Has anyone else had enough of the grey clouds and muddy ground? I’m craving some colour – a burst of yellow, a rush of purple or a splash of orange. The garden is starting to show signs of spring growth, with the daffodils pushing up through the cold ground and buds beginning to form on the ornamental cherry. In just a few weeks, the dull days of winter will be done for another year. But there’s still time to add a few more plants to the garden to brighten up the new season. There can never really be too many flowers, after all.
Here are some suggestions for fabulous spring flowers…
Following on from snowdrops, the crocuses are already beginning to flower. On sunny days they open their petals wide, attracting early bees with a generous supply of nectar. Although crocuses are usually planted in autumn, you should be able to find pots for sale in garden centres. The goblet-shaped flowers come in white, purple and yellow (choose the purple flowers and your garden is on trend for 2018’s colour of the year…). Crocuses look good planted in gaps in the border, among ornamental grasses, or in pots with other spring flowers.
The soft yellow of the primrose flower makes a lovely contrast to the more brash daffodils and winter aconites. A great plant for a shady spot in the garden, they also look fabulous in pots by the door. Primroses are a native wildflower, growing naturally in damp conditions in woodlands, hedgerows and grasslands. Find them a similar spot in the garden and they will thrive.
If you’d like a plant with more vibrantly coloured flowers, there are pink, purple, red and yellow primulas available too. Or for something a little bit different, what about the deep red petals edged with yellow of gold lace primulas?
Flowering early in spring, pulmonaria is another plant popular with bees. It needs a cool spot in the shade and good, damp soil to do well. The small flowers are held in clusters above the mottled leaves. Many varieties have blue flowers, but there are also white and pink forms available.
Violets have long been a garden favourite. The purple, pink or white flowers have a delicate scent and the plants look fabulous planted individually in small terracotta pots, or in large groups in a border. They are happy in sun or shade, but keep them well watered if they are in pots.
With blue spikes of flowers, grape hyacinth is a great addition to the spring garden. They’re not especially fussy and will grow in sun or shade, tolerate dry conditions and are happy in pots. Grape hyacinth is another spring flowering bulb that is planted in autumn, but like the crocus you should be able to find pots of the plant on sale at garden centres.
All these plants are perennial, and will keep on colouring the spring garden for many years if given the right conditions. And if you’re short on garden space, the good news is that all these plants are easy to grow in pots. Well, easy apart from pulmonaria, which needs a large, regularly watered pot to keep it happy. So, what are you waiting for… get planting and make the world a more colourful place this spring!