mixed woodland, field paths and find the remnants of the Birtles estate.

Check out some of our other blogs!

DIY Gardening Crafts to Keep You Busy During Lockdown

Do it yourself projects are on the rise this year. With many of us spending a lot more time around the home, sales within household goods stores were 9.9% higher in August 2020 than February 2020, mainly due to a rise in the desire for home improvement items, according to The Office for National Statistics. So, with lockdowns still present all over the UK, why not bring the DIY trend into the garden with these autumnal DIY gardening crafts.

Home-made Birdhouse

Pick up a pre-made birdhouse from the craft shop or build your own. Then, paint it your favourite colour at home and hang it out in the garden. Avoid hanging your birdhouse in a spot that receives strong sunlight, rain and wind.

Tip 💡 For decorating, why not try painting your birdhouse in polka dots, stripes, or flowers!

Pallet Compost Bin

Composting is a cheap and easy to way to create your own nutrient rich compost to add to your garden plants in the springtime. Using leftover wooden pallets are perfect for those of you who are new to composting. To make a pallet compost bin you’ll need four pallets of matching size. Join together four pallets to create the back and sides, then stand them up and screw them into place. Now, you have your completed pallet bin!

Upcycled Planters

Almost anything can be turned into a fun, unique planter. Tin cans and buckets can be painted and upcycled into fun small garden planters for patios. Whereas larger items such as tyres, chest of drawers and wheelbarrows can be given a new lease of life as a planter to create a feature in the garden.

Foliage Wreath

A great one for the kids, these festive autumn front door wreaths will give your home serious autumnal curb appeal. All you need is a wire circular frame, some moss to form the base, and a bunch of your favourite flower and foliage. Simply bundle your foliage, cover the frame, and attach using floral wire all the way around the wreath.

You can use:

Have you done any do it yourself gardening projects? Share your photos with us on Instagram!

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The Big Pumpkin Hunt – Win £100

With Autumn well and truly here, this month’s competition is celebrating the spooky season with an online pumpkin hunt!

This October, we are hiding 5 pumpkins in the spring bulbs section of our online shop. 5 products will have pumpkins in the product images and the first person that find all 5 will WIN A £100 VOUCHER! 💰

What do I need to do?

  • Locate all 5 pumpkins hidden in product images in the bulb section of our website.
  • Email us at competition@jparkers.co.uk and name the products the pumpkins are displayed on.
  • The 1st person to locate all 5 pumpkins will be the winner.
(Pumpkin Product Page – Example)

Prize:

  • A £100 J.Parker’s voucher to spend in our online shop 🛒🛍

How to Enter:

  • EMAIL us at competition@jparkers.co.uk with the products you spot the pumpkins on. (Email entry must be under 5mb – please include your name and postcode)

When does the competition close?

  • Send us your answers by Midnight, October 30th.

Keep your eyes peeled, we’ll be posting clues for the pumpkin hunt on our Instagram!

NHS Green Garden Giveaway – The Winner’s List

All throughout September, we have been running our NHS Green Garden Giveaway. During this unpredictable year to thank our NHS, we asked you to nominate your local NHS hospital and we would select 3 to donate £100 worth of plants/bulbs to.

We want to thank everyone who joined in with the fun, we received over 200 entries from customers giving praise to their local NHS hospitals.

So without further ado, here are the winning establishments:

We also asked you to nominate a NHS worker friend/family member. We have chosen 3 NHS workers at random to gift a £30 voucher to, and the winners are….

– Angie J. – NHS Analyst

– Katie C.

– Helen T. – Mental Health Nurse in Manchester

Our October competition is COMING SOON! Stay updated on our Instagram page:

No-Fuss Raspberry Coulis Cheesecake

Raspberry cheesecake

Its raspberry season, so what better time to make a deliciously decadent raspberry cheesecake? This rich and tasty no-bake cheesecake is incredibly easy to make, so it’s the perfect dessert to whip up on a weekday to impress the family without putting in loads of effort.


Servings: 10-12 servings

Time: 35 minutes (plus chill time)


You will need:

  • 8 inch (20 cm) springform cake pan
  • Electric whisk (optional)

For the base:

  • 150g digestive biscuits
  • 75 grams unsalted butter

For the filling:

  • 250g full fat cream cheese
  • 300ml double cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 200g good quality white chocolate
  • 30 grams powdered sugar

For the coulis:

  • 300 grams fresh raspberries (we recommend Autumn Bliss or Tulameen).
  • 50 grams granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp lemon juice & zest

Instructions:

  1. Make the coulis

    Combine most the raspberries (leave some for decoration later), sugar and lemon juice/zest in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture comes to a simmer. Turn the heat to medium-high and continue to cook, while stirring, until it is thickened, 4 to 5 minutes.  Pour into a heatproof bowl and cool in the fridge.

  2. Make the base

    Crush the digestive biscuits into a fine crumb (it should look like sand). Melt the butter on a low heat on the hob until it becomes liquid. Take off the heat and stir in the crushed biscuits until combined. Transfer the mixture into the cake pan and press the mixture into the bottom of the pan with a spoon to form the cheesecake base. Chill in the fridge for 1 hour.

  3. Make the filling

    Place white chocolate in a heatproof bowl and place over a pan with simmering water. Melt over low heat. In a large bowl mix the double cream and cream cheese until smooth (use an electric whisk if preffered). Add powdered sugar, and vanilla extract and mix to combine. Mix in melted chocolate and set aside.

  4. Arrange the cheesecake

    Pour the filling over the prepared base, use a spatula to spread it evenly. Cover the cake pan in cling film and chill the cheesecake in the fridge for 6 hours (or overnight).

  5. Decorate and serve

    After the cheesecake has chilled, drizzle the coulis over the cheesecake and top with the remaining raspberries. Now you’re cheesecake is ready to serve!


Tips

  • Make it the day before you want to eat it – this cheesecake needs around 6 hours (up to overnight) in the fridge to chill and set.
  • To create a raspberry swirl effect in your cheesecake, after pouring the filling onto the base, pour some of the coulis onto the hot filling and use a chopstick to swirl the coulis into the filling.
  • For an extra zingy taste, add a teaspoon of lemon juice into your cheesecake filling.
  • If you’re harvesting your own raspberries this autumn, remember to pick on a dry day, then either use them fresh or freeze them for later use.

Did you make this recipe? Share your photos with us on our instagram page!

Want to grow your own raspberries?

How to Grow and Harvest Saffron

The king of spices. As the world’s most expensive spice, Saffron is celebrated around the world for its versatility in gourmet cooking. Originating from the filaments of autumn-flowering Crocus sativus, discover how to grow and harvest your very own gourmet saffron spice in the garden.

Steps for planting Saffron

Plant Crocus sativus bulbs anytime between August to late September. Space the bulbs around 6 inches apart and 4-5 inches deep in the ground.

Tip 💡 – Approx. 50-65 flowers will produce 1 tablespoon of Saffron.

Steps for harvesting Saffron – Part 1

Saffron is so easy to harvest. Harvest time is in October/November once Crocus sativus start to bloom. Using tweezers, extract the red filaments of the stigma. After extraction, dry the saffron out in a warm, dry room.

Steps for harvesting Saffron – Part 2

Dry out the filaments for around 15-20 minutes and then vwala! You have grown your very own saffron, ready to use in your favourite recipes straight away.

Tip 💡 – If you don’t fancy using your fresh saffron straight away, store away in an airtight container for later use.

Saffron pairs beautifully with:

  • Paellas
  • Italian risottos
  • Seafood
  • Salad dressings
  • Soups
  • Stews

Check out our NEW Autumn catalogue!

The Best Spring Flower Combinations

Bulb planting season has finally arrived. Create a beautiful garden, path or walkway with a profusion of spring-flowering bulbs. To spark some green-fingered inspiration, here are some stunning spring flower combinations that will shine in any outdoor space.

Crocus and Snowdrops

A beautiful early spring combination. These hardy, frost resistant blooms are perfect for adding life to the bare late winter garden. Snowdrops and Crocus are both naturalising bulbs, so you can enjoy their beauty year after year. Plant around shrubs, trees or scattered in the lawn for a natural effect.

Create this look with:

Crocus Grand Maitre
Snowdrops (Single Flowering)

Alliums and Tulips

A bright and bold mid-late spring partnership. The statuesque blooms of Alliums pair wonderfully amongst the jewel-like tones of Tulips. This charming combination will create an explosion of colour for weeks on end.

Create this look with:

Allium ‘Purple Sensation’
Tulip ‘Jumbo Beauty’

Daffodils and Pansies

This early spring combination is a breath a fresh air. These hardy flowers are perfect for creating a colourful display in the frosty air of early spring. Yellow daffodils and rich purple pansies make a striking partnership in beds, borders and pots.

Create this look with:

Narcissi ‘Dutch Master’
Pansy ‘Morpheus’

Hyacinths and Pansies

Looking to fill your garden with fragrance? Hyacinths provide colourful, fragrant blooms in mid spring. Paired alongside some beautiful bedding pansies, plant this combo along pathways, near a patio or in pots around a doorway to fully enjoy their beautiful scent.

Create this look with:

Hyacinth ‘Miss Saigon’
Pansy ‘Red Wave’

Tulips and Muscari

Tropical and exciting. A combination of Tulips and Muscari are the perfect late-spring partners. Underplant the tall stems of Tulips with the low growing blooms of Muscari for a hint of fragrance and to create a vibrant, clustered display.

Create this look with:

Tulip ‘Red Riding Hood’
Tulip ‘Orange Brilliant’
Muscari Mixed

Check out some of our other blogs!

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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When to Plant Bluebells

bluebell

One of the UK’s most well-loved wildflowers. Native to English woodlands, bluebells are one of the easiest plants to grow in the garden, and will delight you for many years to come. To fill your garden with these dainty, little blooms, keep reading and discover how and when to plant bluebells.

English bluebells

When do you plant bluebell bulbs?

The perfect time to plant bluebell bulbs is in the early autumn (September/October time). Plant bulbs at least 10cm deep and 10cm apart, and make sure that the pointed end is facing upwards.

💡 Tip: For a beautiful, natural effect, plant groups of bulbs together with irregular spacing between clumps. 

What about bluebells in the green?

Since these bluebells are further along in the growing process than bulbs, plant ‘in the green’ bulbs is in the spring. Plant at the same depth they were in the ground before (see where the foliage turns from white to green). 

Where can you plant bluebells?

These easy to grow plants are perfect for covering shaded areas due to their ability to withstand dark, damp woodland areas. Plant as ground cover, around shrubs, or naturalise them in lawns.

💡 Tip: Once in flower in the spring, they make great cut flowers for bouquets and vases around the home!