Good stuff for your garden for January...

For Hedges, Edges, Pots...

For the half of Manchester, chuffed at a runaway Premiership Title, Munstead is the light blue lavender to choose. For the rest of us football fans, the blue we feel is more Hidcote. The flush of shame at not having done better is Rosea and as a result, next season we would like to start with a clean sheet (as in Alba).

So much for the lavender punning - this is the month to have it planted for a cracking show from June onwards. Not sure what to do - read our advice here.

Stop! Enough Planting!

... for this spring anyway. The month of May heralds the end of the bareroot season. Our cold store will let us keep hedging in good condition for a few more weeks yet, but all good things must come to an end, so the last date for bareroot orders this year will be May 2nd (Wednesday midnight). We should be able to deliver any orders placed this week by the end of next week. Plant them as normal, water them well and watch them grow away.


Help a Climber

Climbing plants can't really... climb without some companionship. Even if it is a taciturn old fence.

Although good at covering eyesores, they come into their own grown into a host. Smaller climbers can be used either to create a mixed flowering effect or to “lengthen “ the period in which a shrub is attractive. For example, Clematis Polish Spirit is perfect grown through a Magnolia stellata while Niobe will decorate any Viburnum or Weigela.

Try them in climbing roses, fruit trees, you name it. Be brave - put a wisteria to climb into an old oak - it will transform it in May.

Julian's Top Tip - Relax

It has been a cold spring. Many plants are late into growth and if you are not used to planting bareroot stock, panic can set in about now.

Don't let it. When transplanted, plants take time to get going after a cold snap. They need to get a few fresh roots into the surrounding soil and start pumping moisture and food before you see much action.

Evergreens are even scarier. As a defence, they often drop their leaves to save water while establishing. Just keep watering and give them a few weeks and new leaves will appear!

Tulips lead to Alliums

There will be a tulip obsessed newsletter or two this autumn - we have been wallowing in gorgeous tulips over the last 6-8 weeks and think everyone should do the same next year. But they are going over - a sadness which is...

... saved only by our alliums that will be in full flower later in May. Perfect timing as they fill the gap before roses take over in June and July.

So if you don't have alliums in strategic locations already, make a plan to plant them this autumn so they grace your garden next May. 

Read more about alliums on our blog and then, from next month, choose the ones to plant between August and November from our list...

Planted your Herbs?

Scarborough Fair stopped over 200 years ago but you can bring it back to life as you hum ParsleySage, Rosemary and Thyme to yourself. And while you do, let your thoughts wander to the herbs you will need to plant this month. We have a well-chosen range fit for anywhere from herb pot, to window box to full-blown kitchen garden. Order our herb plugs now for delivery now.

When you get them, pot them on into 9cm pots and plant them into their final positions when they have rooted through. You will get bigger plants faster this way.

And please remember that herbs, like sweet peas, need to be protected from slugs and snails.

Five of the best for May

It gets hard to choose just five at this time of year. May is a kaleidoscope in the plant world and there are a mass of beautiful candidates.

Honourable mentions go to

but these decisions have to be made so why not read about our choices for the five best plants for May on our blog.

Save that Space

By the end of May, the golds and whites of early spring flowering bulbs will be fading in your mind's eye. You should also have dead-headed them last month (not too late if you forgot).

Anyway, this is the best month to put a few bamboo canes in the ground in places where there were no bulbs this spring and where you would like colour next spring. Mark the spots now and order your bulbs from our increased range - available online from June onwards - for delivery from August.

May jobs

Well - April showers bring on May flowers. Time to begin to enjoy the miracle that is a British garden in late spring and early summer. Nothing to beat it. But, of course, there are jobs to do. Aren't there always? So here is the list of jobs for those moments when you can tear yourself away from just admiring...

Read more

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