April has arrived and the whole world seems to be exploding into flower and new growth. The days are longer and lighter and it won't be long until bluebells are carpeting the woodland floors and pollinators are hard at work, buzzing from bloom to bloom.
Our April collection will really inject some life into your outdoor space with beautiful plants such as the majestic Agapanthus 'Blue Umbrella', which dances delicately in the borders with her round blue blooms on tall stems. Fritillaria uva-vulpis, which is an unusual variety of Fritillaria with sweet, bell-shaped blooms that dangle from stems and look lovely in pots and containers.
Perhaps one of our favourites this month is Pulsatilla vulgaris 'Purple', we just can't get enough of the silky purple, cup-shaped petals which open to a star-shape and provide a rich nectar source for butterflies. They're also a very worthy recipient of the prestigious RHS award of Garden Merit, alongside a few others in this collection.
A selection of these plants will be included in every seasonal outdoor plant subscription box this month. Explore our outdoor subscription options here!
AGAPANTHUS umbellatus Blue Umbrella
Agapanthus 'Blue Umbrella' is a truly majestic evergreen perennial, which produces large round umbels of pale blue blooms on top of long, slender stems from midsummer to mid-autumn, adding an architectural structure to your borders. Your Agapanthus will be happy in a sunny spot with fertile, well-drained soil. For container planting, use a rich compost such as John Innes No.3. These plants are frost hardy down to -5C, but may need some winter protection.
ANEMONE blanda mixed
An easy to grow bulb which will thrive in rich, well-drained soil, in full sun to part shade. Soak tubers in water overnight before planting and plant the tubers fairly close together if using as ground-cover. Keep sheltered from the wind and keep the soil moist throughout the growing season. These beautiful plants will naturalise over the years by both tuberous rhizomes as well as via self-seeding. After flowering, your plant will go dormant. Foliage can be cut back after it wilts and turns yellow.
ARMERIA maritima 'Abbey Deep Rose'
A compact evergreen perennial with grass-like leaves and rounded clusters of deep rose-pink flowers which emerge on erect stems in spring/summer. Will grow best in well-draining soil, but will tolerate most soil types, water freely during the growing season. Plant in full sun or partially shaded locations, either in your borders or in patio pots and containers. Faded flowers can be removed once flowering has finished.
AUBRIETA gracilis 'Kitte Blue'
'Kitte Blue' is an evergreen perennial which is compact and grows to around 10cm in height. In mid-late spring it produces vivid violet blooms which look pretty at the front of borders, edging a path as well as in pots and containers. Grow these in full sun to partially shaded areas, in well-drained soil and cut back after flowering if you wish to maintain dense, compact growth. Will attract bees and other pollinators.
CAMASSIA leichtlinii 'Alba'
A gorgeous spring flowering bulb which produces tall spires of star-shaped white flowers in late spring, which form a loose pyramid shape. Plant these in full sun to partial shade in a sheltered spot. keep moist throughout the growing season in rich, well-drained soil. This plant will add structure and vertical interest to your borders and containers. May need frost protection in colder areas.
CORYNEPHORUS canescens 'Spiky Blue'
This RHS award-winner is a compact, tuft-forming spiky grass with foliage in shades of deep green with hints of blue. It will add texture and contrast to your planting scheme and works well in borders, coastal gardens, pots and containers. Plant in well-drained soil and allow soil to dry between thorough waterings. This plant tolerates poor soil as well as drought and heat. Small flower spikelets may appear in summer. This plant can be relatively short-lived, but will self-seed.
ERYSIMUM 'Bowles's Mauve'
These wonderful wallflowers are a compact plant that produce mauve, fragrant
blooms in early spring and summer. They are short lived perennials, often grown as biennials and are happiest in free-draining fertile soil, in full sun to partial shade. They are pretty hardy and drought tolerant, but young plants may need to be mulched in winter to protect from frost.
Fritillaria uva-vulpis is a perennial flowering bulb which produces hanging, bell-shaped flowers in a purple-brown colour with golden yellow tips. The bulb should be planted at 4 times its own depth in fertile, well-drained soil. These plants will grow well in the borders, raised beds or containers, and will be happiest in full sun or partial shade. If growing in pots, ensure the compost is kept well-watered and does not dry out.
LITHOSPERMUM diffusa 'Grace Ward'
This is a gorgeous, low growing, creeping perennial makes the perfect ground cover in your borders, or the trailing stems can also look lovely spilling over pots and hanging baskets. They produce stunning, sapphire blue, star-shaped flowers which appear in late spring through summer. Acidic-neutral, well-drained soil is preferred in a full sun or partially shaded location. This plant is another worthy recipient of the prestigious RHS Award of Garden Merit.
PHLOX subulata 'GoldiPhlox Cherry'
A lovely evergreen groundcover which produces cherry-pink flowers in spring and attract many pollinators such as bees and butterflies. This plant looks wonderful in beds and borders as well as in pots, window boxes and containers. Grow in moist, well-drained soil in full sun to partial shade.
PRIMULA denticulata 'Ruby'
We love this Primula for its round pompoms of ruby red flowers which appear in spring. This plant will thrive in moist, well-drained soil, in full sun to partial shade. These plants look lovely in cottage gardens, rock gardens and in beds, borders and containers. Once flowering has finished, the flower stalks can be cut back.
PULSATILLA vulgaris 'Purple'
This RHS award winner is also called the pasque flower, and is a beautiful late-spring bloomer that produces silky, purple star-shaped flowers which are a traditional sign that Easter has arrived. These nectar-rich plants attract many pollinators to your garden, and once the flowering has finished, its attractive fern-like foliage remains. Grow Pulsatilla in full sun, with well-drained soil. Leave seedheads if you wish to allow self-seeding.
SAXIFRAGA x arendsii 'White Pixie'
Saxifraga 'White Pixie' is an evergreen alpine plant which grows best in dappled shade to full sun, in light, well-drained soil. These plants are well-suited to rock gardens as well as in the front of the borders as ground cover. They produce pretty white, star-shaped flowers in spring which often have a long flowering period. Place a layer of grit around your Saxifraga to prevent water-logging.
SEDUM forsterianum 'Oracle'
This Sedum will make excellent ground cover in your borders or in rock gardens and it's also effective in pots. Its grey-green succulent leaves form a rosette shape and small yellow flowers often appear in the summer. Your Sedum will grow best in average-dry, really well-drained soil, in full sun to light shade.
SEDUM telephium 'Matrona'
A lovely stonecrop with grey-green foliage and pink edges. Large clusters of pink flowers attract butterflies during summer-autumn and the dried seedheads can be left for winter interest. This variety is a RHS award winner, its easy to grow and looks great in beds, borders and rock gardens. Grow in full or light shade in dry-medium moisture, well-drained soils. This variety grows taller than many other stonecrops (approx 40-50cm).
If you love the look of these plants and would like to add them to your garden or balcony planters, a selection will be included in all of our seasonal outdoor plant subscription boxes throughout April. Explore our outdoor subscription options here!
Our pet friendly plant of the month in April is the lovely flowering plant Hoya carnosa 'Krimson Queen'. Hoya is a low maintenance but high impact,...