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!

šŸ’” 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.

šŸ’” 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

5 Gardening tips from the Chelsea Flower Show 2020

Usually held in the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea, the RHS Chelsea Flower Show has gone digital this year! From virtual garden tours from RHS judges and top garden designers to gardening experts sharing planting tips and tricks, there has been plenty to enjoy from this year’s show.

We’ve rounded up our favourite Chelsea-approved gardening tips, so that you can create your own prize-winning garden at home.

1. Working with Small Spaces

With many of us stuck at home at the moment and with many people living in urban spaces, you can still enjoy a bounty of plants, no matter the size. Create new levels with hanging plants, experiment with mobile potted plants and elevate plants with shelving or ladders.

We recommend:

Bacopa Scopia Mixed
Lady Fern

2. Create a Chelsea Inspired Bouquet

Nikki Tibbles, founder of British florists Wild at Heart, gave us a crafty tutorial on how to create our very own Chelsea-inspired bouquets with flowers from our garden. Combine the delicately coloured flowers of pale Peonies, pastel Delphiniums and Clematis flowers to create your own award -winning vase displays and bouquets.

Our recommendations:

Delphinium Summer Skies
Clematis Aromatica

3. Healing Gardens

Garden designer Robert Myers shared his top tips for designing a healing garden. Now more than ever, our gardens are a haven to bring calm to our lives and help with our mental/physical well being. Restore calm with plenty of textured, multi-layered natural greenery, and add a sensory experience with scented plants around seating areas.

Our recommendations:

Leylandii Hedging
Lavender Munstead

4. Create a Mini Allotment

The Skinny Jean Gardener, Lee Connelly, shared his top tips for getting you and the kids growing your own edible produce. Lee says “grow something that you love to eat” and to keep it simple and easy with low maintenance fruit and veg. With space often being an issue for gardeners, Lee shares that you can create a mini allotment with just a window sill or washing up bowl!

Our recommendations:

Blueberry Spartan
Goji Berry

5. Think about Wildlife

Designer Tom Massey shared with us how to encourage wildlife by growing a mini-meadow. To create a meadow planting scheme, mix ornamental grasses with perennials to add both colour and movement to your displays.

Our recommendations:

Pennisetum ‘Hameln’
Allium ‘Drumsticks’

Check out our customers #mychelseagarden photos!

Tips for Growing Garden Ready Plants

Easy to grow and perfect for beginners, garden ready plants are an excellent, value for money way of filling your garden with glorious colour. 

Our Garden-ready plug plants are well-established plants in pots and can be planted straight out into the garden. Before you pick your plants for summer, check out our top tips for getting the absolute best performance out of your garden ready plants.

Tip 1 – Potting Up

Garden ready plants, like smaller plants, can benefit from being grown on for a few weeks in a large pot, for sturdier roots, before planting out in the garden.

Tip 2 – TLC on Arrival

Water your plants so they are just moist. The best way to do this is to place them in a container of water and allow them to soak it up from the roots.

Tip 3 – Time Crunch

If you don’t have time to plant them straight away, stand in a light, warm place and make sure the soil is moist; this will keep them happy and healthy before you plant them out.

Tip 4 – Watering

Water them well 1-2 hours before planting out, and again when in position. Once in the ground, water regularly, especially in dry sunny spells.

Tip 5 – Deadhead

Don’t forget to deadhead any dying flowers as required to ensure further growth spurts.

Add a Burst of Colour with Calla Lilies

Calla Lilies, also known as Zantedeschia, are beautiful flowers which offer an attractive colour range, are easy to cultivate and are suitable to be grown outdoors or as houseplants inside. These irresistible flowers produce blooms from May all the way through to October, and make excellent cut flowers as they have a long vase life of up to 2 weeks.

Calla Lily Top Picks

Lavender Gem

A stunning lavender-violet Zantedeschia which produces funnel shaped flower heads and glossy foliage.

Morning Sun

Morning Sun is stunning Calla Lily with gradient petals blooming in yellow to pink shades.

Prado

A beautiful deep burgundy red Zantedeschia with sturdy green stems and large glossy speckled leaves.

Elliottiana

This Calla Lily has glorious golden yellow trumpet-shaped flowers which blend into green flecked foliage.

Rehmannii

Rehmannii has creamy blush pink flowers contrasting with lovely green stems for a beautiful floral display.

Flame

These sizzling flowers become less yellow and more orange-red as they age, living up to their Flame name.

Lipstick

This vivid pink Zantedeschia stands out and will be a lovely bright addition to your summer garden.

Black Magic

Contrary to the name, this bright Calla Lily is actually an eye-catching yellow! The zesty flower sits on dark green foliage.

Planting Guide

Zantedeschia grow best in full sun or partial shade and in organically rich, moist, well-drained soil. They are well suited for bog or marsh gardens, for planting near ponds and streams, or as border plants or for containers. When to plant: any time between Feb and June, but only after any danger of frost has passed.

IN THE GROUND

  • Choose a sheltered position and add some well-rotted organic matter before planting.
  • Plant the Zantedeschia tubers 10cm deep and about 30cm apart.
  • Set the tubers with the growing tips facing up. Cover them with soil and water as needed. Mulch to keep down weeds and conserve soil moisture.
  • Provide consistent moisture during the growing season and do not allow the soil to dry out.

IN POTS

  • Calla Lilies can grow as tall as 2 to 4 feet, so a tall, narrow pot is better container than a wide, shallow one.
  • Place the tuber so it is lying horizontally, with the eyes facing upwards.
  • Cover the bulb loosely and give it enough water just to dampen the soil.
  • Set your tall pots in a sunny spot where they will get a bit of shade in the afternoon and fill the saucer under the pot with water.

AFTER CARE

  • Feed with a balanced liquid fertiliser once a month until the flowers have faded.
  • Mulch annually in autumn with well rotted garden compost or manure.
  • Snip off blossoms as they start to fade, using clean and sterilised gardening shears.

Top 10: Evergreens for April

Evergreens add constant interest to the garden and can act often as a central focus point to build a garden around. Evergreen shrubs and plants hold their foliage all year around, which is why they are the perfect choice for low maintenance gardening. Since April is the best time of year to plant evergreens and there are many to choose from, we’ve picked out a selection of varieties so you are guaranteed to find one that suits you.

 Benefits

There are many benefits to having evergreens in the garden other than their beauty. Here are some of the overlooked benefits:

  • Energy Saving šŸ’”

Shrubs planted on the north side of your home can serve as a protective windbreaker during the harsh winter winds.

  •  Wildlife-friendly šŸ¤šŸ¦

Shrubs provide much-needed shelter for birds and their many pretty blooms are great for attracting butterflies too.

  • Reliability āŒ›

Since they keep their leaves all year-round, they can provide privacy to your garden and work as a natural fence.

So, without further ado, here are our top 10 picks for beautiful evergreen shrubs to plant this spring! šŸ”

Nothing is more beautiful than an Azalea shrub in spring bloom. These easy-care shrubs flower in spring each year and are an excellent way of introducing colour to the garden and with a rainbow of shades to choose from, you are certain to find the right Azalea to suit your needs.

Azalea Diamond Japonica Mixed

This mixture of premium Japanese Diamond Azaleas are ideal for creating a colourful and effective spring display. These dwarf growing varieties make a real impact and are very easy to grow. These versatile plants are perfect for the patio pot, container or border. Supplied as 9cm pot plants.

 

Azalea Red Half Standard

These beautiful Japanese Azaleas are a real treat in the garden. These shrubs form a large bushy yet compact shape. The attractive evergreen leaves bring all round interest with the added attraction of the flowers which burst into a riot of bright red funnel shaped blooms in spring. Supplied as 2 litre pot plants.

Rhododendron Midnight Mystique

Rhododendron Midnight Mystique is a striking shrub which produces one of the showiest flowers of any Rhododendron. Wavy edged, white flowers boast huge, raspberry red-purple margins, with matching speckles in the throat, accompanied by a flash of gold speckles too. Each truss rests on shiny oval shaped foliage. Supplied in 13cm pot.

 

Rhododendron Percy Wiseman

The semi-dwarf Rhododendron gives the benefit of having traditional giant flowers but only growing to a height of 1 meter. Rhododendron Percy Wiseman produces clustered blooms that showcase an array of beautiful pink, red and yellow shades. Supplied in a 13cm pot.

Clematis ARMANDII

Originally found in China, Clematis armandii is one of the most vigorous evergreen climbers around. It produces plenty of long, lance-shaped waxy leaves which will provide a year round protective screen against stark walls or fences. The real highlight of this plant is the abundance of strong scented, star shaped white flowers in early spring. Supplied as 9cm pot plants.

 

Clematis aRMANDII aPPLE bLOSSOM

Clematis armandii Apple Blossom is one of the most popular evergreen climbers. It produces an abundance of baby pink buds with deeper pink flushes, which open out to four or five petalled baby pink flowers in spring. You can enjoy the gorgeous almond scent when planted by a doorway or seating area. Supplied as 9cm pot plants.

Daphne Tangutica

This superb RHS Garden Merit Award Winner, Daphne Tangutica is guaranteed to brighten up any garden. A medium-sized evergreen shrub, Daphne Tangutica produces beautifully fragrant white/pink flowers from late spring into early summer. Supplied as a 9cm pot plant.

 

 

Daphne Eternal Fragrance

Daphne transatlantica Eternal Fragrance is a semi-evergreen variety, producing sweet scented, tubular star-shaped flowers in creamy white with pink flushes at the base of each flower. This non-stop flowering shrub offers an astounding three seasons of bloom to delight the senses: spring (April), summer (June-July) and early autumn (late August/September). 10.5cm pot grown plants supplied.

Euonymus fortunei ‘Goldy’

Euonymus ‘Goldy is a fantastic dwarf evergreen shrub that will really brighten up any border or patio display. They have a compact growing habit and produce dense foliage that starts off as green but quickly changes to a bright golden yellow in summer. Supplied as a 9cm pot grown plant.

 

 

Euonymus fortunei Blonde Beauty

The evergreen foliage of this Euonymus variety produces leaves in lovely creamy white tones with irregular markings, often on the edges of leaves of dark green. Their pleasing colour is a true showstopper, especially in winter. They also make perfect ground cover for livening up a border, rockery or container. 15cm plant in 9cm pot supplied.

Gardenia Jasminoides Kleims Hardy

Gardenia jasminoides ‘Kleim’s Hardy’ is the original frost hardy evergreen Gardenia. Their highly fragrant single white flowers are produced throughout the summer. Growing to just 80cm, this compact shrub is ideally suited to a patio pot or a sheltered border. 13cm pot grown plants supplied.

 

Gardenia Jasminoides Crown Jewel

This sensation dwarf shrub has enjoyed immense popularity in recent years and it’s easy to see why. The glossy forest green leaves provide a dramatic backdrop to the fragrant, pearly white star shaped double flowers that bloom in abundance from early summer right through to the autumn. 9cm pot plants supplied.

 

Lavender Kew Red

Lavender Kew Red (French Lavender) is an elegant and exquisite plant with pretty deep crimson pink flowers topped with a delicate pale pink. Along with their highly aromatic foliage, they flower from late spring onwards and are a great way to attract bees and butterflies to the garden. UK-grown 3cm diameter jumbo plug plants supplied.

 

Lavender Stoechas Papillon

Also known as French Lavender, this pretty evergreen plant produces dark purple and lilac coloured blooms with highly aromatic, evergreen foliage. These beautiful flower spikes are great for creating a wildlife haven in the garden as they attract butterflies and bees from late spring. UK-grown 3cm diameter jumbo plug plants supplied.

Hebe Silver Dollar

This low-growing, compact, evergreen shrub boasts gorgeous variegated, grey-green foliage with cream margins. The margins transform from magenta pink in winter to a delicate mauve in summer, which then fade to white. This low maintenance shrub with constantly transforming beauty is perfect for borders. 9cm pot grown plants supplied.

Hebe Wild Romance

Hebe Wild Romance is a bushy, compact evergreen shrub . Dense purple flowers appear in summer that turn in to a deep pink/maroon in winter and lightens in the spring. The vibrant foliage of this Hebe is perfect for adding interest to the garden in borders and patio displays all year-round. 9cm pot grown plants supplied.

Euphorbia Blackbird

This beautiful and unusual Euphorbia is guaranteed to be a unique showstopper in the spring. This dwarf evergreen perennial has striking lime green flowers contrast against the dark maroon foliage, which is ideal for adding colour to the garden border or patio container. 9cm pot grown plants supplied.

 

Euphorbia Martinii

This fantastic evergreen shrub produces wonderful evergreen foliage through winter with flowers blooming from spring in to summer. Their hardy bracts are a vivid lime green with a bright red eye and two white ‘tear drop’ shapes in the centre. This stunning shrub is perfect for brightening up the garden. Supplied in 9cm pots

 

Skimmia Japonica Red dwarf

The Skimmia Japonica is a dwarf evergreen shrub. Our ‘Red Dwarf’ flowers from spring into summer and produces an abundance of red buds against a vibrant green foliage. They are hardy shrubs which perform exceptionally well when planted in the border or in a patio container. Supplied in 9.5cm pots.

 

Skimmia Japonica White Dwarf

Skimmia japonica White Dwarf is a fairly compact evergreen shrub that produces a flurry of bright green buds on top of a darker green foliage. Their hardiness allow them to perform well in a variety of places in the garden, from garden borders to patio pots. Supplied in 9.5cm pots.

How to Plant: Pansies

Pansies are exceptionally colourful plants and these specially selected winter and spring flowering varieties will present a splendid display of colour over a very long period and in such a beautiful variation of shades. A cool-weather favourite, pansies are great for both spring and autumn garden displays!

Our handy guide will help you with Planting Pansies, as well as how to keep your Pansies growing and blooming.

Planting

  • Plant straight away upon arrival into pots or containersĀ into either freshly prepared soil (with a little organic matter added) or else using a balanced potting compost.
  • Pot up for a number of weeks (minimum of two-three) and then plant out into final position once the roots have become established.
  • Water regularly and make sure soil does not become too dry. This will also help to produce a bigger plant with greater flowering potential.
In this easy to follow how-to video tutorial, our resident gardener Jeff shows you how to plant winter/spring flowering pansies step by step, with tips and tricks for getting the best results out of your pansy plants.

Aftercare

Here are a few tips on caring for your pansy plants.

  • Remember to water your pansies regularly. One of the most common reasons pansies fail is because they are not watered enough, so if your pansies are not doing well, try watering themĀ more.
  • You can use a general, all-purpose fertilizer around your pansies to help themĀ grow.
  • Always deadhead your pansies as they go over and be sure to pinch off the whole flower to the base of the stem and you’ll then get more flowers.

Our Top Picks

Need help deciding which pansies to buy? Can Can or Cool Wave? Maxi plug or garden ready? Here is a selection of our favourite varieties to simplify your gardening.

Pansy Cool Wave (Garden Ready)

The next generation of trailing pansy from seed, Pansy Cool Wave. Simply plant in a hanging basket or container and the plants will naturally spread and trail to create a stunning spring display as illustrated. This pansy has exceptional overwintering performance and is the first to re-bloom in spring, and another highlight of this variety is it’s light scent. Height 15cm. This pansy is supplied asĀ garden ready plug plants, our largest sized plugs on the market and are very easy to grow making them perfect for the novice and experienced gardener alike. Each plug plant supplied is 10-15cm in height and 5cm in width, supplied in trays of 30.

Pansy Can Can (Maxi Plug or Garden Ready)

Our stunning double winter flowering Pansy Can Can is an extravagant frilled pansies, which will make your winter basket, patio containers and borders a sight for sore eyes. The ruffled semi-double flowers are exquisitely marked with shades of yellow, red blue, white and orange, perfect for adding a flair of colour to your garden display. Available as Maxi Plugs, a small but robust variety, and Garden Ready plants , which are ourĀ easiest plug plant to succeed with, ready to plant on arrival and are the quickest of all to establish and grow. Maxi plug height 15cm. Garden Ready height 20cm.

Winter/Spring Pansy Select Mixed (Garden Ready)

Winter and Spring pansies never fail to perform, they show a splendid display of multi-colour over a very long period. Pansies really are super hardy plants and don’t mind being covered with a dusting of snow in the winter – they just carry on flowering right through to spring. Height 15-20cm.

Click here to view our full Pansy range!

March Plant of the Month: Magnolia

After the gloomy grey of winter, its always a joy to see the garden return to its glory in spring. Magnolia delivers that joy in abundance, bursting into life in early spring with large, magnificent blooms.

Magnolia plants are wonderful ornamental trees, available in a wide variety of shapes and sizes with something to suit any garden. These easy to grow beauties are very low maintenance, making them perfect for experts and novice gardeners alike.

Even so, here are some tips on getting the most out of your plant.

Planting tips

 

 

 

 

 

 

On arrival, plant in moist, acid-to-neutral soil in full sun or partial shaded areas. Shallow planting is required for magnolia bushes, in areas that have great drainage. It is often recommended that you provide some protection from strong winds, and provide a mulch in early spring. Do not allow plants to dry out in hot weather and water regularly.

Little pruning is required for these magnificent shrubs, but if required you can prune lightly once the flowers have faded.

Varieties

We have several varieties of Magnolia available to buy online from just Ā£9.99, so you are sure to find the perfect choice for your garden. Here are just a few of our favourites;

Magnolia soulangeana, also known as the Saucer Magnolia or Chinese Magnolia, is probably the most popular of the Magnolia family. It has dark green leaves and deep saucer shaped flowers that are white to rosy-pink. Great for smaller gardens, as it remains a shapely shrub for many years.

Magnolia liliiflora Nigra is a compact shrub native to Southwest China and Japan, also known as the Black Lily Magnolia. The flowers are held erect on sturdy branches amongst glossy elliptic shaped leaves. Deep purple-red outer petals in a narrow tulip shape gently reflex at the tips like a lily revealing a paler colour within. Flowering April to June, later than other magnolias.

Nigra holds the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit for its reliable performance, stability of colour and form and good resistance to pests and diseases.

 Magnolia loebneria Merril is another award winning Magnolia, with branches laden with dainty buds in spring open to milky white flowers, abundant and smaller than most other magnolias. Later, oblong deciduous leaves cover the branches when the fragrant flowers have fallen. A hybrid of the magnolia kobus and stellata varieties loebneri Merrilli is prized for the upright habit and robust natures of its parents although is smaller and more free flowering than both, its mature height and spread rarely growing beyond 2m.

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