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Pretty as a picture in spring

I LOVE this time of year when the garden really starts to wake up after winter.

Every day there is something new starting to flower, so this week I thought I would share some stars in my garden.

Wall flowerErysimum Bowles Mauve – This beauty has been flowering for the last couple of months, the flowers last more than a week in a vase, and they have a lovely scent.

It is a busy evergreen perennial, with grey-green leaves, and rich mauve flowers which start in winter and go right through the summer if you pick them or deadhead regularly.

This will promote them to stay bushy and not become leggy.

Spanish BluebellsHyacinthoides – These little lovelies are just starting to flower, they are great under trees and are the perfect bulb if you want them to naturalise as they multiply freely.

They look fabulous in large drifts under deciduous trees, they can be grown in pots with other bulbs. Really, they will pretty much grow anywhere.

The flower stems hold delicate bell-shaped scented blue, pink or white flowers.

Bridal wreathSpirea cantoniensis – is a semi-deciduous shrub that has graceful arching stems of frothy, pure white flowers like little snowballs.

It is a very hardy plant that is drought and heat-tolerant, slightly salt tolerant. The plant is easily transplanted, and grows rapidly, so trimming back every year is recommended, otherwise it can get out of control. If it does, you can easily cut it off just above ground level and it will start again, best time to prune any spring flowering shrub is straight after it has finished flowering.

Michelia yunnanensis – this plant is so versatile it can be grown as a tree where it will be 3m high and 2m wide, it can be trained as a standard (lollipop) or a beautiful hedge.

It has glossy green leathery leaves, with velvety brown buds which open to scented little cream flowers in spring, and with our seasons changing mine flowered twice last year. It is an evergreen. Once again, give it a trim after flowering.

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