Early Spring Flowers
Here are a few ideas. A few easy things to plant to keep our gardens interesting in late February early March. You will have noticed the snowdrops are out, the bluebells have come through the ground and in some places the Daffs and Narcissi stems have also appeared. The snowdrops plant well in the green as do quiet a few bulbs so you can buy them in flower now and transplant them and enjoy them instantly. All these bulbs are available to plant in the autumn.
Shrubs and Trees
Shapes and colours can look quite dramatic this time of year, frosted silver foliage in particular.
Picture a misty morning and clumps of snowdrops under a copse of Silver Birch. It’s spectacular. The rough silver bark of the Birch is often overlooked when planting and it is beautiful.
The pendula Silver Birch Youngii is a superb tree to plant if you don’t have the space for the tall Betula Jacquemontii (Silver Birch) and it also builds character into a garden with a great winter silhouette. The contorted willows and hazels also bring similar character though lack the wonderful silver bark. To bring some of this quality into my garden I have planted two pendula birch together to make a silvery archway and it is very effective. I should add you don’t just have birch with silver bark, there are some with amazing orange and red tones like Betula Albosinensis this brings a warm vivid colour into the winter garden.
I would always have to include some Cornus (or Dog Wood). Mid Winter Fire is electric orange. I love it planted with red, yellow and lime green varieties of Cornus for maximum contrast.
Cornus is a brilliant shrub as long as you remember to crop it aggressively, not allowing it to get out of hand. Otherwise it is low maintenance and very easy to grow in difficult heavy soil. Witch Hazel (Hamamelis) is a brilliant early shrub with bright orange, red or yellow delicately scented spidery flowers. It is stunning. Don’t plant these in a heavy wet position, allow them some drainage and lots of sun and they will reward
|Corylus avellana maxima purpurea|
Early Flowering Clematis definitely deserves an acknowledgement. Early flowering varieties like Wisley Cream, with lime green nodding flower heads and Freckles with interesting speckled spotted flowers and evergreen foliage. Macropeta varieties like the variety Purple Spider scramble beautifully through a hedge and flower effortlessly with little maintenance each spring, providing a profusion of little alpine flowers. Suffice to say the colour is out there. There are some really good plants that are worth adding to your borders, often overlooked because they may blend in during the warmer months and be overshadowed.
In late Winter early spring borders can still be outstanding with subtley beauty. Shapes are more defined and dramatic and there is plenty of colour and character available.