It’s A Love Thing

February 9, 2012

wwwgardendesignercouk-20.jpgThis is the time of year when lovers send each other flowers, however nature too bestows us with gifts of flowering blooms.

Looking out of my living room window I can see my garden beginning to stir from its winter slumber.

Groups of purple-blue dwarf Iris reticulata, are starting to give a welcome splash of colour to my back garden. In my front garden I have the bright yellow dwarf Irises.

I really adore these lovely early flowering bulbs and I have to admit that the Iris is one of my favourite flowers.

Around this time you can expect Crocuses to put on a lovely cheerful show and as they come in a wide variety of colours they are super to grow in front of a sunny border or perfect for naturalising in grass.

One shrub I’m on the lookout for to plant in my garden is the Stachyurus praecox. This is a deciduous shrub that can grow up to about ten feet. It has wonderful arching red-purple shoots, which this time of year have strings with lots of really pretty little lime-yellow bell shaped flowers which are up to four inches long.

If you are looking for a small garden tree to give you some early colour then you could go for the Cornus mas, common name of Cornelian cherry which can grow up to fifteen feet. This time of year it will have lovely cluster of frothy yellow blooms on bare twiggy branches and in late summer this tree will produce bright red cherry-like fruits.

Rhododendrons can put on a magnificent display of colour and that’s why they’re a favourite for many people. If you would like a showy vivid rose pink one for February colour, then you could go for an early flowering one like Rhododendron dauricum. I would advise that you plant it in a large pot, with lime-free, peat soil.

The Pulmonaria is a useful plant for any cool shady spot and the Pulmonaria rubra ‘Redstart’ has redish funnel shaped flowers and has a long flowering period from late winter to mid-spring. This is an evergreen perennial which is very useful to grow as groundcover and so help cut down on weeding.

So, whether you’re giving or receiving flowers this Valentine’s day, look out for some wonderful colourful gifts from Mother Nature herself.



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