Dried plant inside a planter shown from the top

Eleanor Clarke


How to Avoid Sulky New Plants

If you’re worried about keeping your new plants alive, we’ve all been there. Our job is to tempt you with colourful new additions to your garden, but we want them to thrive too. That way you can enjoy them for months, or even years to come.

The most important thing is choosing the right plant for the right place in your garden. Ideally, you see gaps in a sunny flowerbed, or a windowbox on a north-facing windowsill that needs colour, and you pop by for inspiration. If, however, you’ve fallen for a beautiful hellebore or a floaty grass while passing, we’re here to make that impulse buy work in your garden – which is a unique space.


Sunlight is key to all this. Plant an acer somewhere hot, with direct sun all summer long and the leaves can scorch and die. Equally, after a few months in a soggy, dark flowerbed, that lush-looking lavender will be toast. Look at the label first, and if in doubt, ask us.  

Leaves of green acer plant

Green acer tree, commonly known as maple

Planting rules

When you’re planting (Mediterranean plants like olive trees, lavender, rosemary and thyme in sun; woodland natives like acers and ferns somewhere more shaded), there are a few rules to follow:

Plant them at the same level

First, plant at the same level as they were in the pot – so don’t bury them or leave them poking up. 

Firm them in

Then gently firm them in – trample and you could damage the roots; be too gentle and the foxes will dig up your new plants. Always give them a good watering, straight at the roots, whether it’s summer or winter.

In summer, you’ll need to keep an eye and water often so those roots can spread out and get established. Bigger plants like shrubs and trees need watering for most of their first year if they’re going to settle in well. 

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