Here are some traditional ideas for Mother's Day and some planting suggestions for Spring Colour.
Plants for Spring
Spring is officially approaching fast. Public gardens are opening up for visitors. It is a certain sign that we should get out into our own gardens and plan for the year ahead.
Planning ahead its great to think of growing some flowers for cutting. We are keen to appreciate shrubs for both their foliage and blooms, perfect cottage garden plants for cutting and also seeds that are well worth growing to cut and arrange later in the year. Shrubs like Viburnum Opulus (Snow Ball bush) are excellent to grow for this purpose and various hydrangeas and easy to grow perennials such as Euphorbia palustris, eryngiums, heleniums and delphiniums to name but a few. Many of us enjoy being creative but do not know how to start so we thought it fun to follow up this talk with a workshop in July where you can bring in your own home produced cut flowers and have a go at arranging them, with a little bit of help from a florist .
Mother’s Day is fast approaching so traditionally we will be giving flowers making mixed baskets of primroses, mini daffodils, anemones, herbs, trailing ivy and small evergreens and feathery carex grasses. Hybrid primroses seem to be synonymous with Mother’s Day. I remember collecting them in church and presenting them to my mum as a little girl. Why not make up your own spring basket or pot as a present. It is far more personal and has longevity that a bunch of flowers doesn’t have and most plants can be replanted in the garden. Alternatively if you do not have the time some exceptional shrubs make favourite choices for Mother’s Day gifts. I recommend Daphne Aureomarginata, an evergreen with pale pink sweet scented flowers which is also excellent for flower arranging or Daphne Mezereum Rubra which is a deep pink shade with the flowers borne on bare woody stems often sought after for its wonderful spring fragrance. David Austin, the rose growers, have some outstanding rose plants excellent for special gifts. The new Munstead Wood Rose would make an excellent choice with it deep crimson flowers and old rose fragrance described as having a hint of blackberry. I would advocate one of the exciting varieties of ribes (flowering currant) newly available. Ribes White Icicle ‘Umbric’ has been awarded the AGM by the RHS. Long white racemes hang almost like catkins from the branches and later purple fruits look like currants. Ribes sanguineum Pulborough Scarlet has deep dark red flowers followed by fruits and sanguineum Red Bross is a new smaller more compact alternative.
We are also still planting bare rooted hedges. Deciduous plants like copper beech require about 4 per metre and evergreen plants like laurel can be placed about 2 per metre. Planting bare rooted as opposed to container grown plants is a much more economic way to create a border, but planting and availability is limited to the late autumn and spring months so we have to get on with the job now.
As we prepare for another gardening year it’s a good time to look at how our borders display colour and where we have gaps waiting to be filled with cottage garden perennials. It may be prevalent to add some herbaceous plants in either striking contrasting colours or calm harmonising colours to bring your border to life. Find a place for a great ground cover plant looking lovely at the moment which is Pulmonaria ‘Blue Ensign’. It has vivid blue flowers and flourishes on most soils in sun or partial shade. I would love to see this contrasting with some bright orange tulips. Spring is an ideal time to swap plants around so the borders will display the best colour combinations and add a few varieties where we need more interest.
In the gardening calendar this month I think I have established that this is a time of planning and preparation for the year ahead. Taking a little time to organise our borders, think about colour and plant a few extra plants for cutting, will only enhance our enjoyment and extend the pleasure we get from of our own personal paradise later in the year.