Early Spring Planting
To provide your garden with colour and interest in all seasons, it’s good to plant bulbs in the Autumn which will give you cheerful, early spring colour, in the garden. Colourful bulbs work well mixed with low levels shrubs with interesting leaf colour and shape and the first Spring blooms to appear in the garden include Galanthus, Anemones, Cyclamen and Narcissi. All mix especially well with smaller or lower growing evergreen shrubs, Ferns and the lovely and varied Hellebores, leafy Bergenia ciliata. Spring bulbs contrast well with Heuchuras such as the dark purple ‘Plumb Pudding’. Epimediums grow well and are effective mixed with Galanthus, as underplanting to the larger deciduous shrubs, with colourful red, lime or purple stemmed Cornus, such as C. ‘Baton Rouge’.
Spring is the time to plant bulbs which will flower and add interest to your borders in the summer, such as Lilly bulbs, which do very well in a sunny spot and although you may have to add support, they are quite easy to grow and increase in volume, year after year. This year I’m planting white lillies to add glamour to a front garden and I think mix well with deep magenta pink roses, such as the David Austin rose Tess D’Urbervilles, Cotinus coggygria, Philadelphus, grasses and some blue, purple and lavender flowering perennials. My young daughter loves the sport of running outside to look out for the bright red Lilly Beatles, dropping them into a bag and disposing of them, to save the plants from being chomped.
Planting Combinations in Mid Spring
In mid spring the evergreen flowering Hellebores are in bloom, situated in a shady spot, they add lots of varied colour and interest to a border, for example the attractive Harvington Hybrids. The deep red/black ‘Phillip Ballard’ perhaps grown with the white and purple spotted ‘Cosmos’. The foliage is an attractive, deep glossy green and they self-seed freely.
Pulmonarias are useful plants for shady difficult sites as they combine well with Ferns, Hostas and other shade dwellers. Pulmonaria ‘Diana Clare’ has spotted light green leaves, with purplish / blue flowers and P. angustifolia ‘Munstead Blue’ has green bristly foliage and sft blue flowers.