Tag Archives: summer

Entertaining in the Garden

Entertaining outside – our guide

Hosting in the Holidays

You have inevitably spent the past few months labouring over your garden and making it look beautiful. As the weather continues to be fine into July, finally it is time to reap the benefits of your hard work.

Summer is the perfect time to host dinners and parties outside with friends and family. Follow these tips to create a warm, inviting and enjoyable space to share with people this summer!

The garden essentials

  1. Clear up; although it’s an obvious step, it can make a huge difference! Simply sweeping away leaves, removing any rubbish and hoeing out a few weeds in the patio can smarten up the whole space. If you have a pressure washer it would be great to use that on a patio area or dirty walls, although a sponge and hose will often do the job. Small things such as washing the dirt and muck off pots with warm soapy water will also help!Trimming the hedges

2. Shape up; trim hedges or any overgrown plants to make them look tame. Be sure to clear any pathways to prevent any unwanted trips or slips!

3. Lawn care; hopefully the effort that you have put into your lawn this year has paid off! In this weather it is necessary to mow the lawn regularly, as often as twice a week. This will keep it in good condition and ready for any spontaneous entertaining! Now is also the perfect chance to add a summer fertiliser feed to your lawn to promote high quality growth.

4. A lick of paint; does your fence, furniture or wooden patio look a little bit worse for wear? A lick of paint or varnish can give it a new lease of life. However it might be time to treat yourself to a new set of garden furniture!


5. Add some colour; if you don’t already have sufficient colour in your garden, why not simply add a few roses. These are always attractive and should last you through the summer! Another instant solution for patios is to fill some nice pots with colourful bedding plants that are in flower at the moment. We have a huge range of these and a variety of colours to choose from in store.  These can also be planted along borders to add colour without pots!

6. Go bold and make a statement; maybe your garden is lacking interest this year. A great way to add another dimension and really make a statement is to add a large or unusual ornament! Alternatively you could plant an interesting plant in a pot as a centrepiece. We would recommend a stunning Japanese maple (acer) that your guests won’t be able to miss!

Creating the perfect space

Everyone wants their garden to be a sanctuary in summer that they, and equally their guests, love to spend time in.

1. Furniture; furniture is of course an essential if you want to host and even spend time in your garden. Pick furniture that suits your garden and has the capacity to seat your usual number. Pair your furniture with an umbrella and create a space that can be used both in the heat of the day and then later on in the evening.

2. Accessorise; it is a much better idea to buy sturdy and long lasting furniture over flouncy and flimsy furniture. However this doesn’t mean that it can’t look great! The addition of cushions and throws can quickly make a simple furniture set look elegant and colourful!

3. Atmosphere is essential; lights in the garden add so much ambience. Invest in some solar lights, these really are an investment as they are completely free to run and there’s no cost of buying batteries! Place these strategically to light areas of interest, maybe beneath your favourite tree and along paths to guide the way!

4. Night scent; are you hoping to spend evenings in your garden? Plant some honeysuckle which is fragrant through the night!

5. Bringing your kitchen outside; another great idea for a BBQ fan is to fun to plant some herbs near the BBQ area. They create a brilliant aroma and they are within reach to try some interesting herb combinations on the BBQ.

6. Make it fun! Read our blog post about our high quality fun lawn games that you can play with guests!

Croquet set the perfect lawn game

Outdoor family fun & games!

Outdoor fun & games!

We want to bring together families and the great outdoors this summer! Outdoor games are wonderful to play together as a family and will keep children captivated for hours.

The games that we stock are high quality wooden games that will stay with your family for years into the future! They also make excellent gifts to families and children this season, providing a summer full of outdoor fun.

We currently stock the following;

Croquet set the perfect lawn gameCroquet set; Not only is croquet one of the most traditional English Lawn games, but it is also hugely entertaining. Simply get all of the balls through the hoops before your opposition, in reality not as simple as it sounds! A classic family game for up to four players! (£30.00)


Quoits a fun family outdoor gameQuoits; Quoits is a great lawn game that tests accuracy and becomes competitive very quickly! With easy to follow rules it is perfect for families with younger children and can be played as teams or individuals. Simply throw your rope hoop over the wooden sticks from the established distance and get the number of points marked below the stick you managed to get the hoop over! (£12.00)

Giant Tic Tac Toe; The fun of noughts and crosses on a giant scale! Enjoy this simple game on the lawn by laying out the large rope marker and playing as with the wooden noughts and crosses. (£33.00)



Wooden Tumbling TowerWooden Tumbling Tower; An excellent game for families of all ages and those with younger children. Assembling the tower before the game is equally as fun as tactfully removing the bricks one at a time until the ‘loser’ causes the whole structure to collapse! (£45.00)



Deluxe Flying Ring; a great toy for children to play with in the garden practising their accuracy and trying to learn the skill of throwing a flying ring! (£4.50)

A garden with a garden furniture set and several pot plants to make it interesting and spacious.

Budget Garden Ideas | Inspire Magazine Editorial

Budget Garden Ideas

The following is an editorial written for the Wilkinson Grant Inspire Magazine for Spring/ Summer 2018. It was written by our Managing Director Tammy Falloon about how to improve the appearance of your garden to help the sale of a property. All of these suggestions can also be used as budget garden ideas to enhance your garden- regardless of whether or not you are selling!

Adding value

A well-maintained garden can add a decent percentage to your property value, but if you are looking to move house the last thing you’ll want to do is invest in it. There’s no need to spend a fortune though as a few well thought out additions can reap dividends and can move with you!

We suggest you do the following;

  1. A pot planted with colourful bedding plants, showing how effective pot plants can be to bring colour and interest to a small area.

    A planted container showing that a small pot can bring a huge punch of colour.

    1. Think of your garden as an outside room and therefore give it a good clean up. Mow the lawn, sweep up debris and pull out all of the weeds.

  2. 2. Invest in some solar lighting. Any evening viewings will benefit from the warm inviting atmosphere and daytime viewers will see that the space can be useable at night. You can take the lights with you when you move and since they are solar powered there’s no running cost.
  3. 3. Privacy is important so if you have an unsightly view or nosy neighbour consider investing in a fence panel or some large plants in pots to disguise the gap.
  4. 4. Be sure to de-clutter and organise any outbuildings or sheds that you may have. Buyers will be looking for as much storage and living space as possible.
  5. 5. Use props. Show how functional the outdoor space can be by perhaps getting some garden furniture or a BBQ. You can also buy outdoor mirrors which give the illusion of more space. If you get the chance, dress your furniture too- a lit patio heater or candle will add to the atmosphere.
  6. 6. Jazz up your front garden. Most buyers will be sat in their cares looking and assessing from the road before their viewing so make sure that the front garden gives a positive impression. Buy brightly coloured hanging baskets and plant up colourful containers with plants. Remember you can take these with you to your new home.
  7. 7. Don’t forget to add some plants indoors too. Currently there is a real trend for green houseplants and their health benefits. Succulents are really fashionable plants and very easy to look after.
  8. 8. Appeal to all the senses, pick some plants with a fragrance. You want to be the house that is remembered by your potential buyer so position some fragrant plants near a door or pathway for some added impact. Plants like roses, lavender and rosemary are always favourites.

Our top plants for colour this spring and summer

  • – May: Bedding plants. These plants pack a punch when it comes to bold, brash colour. They are typically annuals (meaning that they only last one season) and ideal for planting in pots, hanging baskets and the front of plant borders. Look out for Petunias, Geraniums and Lobelias in particular.
  • A pink aquilegia known as the Mrs Scott Elliot

    An Aquilegia

    – June: Herbaceous perennials. These are the plants made for cottage gardens and chocolate box photos. They are goof value in that the plants die down in winter but will re-shoot the following spring. Our favourites include Hardy Geraniums, Peonies, Heleniums and Aquilegias.

– July: Roses. We grow over 200 cultivars of roses including the English David Austin varieties. If you want to grow a rose in a pot then take a look at our patio varieties. Our favourites include Flower Power Gold and Sweet Dream.

  • August: We love Callistemon (commonly called the bottle brush plant). Perfect for a warm sheltered spot this shrub has vivid flower spikes that look like red bottle brushes. We also love late summer flowering herbaceous plants like Echinacea, Phygelius and Bergamot (Monarda).
    Purple aster, the perfect colour pop to plant in September.

    An Aster

    – September: Sedums are a must. They look great in pots, attracting lots of butterflies and bees. They are super low maintenance plants and when the flowers go over, the brown heads are also attractive. Asters are also a great pick with their daisy like flowers that last into the autumn.


July in the flower garden

It’s July, time when the roads get busier with holiday makers and time to retreat to the sanctuary that is the garden.

When it is warm, continue to hoe weeds, as they will shrivel and die on the surface. Likewise, if you see any larvae or adult pests pick them off, squash them or use a suitable control method. Scarlet Lily beetles are particularly a pest at this time of year.


If you have any variegated shrubs, cut out any non variegated branches, making your cut at the base of the stem where it joins the main trunk. Many variegated shrubs will try and revert to their mono colour if not managed in such manner.

Prune deciduous magnolias if required but always leave at least 75% of the original canopy.

Prune your early flowering shrubs like Weigela taking them back to well placed side shoots.

Cut back hardy geraniums after flowering to encourage them to re-flower or grow fresh foliage.


Continue to harvest rain and use your water butts to water plants like agapanthus, camellias and rhododendrons as they will be setting their buds for next year.

You should also water clematis, roses, laurel and honeysuckle in dry weather to discourage powdery mildew.


For more advice on what to do in your garden at this time of year, come and speak to one of our plant team who will be pleased to advise.