Marching Onwards

March 9, 2012

wwwgardendesignercouk-25.JPGThe garden is certainly starting to colour up this month with spring bulbs like daffodils and tulips coming through and early flowering shrubs and trees are blossoming.

My Clematis armandii in my own back garden is opening its buds with slightly scented soft pink apple blossom-like flowers which are shown off against its mid-green glossy foliage.

Primulas always remind me of spring and they come in such a variety of wonderful bright colours. They are useful to add colour to a shady border during this time of year.

The Primula denticulata is the Drumstick primula, which will add height to a border as they carry their round pom-pom flower heads on top of their stems of up to twelve inches tall, hence the name ‘drumstick’. These too are suitable for deep or partial shade, however, but don’t let the soil dry out in summer.

Another useful plant for the shade is the Pulmonaria, which has a cluster of dainty bell shaped flowers. There is a choice of colour from white to a selection of pastel shades. The leaves of most Pulmonarias have interesting splash-like markings. Grow Pulmonarias together with Hellebores to give an excellent early spring planting combination.

You might be interested to know that many shade-loving plants are early spring flowering. This is because in nature many shade loving plants are woodland plants that grow under deciduous trees or large shrubs and it is in the early spring that these plants get the most daylight before the trees and shrubs develop their canopy of leaves.

A lovely early flowering elegant shrub for this time of the year is the Camellia. It has lovely glossy evergreen foliage that has these super rosettes flower heads that come in a variety of colours. Just note that this shrub prefers acid soil, but sometime may survive in neutral soil.

To be rewarded with wonderful blooms grow this shrub in partial shade in a sheltered site away from cold winds, frost and the early morning sun, as these elements can damage the buds and flowers.

Love it or hate it, the bright garish yellow of the Forsythia shrub is a fabulous splash of colour for early spring. The rest of the year this shrub is a bit boring with just green foliage so you could consider growing a climber over it, such as a Clematis, to give some summer colour.



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