Bulbs, Flowers, Gardening, Planting, Plants, Scott

There are a wide range of plants for spring that you can sow now in April. Read our quick guide below to some staple planting options for your garden.  

Pond Plants

Pond Plants

With the weather beginning to warm now is a great time to introduce plants to your pond. The warmer temperatures will give them plenty of time to establish. Try not to delay too much between purchasing and planting these as drying them out can be damaging. Plant into mesh containers and fill with aquatic compost before submerging. Be sure to include some oxygenating plants like Hornwort to help keep the water clear.

Perennials

Spring Plants - Digitalis

Getting plants into your garden beds now will ensure you have a beautiful display come summer. Plants like Digitalis or Campanula are perfect plants for spring and for adding colour to your garden whilst also being a great source of pollen for bees and butterflies. Water new plants regularly to help them get established and give an extra helping hand with occasional top-ups of organic compost or well-rotted manure. 

Summer bulbs

Spring Plants - Dahlia

Dahlias, Gladioli and Peonies are all perfect summer bulbs for getting in the ground now in preparation for summer. Make sure they get a sunny position in the garden with some well-drained soil. Planting across a number of weeks will give your garden a procession of flowers emerging one after the other so you can enjoy continuous colour outside for the season. 

Climbers

Clematis

Climbing plants are a great way to update a space and bring new life to areas of your garden. They can be used to cover trellis or pergolas in characterful blooms or serve a practical purpose of transforming unsightly walls or buildings. They’re also a great asset for smaller gardens where space is a premium and growing vertically make the most use of available space. Plants such as clematis, honeysuckle and Ipomoea are all great varieties to try sowing.   

Nicotiana 

One of the best ways to step up your garden game is to plant for all of the senses. You don’t want to limit the enjoyment of your garden to just what you see – think about your other senses, in particular, what you can smell. Nicotiana has a delightful fragrance that is very enjoyable on summer evenings. Plant these in March and April to enjoy when summer rolls around. 

Poppies

Spring Plants - Poppies

Instantly recognisable with luscious scent and colour, poppies will always bring delight to your garden. They can be sown from March to May in time for blooms in summer and autumn – a great plant for creating lasting colour with variations of interest. 

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.

 

Birds, Bulbs, Flowers, Gardening, Gardening Year, Gardens, Grow Your Own, Planting, Plants, Scott, Wildlife

With Spring truly on its way now and the clocks going forward, there’s plenty to be doing in the garden. March gardening is all about setting yourself up for the return of warmer days. With a little preparation, you’ll have an outdoor space filled with colourful blooms and happy wildlife. This is an important month for wildlife when insects start becoming more abundant, birds begin working on their nests and smaller mammals come out of their winter hibernation.    

march garden

General

  • Mulch to protect soil: bare soil is in a vulnerable state as it’s coming out of frosty weather and heading into drier, warmer days. This means water will start evaporating from the soil; to ensure that doesn’t happen too much, a good layer of organic mulch can keep water in and also help stop the growth of unwanted weeds.  
  • Begin mowing the lawn: grass will now start growing more steadily. A lawn will stay greener the less you take from it each time you mow so little and often is ideal this time of year. 
  • Plan your summer planting: start thinking ahead to summer and begin planting your summer flowering bulbs.
  • Protect plants from pests: warmer weather means more pests will be coming into the garden. Try to stick to natural pesticides where possible and if chemicals are required be sure to use it late in the day when the majority of beneficial insects will have made themselves scarce. 

garden mulch

Plants

  • Plant summer bulbs: you may be enjoying some colour from spring bulbs but now is a great time to think about summer planting. Plan out your arrangments now to ensure you get the full benefit of their colours come summer. 
  • Plant in containers: lots of plants can successfully be grown in containers; a great option for when space is limited to perhaps just a balcony or patio area. Hardy plants like roses can be an excellent choice for providing dramatic colour without taking up lots of space. 
  • Relocate shrubs: if you want o re-arrange the layout of your garden a little, now is a great time to move evergreen shrubs. The shrub will not have begun taking water from the soil yet so moving it now will give it time to recover and prepare for a good growing season. 
  • Control weeds: use a fork or hoe to get ahead on clearing garden weeds. This can help prevent more serious outbreaks later in the year.

summer flowers

Produce

  • Prepare seedbeds: break down large clumps of soil before raking over to create a ridge effect. Apply an organic fertiliser two weeks before sowing any seeds and your bed will be ready for growing success.  
  • Plant shallots and onions: a perfect grow your own project that can be used in all sorts of dishes. Onions can begin growing in march and finish off in the summer. 
  • Plant early potatoes: seed potatoes can be planted in trenches with an organic fertiliser to get off to the best start.  
  • Sow herbs: hardy herbs like chives, dill, marjoram and coriander are perfect for sowing this time fo year. Plant seeds into drills and pant out when large enough o handle. 

herb garden

Greenhouse

  • Plant summer seeds: you can propagate summer blooms like marigolds in the greenhouse in preparation for warmer days in summer when they can be transplanted outside.
  • Clean the glass: with the warm weather returning you can give the glass a good clean to remove the marks left by winter and maximise the amount of light getting through.
  • Plant summer vegetables: courgettes, cucumbers, squashes and sweetcorn are ideal for planting in the greenhouse ready for transplanting to the outside when the summer warms the garden properly. 

summer saplings

Animals

  • Prepare for hedgehogs: hedgehogs will start coming out of hibernation. Having food and shelter in your garden as well as easy access in and out can make your garden a preferred hedgehog spot. 
  • Feed the birds: this time of year can see a scarcity of wild food for birds who will be working hard to build nests in preparation for chicks. Give them a helping hand by putting out appropriate foods. 
  • Provide a home: butterflies and bees will begin to emerge. Having bug hotels and feeding stations in your garden can make your space a sanctuary for these important pollinators.  
  • Top up birdbaths: make sure the birds in your garden have open access to water for cleaning and drinking. 

hedgehogs

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

Flowers, Jorge, Plants, Trees

bee pollination

Pollination involves the transfer of pollen from one flower to another, resulting in fertilisation. Fertilisation is important as without plants will not produce fruit. It’s likely you don’t need to do anything to ensure pollination, as it’s probable a compatible tree will be in the vicinity. However, it is beneficial to buy a pollination partner to guarantee and improve pollination, boosting yields. 

What is pollination?

Pollination involves the transfer of male reproductive cells from a plant’s male reproductive organ to a plant’s female reproductive organ, in within there are female reproductive cells. The reproductive cells then fuse, forming a new cell, which divides rapidly eventually forming a seed. 

In plants, male reproductive cells are located within pollen cells, which are found on flowers, on the part known as the stamen. The female cells are located within the ovule, found in the ovary, which is part of the carpel. Often, both the male and female reproductive organs are found on the same flower – such flowers are known as perfect flowers – but sometimes they are not. Sometimes, male and female reproductive organs are found on different trees, known as male and female trees.

flower parts

The male reproductive cells must be compatible with female reproductive cells or otherwise fertilisation will be inhibited. Fertilisation can be inhibited if two varieties are too closely related or too distantly related. Some varieties – known as self-fertile plants – can fertilise themselves, while others – known as self-sterile plants – can’t, and therefore need to be partnered with another variety. 

As pollination is sexual reproduction, resultant offspring necessarily contain information from both male and female reproductive cells. Therefore, the seeds of any fruit will be of a different variety than that of the parent. (This is true even in the case of self-fertilisation, because of genetic recombination and Mendel’s law of segregation.)

Most plants, including most fruit trees, rely on insects, primarily bees, to transfer pollen between flowers, but some rely on the wind. 

walnut flowers
The male and female flowers of a walnut. Walnuts rely on the wind for pollination. Picture credit: Dalgial licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

What we are interested in is not fertilisation, but the production of fruit, which unfortunately, most trees will not bear without fertilisation. This is because fleshy fruit develops from the ovary, which encloses the ovules that form seeds.

Do I have to worry about pollination?

If you live in an urban area, it’s probable there will be another compatible tree in the vicinity, and as bees forage for miles, there is a high chance of pollination. If you live in an isolated location, where you can’t be certain of another compatible tree, it might be best to buy a pollination partner.

Now, just because you live in an urban area, it doesn’t mean there is no benefit to buying a pollination partner, which will not only guarantee pollination, but help improve pollination. You can tell if a plant has been poorly pollinated, if it’s fruits are small, misshapen and have few seeds.

Low temperatures impede pollination as frost can damage blossoms, which will fail to turn into fruit. Early flowering stone fruits, such as almonds and apricots, are especially vulnerable, and the former will not reliably crop in the UK. As bees will not forage when it is cold or windy, bad weather impedes pollination also.

fruit trees flowering timeline

As pollination is primarily carried out by bees, it’s necessary that insects can access your flowers. It’s also necessary that two varieties flower in the same period. Hence, why trees are put into flowering groups, with any variety being able to pollinate another in +-1 flowering group. Flowering groups are preferred to specific dates, as plants will flower at different times in different parts of the country. A variety in flowering group 1 will always flower before a variety in flowering group 2.

apple pollination groups

pear pollination groups

cherry pollination groups

Unfortunately, even if a plant is in the same flowering group, it doesn’t mean pollination is guaranteed, due to genetic incompatibility. Cherries are notorious for this, so it’s always best to buy a self-fertile variety. Triploids, such as Bramley, are sterile and are unable to pollinate other species. So, if you want a triploid, it’s necessary to partner with two non-triploid varieties. 

Different species can sometimes pollinate one another. Famously, crabapples can pollinate apples, and are often used as part of an orchard to help with pollination. Ornamental cherries, however, can’t pollinate cherry fruit trees. 

cherry and apple pollination compatibility diagram

Jorge at PrimroseJorge works in the Primrose marketing team. He is an avid reader, although struggles to stick to one topic!

His ideal afternoon would involve a long walk, before settling down for scones.

Jorge is a journeyman gardener with experience in growing crops.

See all of Jorge’s posts.