Decoration, Flowers, Gardening, How To, Planting, Plants, Watering

How to Choose and Care for Bedding Plants

Bedding plants are a wonderful way to add liveliness to your garden and make it your own. They can transform beds with their differing colours, and will help support our precious pollinators. With so many bedding plants to choose from, you may feel unsure of where to begin; read on for all of the advice you need for choosing and caring for your bedding plants.

What is a Bedding Plant?

A bedding plant can be an annual, biennial, or tender perennial, that is planted into a flower bed to build a seasonal arrangement. After a bedding plant’s season of interest has ended, they will likely be replaced by another plant, and put away or discarded. 

Bedding plants will happily grow in hanging baskets, pots, and raised beds. They are therefore suitable for all forms of outdoor space, ranging from a small balcony, to vast grounds.  

How do I Choose the Right Bedding Plant?

Before identifying the best bedding plants for your garden, pay close attention to your chosen location, and perhaps ask the following questions: 

  • How many hours of direct sun does the location receive per day?
  • Are there deciduous trees that might limit sunlight come spring?
  • What is the state of the soil? Is it damp? Are there lots of stones?

Our guide below will help you decide what degree of shade your location receives:

Preparing your Soil

If you are planting into your garden’s beds, carefully rake through the soil to remove stones and large clods. This will make sure that evaporation isn’t prevented, and a good amount of moisture is kept.

Whether you are planting in pots, raised beds, baskets, or directly into a flower bed, you should always opt for multi-purpose compost. Multi-purpose compost will form a nutrient rich environment for a range of bedding plants, and will also absorb and retain moisture.

What Colours Should I Choose?

Before deciding which colour scheme to embrace, consider how intricate you want your display to be. Mostly done professionally, carpet bedding requires a large range of shades to be planted closely together, however, a simple hanging basket will look beautiful with as little as one variety. For a flower bed, we recommend that you choose four varieties for each season.

Cool Colour Schemes

How to Choose and Care for Bedding Plants

If you wish to evoke a tranquil atmosphere, light blue, lilac, pastel yellow, and white are excellent for doing so. Paler Petunia varieties, such as ‘Blue Vein’ or ‘Beautiful French Vanilla’, can feature subtle, darker markings, which can help break up your colour scheme, without drawing focus away from other plants.

Warm Colour Schemes

How to Choose and Care for Bedding Plants

For a bold colour scheme, choose shades that lie opposite to one another on the colour wheel. Possible pairings include purple and yellow, red and green, and blue and orange. Presenting trailing, funnel-shaped blooms, Surfinias are available in an array of colours, so will make an unfailing choice for your garden.

Should I Buy Plug Plants or Seeds?

Seeds and plug plants each come with their positives and negatives. Seeds can be considerably cheaper than plug plants, yet they are harder to grow. They require more time and care, and unfortunately germination isn’t guaranteed. 

Unlike seeds, plug plants can be expensive; this particularly applies to larger plants, as their roots are more established. However, plug plants can fill a flower bed with pretty blooms within a matter of weeks; making them a convenient option. 

How do I Grow Bedding Plants from Seed?

To successfully grow bedding plants from seed, you will need 10cm pots, peat-free compost, bedding seeds of your choosing, and vermiculite or finely sieved compost.

  • Fill each pot with your compost, and delicately pat it down.
  • Sow your seeds over the compost, ensuring that they are distanced equally. 
  • Apply a layer of finely sieved compost or vermiculite. This will provide gentle cover for your seeds.
  • Label your pots so you can cater to any unique requirements that a variety might have. 
  • Once each pot has had a nourishing drink, place them into a heated propagator to allow germination.
  • When seedlings have developed, prick out those of the largest size, and re-plant into individual containers.

How do I Grow Potted Bedding Plants?

If the risk of frost has passed, larger plugs can be planted straight into your garden. To ensure continued growing, smaller plug plants should be re-planted into containers or pots. For this you will need a pencil, multi-purpose compost, perlite, a dibber, and 7- 8cm pots. 

  • To remove your bedding plants from their containers, carefully push them upwards from their base with a pencil.
  • Fill 7 – 8cm pots with a mix of multi-purpose compost and perlite.
  • Employing a dibber, make a hole in each pot that slightly exceeds the size of your plants.
  • Taking great care, tease out your plants’ roots, and then place them into their holes.

How do I Care for my Bedding Plants?

  • Watering: If your bedding plants are in pots or baskets, they will benefit from daily watering. Even on a rainy day, this advice still applies; a bedding plant’s foliage can provide impressive shelter. For flower beds, a weekly drink will be sufficient. 
  • Deadheading: Any flowers that appear spent should be removed from their base. This will stop your plant from wasting energy by producing seeds. 
  • Flower feed: Supplement one watering a week with a potassium-rich feed. Most composts contain a finite amount of food, so we recommend that you start using feed a month after they were planted out. 
Decoration, Decorative Features, Garden Design, Garden Furniture, Gardens, Outdoor Living, Scott

Is your garden a space you haven’t had the time to really enjoy before? Perhaps this is the first time you’re wondering how to make outdoor space work for you and your family. Below we have a basic guide to garden furniture for anyone looking to get started with creating a living space outside for the first time.

Finding A Use For Space

The first thing to think about is how your space will be used. Don’t be put off by thinking your garden is too small.  A lot can be done to make a nice spot to relax, dine, play or grow. If you want to be eating outside with the family, for example, invest in a good dining set and some cover like a gazebo or parasol. If space is limited maybe consider a bistro set? You could be enjoying breakfast and coffee surrounded by plants taking in the morning sun; a good start to the day for most of us!

Garden Furniture

Bigger gardens can have multiple functions sitting alongside one another. For smaller spaces, it’s best to pick one main function and create your design around this. Start with the primary function of the space and invest in something that will deliver just that.

Details That Make It Your Own

Look at the rooms that fill your home. What are your favourite things about them? What bits spark happy memories or facilitate something you love doing? Is it a comfy chair in the corner of the living room where you love to settle down with a book? Maybe the crate full of games you dive into with the kids each weekend? Or the kitchen table where you serve up dishes to family and friends?

Garden furniture

Think about the items of furniture which allow these moments of happiness and how they can translate outside. You could create a reading nook for warm summer evenings filled with weather-resistant cushions, or a play area dedicated to mayhem filled games with the kids, or maybe a fire pit where you can take your cooking in new directions. Find the items that will transform your outdoor space into an extension of your home.

Decorative Flair

Final aesthetic details can really make a space feel special and this doesn’t need to be anything expensive. A simple set of solar-powered fairy lights are cheap, hassle-free and can add a new layer of interest. So when looking for accessories for your outdoors try to keep in mind the temperamental weather and shop for items that are weather resistant. Items that can stay outside year-round or quickly packed away are ideal and will make life outside that much easier.

Garden furniture

There are so many things you can add to help inject your personality into your space and make it special to your purpose. Mirrors, lights, wall art, water features, screening and garden ornaments are all things you can consider when setting up outdoor space. When picking anything out, think back to the original function you identified and think about how this accessory elevates that experience.

I hope this quick guide has got you thinking about your outdoor space. Continue to explore the blog for more resources on getting the most from your outdoor space.

Scott at PrimroseScott Roberts is a copywriter currently making content for the Primrose site and blog. When at his desk he’s thinking of new ways to describe a garden bench. Away from his desk he’s either looking at photos of dogs or worrying about the environment. He does nothing else, just those two things.

See all of Scott’s posts.

 

Decoration, Flowers, Garden Design, Gardening, Gardening & Landscaping, Gardens, How To, Indoor, Indoor Plants, Mothers' Day, Plants, RHS

The Best Climbing Plants to Grow in Pots

The use of climbing plants within both your garden and home can forge stunning depth, create floral interest, and even conceal unsightly fences and walls. Climbers are additionally commended for their ability to attract and accommodate wildlife, whether they are nesting birds, butterflies, or bees. 

The use of pots in growing climbing plants is often fundamental, particularly if you are seeking to adorn your patio, terrace, or balcony space. Pots will further enable you to retain greater control over the soil pH, drainage, and positioning that your climbing plants will receive. A garden with soil that is rich in fine clay particles will likely experience poor drainage, nevertheless, planting climbers into pots will mitigate these risks and ensure hospitable growing conditions. 

Within this post, we will detail five climbing plants considered most suited to being grown in pots. This post has been structured to reflect differing gardens, and possible themes that you may wish to evoke; covering the cottage garden, the urban garden, the simplistic garden, the creation of interesting arches, and concluding with how climbing plants can be utilised indoors. 

The Cottage Garden

The Best Climbing Plants to Grow in Pots

Within the traditional cottage garden, you can expect to see lupins, dianthus, delphiniums, lavender, and campanula, to name a few examples. Nevertheless, a rose’s abundance of large, scented petals that are so neatly tied together will always offer a classically graceful feel. Aside from this variety’s monumentally beautiful appearance, this ‘Giardina‘ climber rose will happily grow in pots; ideally on a sunny patio adorning the front of your home, or arranged around an archway. 

A pretty modern climbing rose, this variety will bear large, pale-pink blooms with delicate petals that increase in vibrancy towards the centre of each flower. Repeat flowering, this rose will display stunning blooms from Summer through to Autumn; gracing your garden with a long-lasting display. Each flower will boast a fresh scent with delicate floral undertones, and will make a stunning cut flower, which will keep for a generous period of time when placed into a vase.

The Best Climbing Plants to Grow in Pots

With Mother’s Day merely a matter of weeks away, this rose variety would prove a wonderfully sentimental gift, that can be appreciated year after year. It can be ordered here

The Urban Garden

The Best Climbing Plants to Grow in Pots

Whether they are  located in London, Bristol, or Manchester, it will never be unusual for urban homes to have smaller-sized gardens, and, when paired with residents who may lead busier lives, ensuring an interesting, flourishing garden can entail an inconvenient compromise on time. 

A climbing plant considered low-maintenance, visually-impactful, and suited to pots, consists of our jasmine climber (Trachelospermum jasminoides).  This jasmine plant will grace your outdoor space with delicate, luminous-white blooms that will release a beautifully sweet and relaxing scent. The shape of each flower somewhat resembles that of a wind spinner, which will form enchanting silhouettes within your garden. Accompanying these blooms is glossy green foliage, which will evolve into a bronze shade during Winter, and as such, you can enjoy elegant seasonal displays with very minimal effort.

The Best Climbing Plants to Grow in Pots

This jasmine plant can be ordered here. 

The Simplistic Garden

The Best Climbing Plants to Grow in Pots

Making floral additions to your garden can necessitate plenty of thinking, specifically, ‘will this work with my other plants?’. If you also live with those who have tastes that differ to your own, you may ponder even more. This is often why a simplistic approach is so convenient. For this theme, we have selected a climbing plant that we believe will satisfy every possible taste.

Clematis is often the first climbing plant that will spring to a gardener’s mind when considering container or pot growing. Even when planted into a very small pot, clematis plants will provide a magnificent flowering display- with the colder months included.  

The Best Climbing Plants to Grow in Pots

This ‘Miss Bateman’ variety of clematis will produce a rosette of large, oval-shaped petals in a crisp-white shade, contrasting beautifully against a delicate yellow and maroon centre. Vigorously-growing, this plant will flower in Summer, and again in early Autumn. They can be ordered through this link

Forming Interesting Arches

The Best Climbing Plants to Grow in Pots

Aside from adding charming structure to your garden, arches are a wonderful means of allowing scents to linger, and varying colours to intersperse with one another. Benefitting from an excellent growing habit, and relishing more sheltered areas, our ‘Blue Passion Flower’ plant is a fitting option for enhancing your garden’s arches or archways.

Displaying maroon, violet and white operculums that delicately rest on large white sepals, passion flowers are arguably one of the most unusually-structured plants around. Hardy, and with a vigorous growing habit, this passion flower will flourish within a pot or container; ideally placed in pairs beside each side of an archway for a subtle, yet highly exotic edge.

The Best Climbing Plants to Grow in Pots

This passion flower plant , which can be ordered here, proudly carries the Royal Horticultural Society’s ‘Award of Garden Merit’; affirming its reliable performance, availability, stable form and colour, good constitution, and resistance to pests and diseases.  

The Use of Indoor Climbing Plants

The Best Climbing Plants for Pots

The use of climbing plants need not be confined to the outdoors; the benefits of accommodating climbing plants within your home do not differ from those of house plants. This monstera plant will absorb harmful gases via its leaves and roots, contributing to a healthier environment for you and your loved ones. Studies have additionally linked the presence of indoor plants to reduced stress, enhanced creativity, and also productivity. Interestingly, the latter benefit has been evidenced by the reaction time of employees increasing by 12% when in close proximity to house plants.

One of our favourite climbing plants that will happily grow indoors is our ‘Monkey Leaf Monstera’, which features large, oval-shaped leaves that display unusual perforation, resulting in an appearance comparable to Swiss cheese. This plant will arrive bound to a moss pole, enabling it to form interesting shape within your home. 

The Best Climbing Plants to Grow in Pots

This charming Monstera deliciosa can be purchased through the following link

If you wish to know more surrounding the air-purifying abilities of plants, you can find additional information here

Decoration, How To, Indoor Plants, Plants, Sustainable Living

The Importance of Air-Purifying House Plants

We may live in a world that considers itself pioneering in terms of health and wellbeing, however, an increasingly popular tool in ensuring good health has surprisingly been present for over 3,000 years. This consists of the house plant; commonly recognised as a plant that will  successfully flourish indoors- particularly in homes and offices. 

Initially adopted by Chinese cultures to pursue gardening interests when the weather became overly harsh, and often used to signify wealth, house plants have been appreciated by humans for thousands of years. Whilst some individuals quite understandably commend house plants for their historical significance,  we have become increasingly conscious of their health benefits. Namely, these are their ability to improve breathing, mitigate the risks of illness, reduce anxiety and blood pressure, enhance productivity, and perhaps most impressively, purify the air within our homes. 

Throughout this post, we will specifically detail how a house plant purifies the air, we will also suggest our favourite ones for doing so, and answer any common questions that you might have. 

A Plant’s Air-Purifying Abilities

The Importance of Air-Purifying House Plants

A house plant will clean the air within your home by absorbing harmful gases through both their leaves and roots. Their soil will additionally neutralise volatile organic compounds (these include the common household pollutants of benzene and formaldehyde). It is these purifying abilities that are utilised most profoundly in phytoremediation; a process where plants will remove, contain, or destroy environmental contaminants. This process isn’t merely applicable to air, but additionally to polluted water and soil.

Both benzene and formaldehyde are volatile organic compounds that are prevalent within the home. Benzene can be found in certain plastics, pesticides and cigarette smoke, and formaldehyde can be present within cosmetics and various cleaning products. To help ensure a safe and healthy environment for you and your loved ones, we have detailed three house plants deemed excellent in removing these harmful pollutants from the air. 

Air-Purifying House Plants: Our Three Favourites

The Importance of Air-Purifying House Plants

Peace Lily: The perfect means of adding a simplistic, graceful touch to your home, a Peace Lily is an esteemed air purifier. Also referred to as Spathiphyllums, Peace Lilies will successfully remove carbon monoxide, benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, and xylene. 

The Importance of Air-Purifying House Plants

 Spider Plant: Valued for removing both formaldehyde and benzene from the air around us, a Spider Plant will also prove a low-maintenance option for your home. Importantly, it has been evidenced by NASA that a Spider Plant can remove approximately 90% of formaldehyde nearby. If you wish to order one of these wonderful Spider Plants, they can be found here

The Importance of Air-Purifying House Plants

Boston Fern: Displaying charmingly disheveled foliage, a Boston Fern is another wonderful house plant for reducing the pollutants within your home. To ensure that your fern flourishes, we encourage you to keep it away from direct sunlight, and to water frequently. 

Commonly Asked Questions

My home doesn’t experience much light, is there still an air-purifying house plant for me?

There certainly exists a perfect air-purifying house plant for every home and environment. We advise that the most suitable house plants for areas experiencing low-light are Devil’s Ivy, Maidenhair Ferns, Leopard Lilies, and Lucky Bamboos.

I have a cat and a dog, can I still have an air-purifying house plant in my home?

Again, both the Spider Plant and Boston Fern consist of air-purifying house plants believed harmless for cats and dogs (other animal-friendly house plants are Orchids and Peperomias). Nevertheless, to prevent your beloved pets from chewing or playing with your plants, we advise you to place them in windows, or towards the top of a shelf. 

What is the best air-purifying house plant for the bedroom?

The addition of a house plant within your bedroom is an excellent way to create a peaceful, yet also lively sanctuary. A rubber plant is great for adding interest and structure to an emptier room, whilst a ‘Million Flowers’ Anthurium will add a colourful touch to your bedroom’s window sill.