Category: Spring



Primroses are spring heroes!

We often think of daffodils heralding spring yet it is really the primrose that shows her pretty face first. From early February to late spring you will find primroses brightening up woodlands, banks and gardens, while polyanthus in their wide range of colours from white to crimson also bring a kaleidoscope of colour to our spring days.

Both primroses and polyanthus belong to the Primula family of which the primrose is a native to Great Britain. The name Primula derives from the Latin primus, which means ‘first’ and obviously alludes to Primulas being the first flowers of spring. Many believe there is no difference between the primrose and the polyanthus, when in fact the polyanthus is a marriage between the primrose and the cowslip.


If you did not manage to plant primroses or polyanthus during the autumn, you can buy them now in full bloom to bring instant colour to your beds and borders or to make cheerful pots and planters. These superb plants will withstand the most brutal of spring weather and are happy in either sun or shade with well-drained soil, their only requirement.

Brighten your garden

While our traditional primrose is that lovely delicate yellow, today you can find them in a whole range of colours. Blue is not the first colour you might think of and the first ‘blue’ (it was not a true blue, it was more a violet blue) primrose was raised by G.F. Wilson in his Wisley garden at the end of the 19th century and now there is a wonderful selection of blues including the vibrant Zebra Blue.

If you want to experiment with colours that are slightly different, grow your own from seed. From July, you can sow in an open tray outside in compost. Keep out of the rain but keep moist and plant out in October. Do you know you can eat primroses? Apparently the leaves taste a little like lettuce, so it is little wonder slugs and snails love them! Want to give your garden a little lift of colour this spring? Choose the primrose and polyanthus, they will certainly brighten your garden while we wait patiently for the warmer weather.

Roses are not just for Valentines Day

Roses are not just for Valentines Day

Roses are not just for Valentine’s Day! Valentine’s Day is not the only reason February is a good month to talk about roses. The most loved, the most cherished, the most talked about and probably the most feared flower of the garden, roses mean something to anyone who has a garden.

Origin of the rose

The origin of the rose goes back thousands of years with the debate still raging. Most of the roses we see in our gardens today are Hybrid Teas, which originated from crossing the very popular Hybrid Perpetual in Victorian times. Briefly, the Hybrid Perpetual came into being with the first union between a rose in Europe and the during the early 1800’s. Up until then roses struggled to survive on our cold English soils.

The colours and varieties now available are simply amazing and how can you  the fragrant white petals of the ‘Seagull’ (a great scrambler!)not tempt you? Or the deep blood red blooms of the Hybrid Tea ‘Fragrant Cloud’? Contrary to popular belief roses are not difficult to grow although they do not like being disturbed. So choose your spot wisely and preferably where they will get some sun.

How to Plant

Now is the ideal time for planting if the conditions are right. Your soil needs to be well drained and loamy if possible, as roses will struggle in heavy clay like soils. Prepare well by digging it over and working in a good manure along with a fine dressing of super phosphate. Finally, if the conditions are unsuitable to plant right now, keep your roses in a cool dark place in their original containers and ensure you keep the soil slightly moist until our winter days become a little kinder. So remember – roses are not just for Valentine’s day!

If you would like some help and advice please call into our Garden Design & Landscape Centre in Titchfield where our horticultural experts will be able to help you choose a special rose.

Be Ready for Spring

Be Ready for Spring

be ready for springBe ready for spring! It may still be cold outside so this is the perfect time to start planning your garden. We call this armchair gardening! Even if you are not sure what you want, from the comfort of your chair you can browse through catalogues and magazines for ideas. If you think this is too early – think again.

Special Talents

If you do not have a budget for a complete overhaul you can choose to have a garden plan drawn up professionally. A Garden Designer will be able to help you make the most of your garden. They really do have special talents together with experience and a know-how that the rest of us would love to have but don’t!

Garden Design Centre

If you are thinking of having your garden redesigned this year, why don’t you call into our Garden Design and Landscape Centre in Titchfield  – just off Junction 9 of the M27. So easy peasy to get to. We have 16 Show Gardens  to give you ideas and inspiration. Each garden has features that you can incorporate into any style of garden – whether you have a town, country or traditional garden.

Award Winning Designers

We try not to blow his trumpet too much but our resident Head Garden Designer Mike Hodges has won more awards than we care to mention. You will love his ideas! Anyway something to think about as the days become longer and lighter. And you will be pleased when you are ready for spring !