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.

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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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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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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

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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!

Shade Loving Climbers for Your Garden

climbing plant on a pergola

When planning your garden theme and layout, using the best climbing plants for shade is a good idea if your garden gets rather dark throughout the day. This is common in North facing gardens, as the sun often disappears toward the end of the afternoon.

However, it can be confusing when trying to understand which climbing plants are best for your shady garden. That’s why we have compiled a list of the best shade loving climbing plants to help your garden feel bright and colourful even when the sun disappears.

clematis

Clematis

Many Clematis plants do well in the shade, whether it be full or partial. However, some do still require a bit of sunlight, even if it’s from the top of the plant that hangs over a fence.

Clematis Top Picks

clematis barbara jackman
Clematis Barbara Jackman
clematis hagley hybrid
Clematis Hagley Hybrid
climbing lonicera

Lonicera

Lonicera, or honeysuckle, is the perfect climbing plant for shade as it blooms in mid to late winter. Produces a floral scent, perfect for those looking for a focus plant to tie their garden themes together.

Lonicera Winter Beauty
Lonicera Winter Beauty
Lonicera tatarica Rosea
Lonicera tatarica Rosea
pink roses

Roses

Some climbing rose variations are perfectly happy to do their thing in partial shade. We’ve picked some from our website that will thrive in shady conditions.

Danse De Feu
Danse De Feu
Rose climbing Iceberg
Climbing Iceberg
orange chaenomeles

Chaenomeles

Chaenomeles are a duluxe shrub with a spreading habit. This plant does well in partial shade and will brighten your garden throughout the spring season.

Chaenomeles speciosa Pink Lady
Chaenomeles speciosa Pink Lady
Chaenomeles speciosa Nivalis
Chaenomeles speciosa Nivalis

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Easy Garden Ideas

Garden with tulips

Looking for some simple ways to spruce up your garden? You can create a gorgeous and functional outdoor space without putting in a ton of hard work. Check out our easy garden ideas to provide you with a wealth of inspiration and enjoy your garden to the fullest.

1. Bring life to those dark, shaded spots

Snowdrops

Filling those dark, damp areas in the garden can be a huge struggle. An easy fix is to plant woodland bulbs like Snowdrops and Anemones. These amazing plants are used to surviving in dark, damp locations.

2. Attract wildlife with these simple hacks

Bird bath

Helping your local wildlife out in little ways is so easy and rewarding. To attract birds, place a birdbath in the garden or hang a seed feeder on a garden wall or in a tree/shrub. Also, by putting out fresh feed and water out at least once a week, you will certainly have many local feathered visitors.

3. Grow flowers all season with lasagne planting

Tulips and Muscari flowers

The perfect low maintenance solution to planning a garden display. For a spring garden filled with flowers, layer flower bulbs in pots to grow strikingly colourful displays with very little effort!

💡 Tip – Plant Daffodils, Muscari, and Tulips for beautiful blooms all spring long!

4. DIY relaxation area

Garden bench

You can create a little calming haven in a garden of any size. Create privacy by using pergolas or lattice fencing to build a relaxing space without feeling too enclosed. Add a bench and fragrant herbs/flowers to your space, then relax and enjoy!

5. Plant multi-functional flowers/herbs

Cutting Tulips

So many plants have a multitude of uses. Grow cut flower favourites, such as Tulips and Alliums, to grow your own flowers to use in bouquets and vase displays. For culinary uses, plant berries to make your own homemade, delicious jams and desserts.

💡 Tip – Try growing wild garlic to make your own amazing pesto!

Easy to Grow Bulbs for Spring 2021

Allium Graceful Beauty
Kniphofia Uvaria
Russian Snowdrops

What to Plant with Roses

Roses are enchanting flowers, enticing the appraisal from everyone around them. However, roses do not have an extensive flowering season, which can make your garden look a bit bare even in the height of spring and summer. With that in mind, it’s always a good idea to combine your roses with a collection of other flowers that compliment and enhance the appearance of your garden, but won’t take away the main stage if the roses are the focus.

We’ve taken the liberty of picking our favourite companions that will look beautiful alongside your roses through the height of their flowering season and will add that extra bit of colour once your roses start to dwindle at the end of their run.

Alliums

Alliums are perfect for adding height to your garden. You can partner these with any of your roses to create a cottage garden theme.

Shop Our Alliums

Allium White Cloud
Allium Pink Jewel

Foxgloves

Foxgloves are beautiful and capture that British garden aesthetic that many gardeners strive for. With their tall flower heads and strong stems, they’re a brilliant addition to your rose garden.

Shop Our Foxgloves

Digitalis Hardy Mixed
Digitalis Hardy Snow Thimble

Lavender

Lavender are great pollinators, which makes them an essential flower to any garden throughout spring and summer. Plant in your beds and borders for a classic companion look.

Shop our Lavender

Dwarf Lavender Munstead
Lavender Rosea

Verbascums

Similar to the Foxglove, Verbascums are a quintessentially British flower that is often found in many cottage-styled gardens. Pair with any rose plant for an exceptional display!

Shop our Verbascums

Verbascum Rosetta
Verbascum phoeniceum Mixed

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