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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New Introductions in our Autumn Range

Our Autumn 2020 range has landed! Filled with an amazing array of bulbs, plants and shrubs, our new range has everything you need to transform your garden this Autumn.

With so many new, beautiful varieties added to our plant range this year, we’ve selected an assortment of our favourite new introductions to kick off your autumn-planting wish list!

Sidalcea ‘Brilliant’

A bright and modern plant for adding colour to summer borders. Producing pink/red, saucer-like flowers, this Sidalcea blooms all summer long in to autumn.

Liriope Muscari ‘Okina’

Add life to the garden all year round with this striking evergreen plant. These amazing leaves go from white in spring to mottled green in autumn, and purple spiked flowers bloom in the summertime.

Deutzia ‘Mont Rose’

A beautiful compact shrub. This pretty Deutzia blooms with elegant rose coloured flowers. A perfect shrub for containers and smaller gardens.

Hosta ‘Wide Brim’

With foliage plants gaining popularity in modern gardens, this striking, streaked Hosta is the perfect modern foliage plant. They also produce beautiful lilac flowers in the summer too!

Hebe ‘Red Edge’

A marvellous RHS award winning shrub. With stunning blue-grey, evergreen foliage and vibrant lilac summer flowers, attract pollinators to the garden with this eye-catching Hebe.

Uncinia ‘Everflame’

Grasses are the perfect plants for low maintenance gardens. This evergreen, bronze coloured grass is perfect for bringing life to rockeries, pots and borders.

Euphorbia ‘Black Pearl’

Euphorbias are great, drought resistant plants, which make them perfect for summer gardens. This variety produces unique black detailing and makes for a great feature plant.

Hydrangea ‘Phantom’

This stunning Paniculata Hydrangea is drought resistant and award-winning. Producing pretty white cone flowers in summer, ‘Phantom’ is perfect for summer borders or containers.

Pansy Cool Wave ‘White’

An elegant trailing Pansy. These snowy-white blooms are perfect for hanging baskets and bloom all the way from February to May!

Pansy Cool Wave ‘Raspberry Swirl’

Low maintenance and produces masses of blooms, this stunning trailing Pansy showcases stunning purple flowers. Perfect for hanging baskets and pots.

Check out some of our other blogs:

Guide to Planting Maxi Plugs

Looking for a quick fix for those gaps in your flower beds or baskets? Our top quality maxi plug plants are a great way to grab a range of flowers to create a beautiful summer display for bargain prices.

In this blog post, we will be sharing our maxi plug planting guide, from plug sizes to our planting tips, that will fill your garden with beauty this summer.

What Size are Maxi Plugs?

Height: 6-9cm from base of plug to the top of the foliage.

Width: 2.2 cm at the top of the plug.

Quantity in tray: Available in 33,66 or 132 trays.

Where Can I Plant Them?

Available in an amazing array of varieties, maxi plugs make the perfect partners for pots, containers, borders or window displays. Our Lavender plants are perfect for growing fragrant pots for the patio or why not try planting a carpet of Verbena for a vibrant border.

How Do I Plant Maxi Plugs?

Learn how to get the best from Maxi plug plants with our step-by-step planting guide:

  1. On arrival, give them a little water (if required) and light and they will be ready to plant within 48 hours.
  2. Pot up the plugs for a number of weeks (minimum of two-three).
  3. Once the roots become established, plant out into final position ( Only plant outside when all risk of frost has passed).
  4. Water regularly and make sure soil does not become too dry.
  5. Cut back in spring when new shoots emerge from the base of the plant

7 Ways to Make the Most of Small Spaces

Struggling what to do with your small outdoor space? You don’t need to have a big, expansive garden to grow something spectacular. Update any compact area with these tips on how to make the most of any space.

1. TEXTURE TACTICS

Textured plants can create the illusion of depth and distance. Bold-leaved plants, such as Hostas, Cannas or Elephant’s Ears, draw the eye. Position finer leaves in the background and coarse ones in front, to create the impression that the space is deeper than it actually is. This trick works particularly well in shallow, sloping gardens.

We recommend:

Hosta ‘Summer Fragrance’
Canna ‘Durban’

2. GROWN YOUR OWN

Make the most of even the tiniest patch and you’ll be surprised at how many of your own fruit and vegetables you can grow. Especially in urban gardens, where there is limited outdoor space, transform a balcony, patio or garden patch into an edible haven. Patio trees, compact plants or planting in raised beds are a great way to make the most out of limited space.

We recommend:

Apple ‘Elstar’
Cherry ‘Sylvia’

3. FILL IT WITH FRAGRANCE

Scented plants are the perfect way to bring any space to life and that is only intensified in a smaller garden. Discover fragrant plants with different seasons of fragrance to provide scent all year, and grow them near the door or paths for best effect. Plant pots where you can enjoy their scent, either next to a bench or around a patio, and squeeze plants that release their scent when crushed, such as Thyme, into gaps in paths.

We recommend:

Lavender ‘Munstead’
Buddleia ‘Sugar Plum’

4. PLAY AROUND WITH POTTED PLANTS 

Pots, tubs, and barrels overflowing with flowers add appeal to any garden, big or small. Plants lend instant colour and provide a focal point in the garden. Their versatility means you can place them on the ground, on a pedestal, mount them on a windowsill, or hang them from your porch; the possibilities are endless!

We recommend:

Hydrangea ‘Runaway Bride’
Lily ‘Majestic Joy’

5. GET CREATIVE WITH SHELVES AND HOOKS 

Vertical gardening is a great space-saving style of gardening. Instead of cluttering a compact floor space with plants, why not build garden shelves and create colourful floral walls. Window boxes and hanging baskets offer even more ways to add instant colour and appeal.

We recommend:

Surfinia ‘Trailing Mixed’
Bacopa ‘Topia Mixed’

6. USE DIFFERENT LEVELS

Placing plants at different heights help to broaden the view of the garden and can help break it up smaller areas, giving the impression that the space is bigger than it really is.

We recommend:

Festuca Grass Collection
Helenium Collection

7. HIDE BOUNDARIES FOR MORE SPACE

To open up a small space, hide boundaries with evergreen hedges, trees or climbers. They soften unsightly features and create a super environment for wildlife.

We recommend:

Star Jasmine
Clematis ‘Mayleen’

Summer Garden Essentials

With Spring upon us and summer on the way, plan a spectacular garden with our list of essential summer garden plants. From colourful, pollinator-friendly blooms to gorgeous leafy foliage plants, discover our top choices for transforming any space into a nature haven in the summertime.

Essential Container Plants

Container plants are so versatile, add a flash of colour to patios, create a focal point in the garden and they’re perfect for smaller spaces; the possibilities are endless. Here are our favourite compact plants for summer pots:

Geraniums

Noted for their fragrant, bright flowers, Geraniums have become increasingly popular in the summer garden. Versatile and long-flowering, our Patio Geraniums are perfect for summer pots.

Dahlias

With a rich assortment of flower colours, shapes and sizes, along with their amazing bloom time, are what makes Dahlias a staple of the summer garden. Our Dwarf Dahlia range are ideal for patio pots or the front of the border.

Hydrangeas

Hydrangeas in pots and containers bring a burst of elegant beauty to any corner of the garden. Their compact floral clusters make an impressive display in containers.

Essential Border Plants

Planning a border is one of the most exciting aspects of gardening, where you can truly let your creativity flow. We’ve selected our favourites plants that are guaranteed to add colour, texture and character to the summer border.

Hostas

Create a border full of natural beauty with Hostas. These amazing perennials are easy to grow and are perfect for shaded borders.

Petunias

One of the most popular and easy to grow summer bedding plants. These prolific bloomers are superb way of introducing fun and bright colours to your beds and borders.

Carex

These evergreen grasses bring height and texture to the border. These easy to care for plants are great for softening harsh landscapes and adding a contrast against summer blooms.

Essential Basket Plants

Hanging baskets, with their colourful flowers and lush plants, add an extra dimension to houses, patios and garden walls. From bringing bees and butterflies flocking to the garden, to adding a burst of colour for small spaces, here are our top hanging basket varieties.

Fuchsias

Blooming non-stop from early summer to autumn, Fuchsias are great for attracting pollinators and look amazing in baskets. With a colourful assortment of shades and sizes to choose from, the options are endless.

Begonias

A traditional garden favourite. Trailing Begonias will give endless months of bright colour and look especially eye-catching in hanging baskets. Easy to grow and long-flowering bloomers.

Million Bells

Fill your summer garden with the cascading blooms of beautiful Million Bells. With a rainbow of colours to choose from, add a dose of vibrancy to the summer garden with these prolific-flowering plants.

Beginner’s Guide to Starting a Garden

Starting a garden is one of the most rewarding things one can do and anyone do it. From creating a cut flower garden, growing your own sustainable veg patch or planting an amazing border display, getting your hands dirty in the garden has so many benefits, but it can be difficult to know where to start.

Here are our 7 easy steps to guide you through the process of starting your own garden!

1. Make a Plan

First things first, what do you want to grow? A vegetable garden? An herb garden? A flower garden? All of the above? All are great choices but have different maintenance requirements. I’d recommend for all beginners to start small until you know what you’re getting into.

2. Pick the Perfect Spot

Your garden location, soil type, amount of sun exposure and access to water will play a big part in what plants you’ll be able to grow. Most plants, vegetables and fruit thrive in sunny spots but if you garden is shaded for most of the day, there are still plenty of plants (Hostas, Heucheras, Grasses) that can thrive in the shade. Go outside and study your outdoor space, learn about your soil type, and then research which plants would be the best fit.

3. Start the Ground Work

Get rid of the top layer covering the area you plan to plant. If you want quick results (e.g., it’s already spring and you want veggies this summer), cut it out. With a spade, cut the ground into sections to make it easier to remove, then put it on your compost pile to decompose. Now, you have your planting area ready to go!

4. Choose Your Plants

Choose your shopping style. Some gardeners like studying plant catalogues to create their shopping list, others head to the garden centre to select their plants, or you can simply shop online. The key planting seasons are Spring and Autumn, so choose your plants according to their planting times. Summer-flowering bulbs/plants should be planted in the Spring (Dahlias, Begonias, Roses) and Spring-flowering bulbs/plants should be planted in the Autumn (Tulips, Daffodils, Crocus).

5. Hydration is Key

Close care and attention is essential for young plants. Once plants establish a strong root system in the ground (usually a few weeks after planting), they tend to be less needy. After that, how often you need to water depends on your soil, humidity, and rainfall; although once a week is a good place to start.

6. Mulch for Protection

Mulching is life-saving for gardeners. Mulching your plants helps them retain moisture and keep weeds at bay. Cover the soil with a couple of inches of mulch after planting and you won’t have to water as often. Also, by preventing sunlight from hitting the soil, you’ll prevent weeds from forming in your soil.

  • For annuals: Choose a mulch that decomposes in a few months.
  • For perennials: Use a longer-lasting mulch such as bark chips.

7. Care, Grow and Enjoy!

Now that all the planting is done, now is the time to care for your garden and watch it grow.

Don’t forget to keep up with common garden jobs such as:

  • Watering plants regularly. 
  • Pull out any weeds.
  • Prune dead blooms, or leggy growth on plants/shrubs.
  • Remove garden pests (e.g. Aphids) by picking them off the plant, hosing them off with water, or spraying on an insecticidal soap.
  • Support tall plants (e.g., tomatoes) with a trellis, stake or pergola.

Why Gardening is Great for Your Wellbeing

“Flowers always make people better, happier, and more helpful; they are sunshine, food and medicine for the soul.”

Luther Burbank

According to the World Health Organisation, good health means more than just the absence of bad health symptoms. It means the presence of positive emotions, quality of life, sense of community and happiness. Research has shown many times that gardening is good for our mental and physical health. With GPs now even prescribing gardening to patients with depression and anxiety, here’s how our gardens are special spaces with many restorative qualities and benefits.

Gardening Connects Us with Nature

“Embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.” Albert Einstein

Nature has long been recognised for its relaxing qualities as a place for humans to find tranquillity and healing. Recreating nature around our home is a savvy way to develop that special bond with our environment. Surround yourself and your family with cheer everyday by planting an array of pollinator-friendly trees, bushes, and flowers to attract of bees, butterflies and everything in between to your garden.

Gardening Brings Responsibility

“Remember that children, marriages, and flower gardens reflect the kind of care they get.” – H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

A person who can grow things is a person a little more in tune with the earth. Gardening is also a great way of caring for something; sometimes just the satisfaction of keeping a plant alive, and the responsibility that comes with it, is enough to give us a sense of purpose and pride. They are places where our efforts result in a real sense of achievement, boosting confidence and self-esteem.

Gardening is Great Exercise

“The key to happy living is that Mind should be at rest and body must be exercised and active.” – Hiyamedia

The health benefits of gardening are impressive. Gardening uses all the major muscle groups – the legs, shoulders, stomach, arms, neck, and back all get a workout. Gardening also increases flexibility and strengthens joints. Recent research indicates that 30 minutes daily of moderate exercise such as gardening lowers blood pressure and cholesterol levels, helps prevent diabetes and heart disease, and prevents or slows osteoporosis. You may even live longer. It’s all good news for gardeners!

Gardening is Therapeutic

“I like gardening — it’s a place where I find myself when I need to lose myself.” – Alice Sebold

Even the simplest things can brighten our mood, as soil has been found to have similar effects on the brain as antidepressants to lift mood. A study by the University of Bristol and colleagues at University College London found that the ‘friendly’ bacteria normally found in soil, altered their behaviour in a similar way to that produced by an antidepressant. Simply planting up some potted Dahlias or a watering a hanging basket can have a huge impact on your stress levels, helping to stave off anxiety, slash depression risk, boost productivity and ease insomnia.

Happy gardening this spring planting season!

beautiful, flowers, and gif image

Garden Gifts for Mother’s Day

With March 22nd just around the corner, instead of purchasing the usual prearranged bouquet from your florist, why not try these thoughtful alternatives? From symbolic flowers to crafty creations, check out our gift guide to find the ideal Mother’s Day gifts for the mum who loves to get out in the garden.

Symbolic Gifts

For centuries, flowers have been gifted as symbols of specific feelings, thoughts and memories. So instead of your standard floral bunch, why not gift something that your mother can grow, love and enjoy for years?

Peonies

A popular choice for summer gardens. The pretty Peony is often seen as a symbol of beauty in all forms, so what better flower is there to tell your mum just how beautiful she is?

We recommend…

Day Lilies (Hemerocallis)

Big, bold and bright. The Day Lily is a flower that symbolises motherhood. These beautiful, vibrant blooms are the perfect treat for your mum to enjoy in the summer garden.

We recommend…

Roses

Show your mum how much you love her this Mother’s Day by sending her a stunning Rose bush to grow at home. Pink roses are often given as a symbol of gratitude and appreciation and yellow shades of Roses are gifted to express joy.

We recommend…

Gladioli

A classic summer perennial. These wonderful flowers are easy to grow and make stunning cut flowers for your mum to showcase around her home. Symbolising strength, these striking flowers send a strong message of support and love to the person you are gifting this flower to.

We recommend…

Get Crafty

The time and love that goes into creating a homemade present shows nothing but care and admiration. Whether your 2 or 42, here are some crafty Mother’s Day creations to brighten her day!

Fresh picked Spring flowers

With Spring underway, Daffodils, Crocus and Snowdrops are now coming into bloom. So to add a personal touch this Mother’s Day, why not head into the garden and pick a spring bouquet?

Bookmarks with a natural twist

Pressing leaves and flowers to create art is a fun and easy craft for adults as well as children. If you’re feeling crafty, why not use fresh flowers and foliage to diy a personalised bookmark? The perfect present for all the bookworms in your life.

DIY Bird Feeders

A wonderful wildlife-friendly project is the perfect creative gift for any wildlife-lover. This teacup feeder is a great elegant choice that simply requires a tea set, superglue and some rope – simple!

Beautiful Summer Flower Companions

Are you in search of long-flowering, easy to grow flowers to add a burst of energy to your summer gardens? With Spring just a few weeks away, it’s time to get your summer bulb lists together in time for the spring planting season. With just a little planning, you can assemble a collection of summer flowers to bring joy and colour to your beds and borders.

To help you in your summer bulb quest, we’ve done all the hard work for you and put together a useful list of summer bulb companions to inspire you and your gardens:

Crocosmia and Agapanthus

A beautifully bold pairing. These glowing perennials combine vibrant shades and shapes of flowerheads to create a spectacular effect in borders. As an added bonus, most of these two wonderful varieties are drought tolerant too!

Crocosmia ‘Sunglow’
Agapanthus ‘Back in Black’

Echinacea and Rudbeckia

A colourful and easy to grow pairing. These wildlife-loving partners are perfect for livening up any garden with bees and butterflies in the peak of summer. These low maintenance flowers are perfect for beds and borders.

Echinacea ‘Hot Papaya’
Rudbeckia ‘Little Goldstar’

Salvia and Verbena

Plant a mix of these perennials and welcome to your very own wildlife haven. Both varieties are easy to grow, low maintenance and drought tolerant, what more could you want in the summer garden?

Salvia ‘Gigantimo Bluestripe’
Verbena ‘Pink Spires’

Dahlias and Hemerocallis

Inject a dose of colourful drama into the summer garden with these bold bloomers. Even though both varieties are eye-catching on their own, together they are a real burst of joy in the border.

Dahlia ‘Great Silence’
Hemerocallis ‘Double Dream’

Monarda and Geraniums

A fantastic plant combination for a long lasting display. These plants grow harmoniously together in soft pink and purple shades to add a fresh colour palette to borders and containers. Most of these perennials are top performers and some are award winners too!

Monarda ‘Blaustrumpf’
Geranium ‘Rozanne’

🎉🌹🏆 Check out our Latest Competitions & Giveaways 🎉🌹🏆

Spring Photo Competition 2020: Enter to WIN £100

Back by popular demand!

Our annual Spring Photography Competition is back for 2020 with another chance to win up to £100 worth of J Parker’s vouchers.

The competition is simple. All you have to do is take photos of your #JParkersBulbs spring-flowering bulbs in your garden this spring, and send them in online to be in for a chance to win.

Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about our latest competition:

This year, we have 10 amazing prizes up for grabs. Here is the prize list for our 2020 winners:

🏆 1st Place – £100 J.Parker’s Voucher

🥈 2nd Place – £75 J.Parker’s Voucher

🥉 3rd Place – £50 J.Parker’s Voucher

🏅 Runner Up Prizes – 7 winners of x £25 J.Parker’s Vouchers

All entrants will also recieve a 15% discount for online orders when you enter, which will be valid until the end of June 2020!

For a chance to win, simply send us your best spring-flowering bulb photos (J.Parker’s products only) via these channels:

FACEBOOK – Post your entries on our page for a chance to win!

TWITTER – Tag us in your photos with the hashtag #springcompetition

INSTAGRAM – Tag us in your photos with the hashtag #springcompetition

Or EMAIL us at competition@jparkers.co.uk (Entry must be under 5mb – please include your name and postcode)

Competition closes on the 19th June 2020.

To get your discount code, simply send in your photo entries and we will contact you with your discount (via private message on social or via email).

  • If you are entering by email, you should receive your discount code within 48 hours.
  • If you have entered on one of our social media channels, please note we can only share our code via private message.

Please note that we do expect a high volume of entrants, so if you haven’t received your discount code after 48 hours, please email us at competition@jparkers.co.uk with your entry to request a code.

Please note that entries sent in over the weekend will receive their codes on Monday.

Your image can be of any spring-flowering bulb, so long as it’s your own original image of a J.Parkers variety. Whether you’re growing Daffodils, Tulips, Hyacinth, Iris, or Muscari, we want to see your photos.

Check out last year’s prize winning photos:

2019 1st Place Winner
Isabelle C - Crocus
« 1 of 10 »

Terms and Conditions for our 2019 Photo Competition include;

  • We will view all entries and any which meet the criteria outlined below will be considered for the top prize of a £100 J. Parker’s voucher, plus our additional prizes of £75, £50 and 7x £25 vouchers.
  • All entries using photographs must be original images, taken/produced by the entrant. You must own all rights to the image and in entering the competition you agree to allow us to use your image in further promotions, on social media or in print.
  • Entrants agree that their names may or may not be published with their entry. No other details will be shared with any third parties.
  • The winning entry will be judged on both the quality of the plant and the image. The Judge’s decision is final.
  • Ten winners will receive either a £100 (1), £75 (1), £50 (1) or £25 (7) voucher to spend on any products currently offered by J. Parker’s. This cannot be exchanged for cash and there is no substitution for this prize.
  • All spring bulb varieties will be considered, but only those purchased from J. Parker’s will qualify for the competition prizes.
  • Send your entries by email to competition@jparkers.co.uk (email under 5mb) or you can share it with us on our Facebook, Twitter or Instagram pages.
  • As an extra thank you all entries will receive a 15% discount on their next purchase. Enter this at basket stage to claim discount. Discount valid until competition end date (19th June 2020).
  • All entries will be considered, and you can enter as many times as you wish. Competition closes 19th June 2020. Winners will be notified by email before the 17th July 2020.