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Saturday, 18 March 2017

Preparing For Mother's Day #Mother'sDay #MotheringSunday ]#MothersDayGifts

Spring is Blooming! And Its Nearly Mother's Day!
Some of the first things that hint its spring here are the big Queen Bees. Its personified here at the Nurseries because we have such a vast array of plants compared to the average garden. We have had quiet a few buzzing round this week.They come out of hibernation and are ravenously bumbling around for good sources of nectar. Hellebore's, primroses and the hazel catkins are perfect for them as are the flowering currants and pussy willows. All these early sorces of food provide the spring interest that makes them excellent not only for bees but also for Mother's  day gifts. Like most Mothers they are particularly drawn to our hellebore beds.

Whilst we are mentioning wildlife do not light any old bonfire stacks yet. The hedgehogs are still returning and sleeping in them through the day. If you see a hedgehog its probably in trouble.

Mother’s Day Primroses Our The Traditional Gift But There Are Some 
Perfect Shrubs For Gifts
Where would we be on Mother’s Day without a few pretty primroses. Perfect to plant in a dainty spring basket and give to Mum. Most of us can’t resist at least a handful of the colourful hybrid varieties in our pots and tubs planted with dafodils and other spring plants.

Here Are Some More Of Our Spring Shrub Favourites That Make Sweet
Mother's Day Gifts

When we choose a shrub for Mother's day we are often looking for lots of flower or lots of fragrance or both!

Prunus nipponica Brilliant
There are a few very small prunus trees swathed in gorgeous blooms. Once in the garden those blooms will be back every spring making them much better value than a bunch of short lived cut flowers.

Camellia Debbie
Without question Camellias are out about now and make great presents. They are something special another prema donna plant. They can be grown in a pot. Do not plant on an east wall as the early sun will burn the frozen buds and it will not flower.They prefer a more neutrall soil but are not as stringent as rhododendrons.

Its also a great time to choose an azeleas which are budding up soon to look magnificent in flower.
Magnolia  is definitely a prema donna plant. Its a deciduous shrub originally from Japan, so it’s hardy in our climate.
Magnolia Stellata
The flowers of M.Stellata are large white and star shaped. It’s easy to grow in a warmish spot in reasonably drained, reasonably fertile soil. Right now as a large bush or a tree for a small garden it will be the envy of your neighbours!

Another small tree that may be kept as a shrub not to be overlooked is the Amelanchier. White spring blossom and later berries and autumn foliage make it a tree of valuable interest.  If you only have a small space to squeeze one the variety Obelisk is conveniently narrow.

Exochorda  'The Bride' and other varieties is similar to the feathery white Spiraea Arguta the whole of this medium 5ft deciduous shrub is clothed in tiny flowers like pure white bridal wreath for at least six weeks in April and May

Spiraea Arguta
Flowers of the exochorda are about the size of a ten pence piece. Like the above it is also hardy. It grows in most soils not requiring a prime position. It is dazzling when in flower and much sought after by our customers.

Daphne odora aureomarginata
Daphne odora Aureomarginata is probably one of the most popular Mothers day choices and it is justified. Sweet pink flowers, evergreen leaves with creamy margins and the most wonderful scent, rivalled only by my other top choice saraccocoa or Christmas box. There are a few similar varieties varying slightly in height and slight flower difference but its a wonderful evergreen with a magnificent perfume. It is largely pale flowers with the strong perfume to ensure wildlife do seek them out. Inevitably they have a lot to offer our wildlife. These two  medium shrubs belong in every body's garden.

Daphne Mesereum
Daphne Mesereum is almost in flowers about to burst. Its a very popular choice because it has a delicious fragrance and the most beautiful flowers. Its not difficult to grow.

Lilac or syringa are also budding beautifully. They deserve a spot in every garden to perform there spring display. Keep them in shape. Don't leave them too it so they get too big. Prune shortly after flowering Lilac and philidephus always appear to evade the pruning shears!

Dwarf lilac Syringa Meyer Palibin
 Lilac comes as a small tree a large shrub a standard and in the photo above we have the dwarf variety

Herb Baskets and Containers make excellent gifts.
If I didn't have a garden center this would probably be my choice gift. Its something that not only looks pretty, supports wildlife and I use them all year in my cooking.Small bay lolly pop trees under planted with thyme sage and marjoram or pots of simply rosemary or mint these are plants we really need in abundance.

Cottage Garden favourites
The spring cottage garden plants are also just waking from their winter slumber. The hellebores which we were all admiring last month are still mainly in full flower and the orientalis varieties in the deeper colours are also now out. 
The perennial forget me not Brunnera is one of our most popular early spring perennials for its beautiful ffoliage and blue flowers.
Brunnera Jack Frost
The big oval heart shaped leaves, a little similar in size and shape to the reliable spring lungwort’s hairy leaves, edge the borders in my shady beds. I feel the dramatic frosty silver veining that decorates the leaves of my favourite varieties Jack Frost and creamy leaf margins of Hadspen Cream, justifies its planting even before the mass of blue. These are excellent easy ground cover plants in shade or dappled shade as are the Pulmonaria (Lungwort). If I had to recommend my favourite pulmonaria it would definitely be the vivid Blue Ensign given the Award of Merit by the RHS. Blue plants are much sought after in my garden and this blue is magnificent though the opal white is equally lovely.

Early alpines make it possible to plant some lovely alpine bowls topped with alpine grit to adorn the doorstep. The aubretia, ibris and saxifrages and many alpine friends are right on cue for Mothers day.

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