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Monday, 11 March 2019

Spring Flowers For Mother's Day

Spring is Blooming The Bees are Buzzing And It's Nearly Mother's Day!
Some of the first things that hint its spring here are the big Queen Bees. We have a lot of bumble bees because we have such a vast array of plants to attract them. We have had quiet a few bees buzzing around in the last week or so ravenously bumbling around for good sources of nectar. Hellebore's, primroses and the hazel catkins are perfect for them as are the flowering currants opening soon and the gorgeous pussy willow catkins. Link to catkins; All these early sorces of food provide the spring interest that makes them excellent not only for bees but great spring colour and also for Mother's day gifts (31st March).

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, not that we appear to see many nowadays, its probably in trouble.

Mother’s Day Primroses Our The Traditional Gift But There Are Some 
Perfect Spring Shrubs That Make Lovely 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 many of us are 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.

Without question Camellias which are coming out in flower about now make great presents. They are something special another prema donna plant. Do not plant on an east wall as the early sun may burn the big frozen buds and it will not flower.They prefer a more neutral to acid soil but are not as stringent as rhododendrons but if I was growing one in a pot I would purchase ericaceous compost.

Camellia Spring Festival
Its also a great time to choose an azeleas which are budding up soon to look magnificent in flower. Generally they ae smaller than Rhododendrons but in the same family. There are ground cover varieties and some also that reach up to 3-4ft, making then idea gift plants.

Magnolia  is definitely a prema donna plantThey are deciduous shrub originally from Japan, so it’s hardy in our climate and a favourite of many people.
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.

Flowers of the exochorda are about the size of a ten pence piece. It grows in most soils, performing its very best when sheltered from wind. It is dazzling when in flower and much sought after by our customers.

Exochorda  'The Bride' is one of my personal spring favourite shrubs and this was taken in my garden. It is position south west facing and I have a hedge behind it so it thrives and flowers longer about 6 week,) than if very exposed. 'Niagra' can be grown as a deciduous wall shrub. .
Similar with the smaller cascading flowers and feathery foliage Spiraea Arguta both these shrubs are  clothed in masses of flowers like pure white bridal wreath. It leaves you with a soft feathery foliage with tiny green leaves post flowering which are soft and unassuming in most borders if kept compact. Do remember to prune these after flowering then they will remain neat medium sized shrubs.

Spiraea Arguta

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, which can grow in dry shade. 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 is in flowers. Its a stunning spring choice because it has a delicious fragrance and the most beautiful flowers. Its not difficult to grow. It may take some time to establish but this is a stunning shrub..

Lilac or syringa although late spring flowering they make great gifts and appear to be  budding beautifully and will perhaps flower early this year. They deserve a back border spot in every garden to perform their amazing spring display. Keep them in shape. Do prune them so they don't want them to be huge. 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. I grow this in my garden as a mid border plant.

What have I not mentioned in relation to spring shrubs? My forsythia is covered in buds. Pieris in pots are about to open their colourful red foliage. My osmanthus Burkwoodii is always covered in white spring scented flowers. Chaenomeles are budded up to flower. It is all go in the garden as its been so mild!

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.

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