This months collection is full of wonderful spring goodies to brighten up your outdoor space. Every seasonal outdoor plant box this month will include a selection of these plants.
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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.
ALCEA rosea plena Chater's Apricot
Alcea make a wonderful choice for the back of the border with their tall spikes of frilly double flowers in hues of soft apricot - pink. These plants can reach heights of up to 180cm and produce masses of show-stopping blooms in mid-late summer. The flowers are perfect for attracting pollinators into your garden, so expect to see lots of bees and butterflies enjoying their nectar-filled blooms! Plant in well-drained, moderately fertile soil in a sunny location. Deadhead spent blooms to prolong flowering period. May need staking in exposed sites. Cut back after flowering.
ASTER ageratum Ashvi
A gorgeous little aster which produces clouds of white daisies in late summer/autumn. They will be happy in full sun or partial shade in well-drained soil - this is especially important if they are to over-winter well as they won't do well in overly wet, boggy soils. To get the longest flowering period from your asters, be sure to cut of spent flower heads. Your asters will not require much watering, usually only during periods of drought when the soil is very dry.
BELLIS rusher white
This little daisy is such a hard-working plant. It effortlessly produces pompons of small white flowers. Great in containers or near the edge of your garden borders, it flowers from spring all through to the height of summer. Sun or partial shade are both fine. Keep it well-watered in dry conditions.
BERGENIA cordifolia Shoeshine Rose
Bergenias are incredibly hardy plants with thick leathery green leaves that turn a gorgeous bronze colour during the winter. In mid-spring, beautiful rose coloured flowers emerge through the dark, glossy foliage which are attractive to pollinators such a butterflies. They tolerate full sun or partial shade and are happy in most soil conditions.
COREOPSIS Big Bang Redshift
An award-winning, compact perennial with delicately textured foliage and a profusion of golden-yellow blooms that look like they've been painted with splashes of red. It's a tough performer which thrives in poor, rocky soils and is pretty drought tolerant. It's easy to grow and will be happy in a sunny position in beds, borders or containers, and will attract pollinators such as bees and butterflies. Remember to deadhead spent flowers to promote new blooms.
COREOPSIS grandiflora Presto
An award-winning, compact perennial with delicately textured foliage and a profusion of golden-yellow blooms. It's a tough performer which thrives in poor, rocky soils and is pretty drought tolerant. It's easy to grow and will be happy in a sunny position in beds, borders or containers, and will attract pollinators such as bees and butterflies. Remember to deadhead spent flowers to promote new blooms.
ERYSIMUM hybridum Canaries Yellow
These wonderful wallflowers are a compact plant that produce vivid yellow, 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.
This is a gorgeous late-spring flowering bulb which produces tall spikes of magenta pink, funnel-shaped blooms and provides a link between the last of the spring bulbs and the first of the summer perennials. Your Gladioli will be happy in full sun with well-drained soil, with added grit or sand to aid drainage. A high potash feed every couple of weeks during the growing season is ideal. Keep protected from strong winds and provide a layer of mulch in late autumn. Lift and divide corms as needed every few years.
JUNCUS Twisted Arrows
This weird and wonderful rush is a bit of a Willy Wonka plant - its twisty, dark-green, shiny stems will definitely get your friends talking! It likes a location with a lot of moisture such as bog gardens or shallow margins of pools; it will look great in a pot too, just make sure it doesn’t dry out. It may produce flowers in late summer – little clusters of light-brown flowers on thin stems – but the stems are what makes this rush so special.
LAVANDULA angustifolia Munstead
This fragrant, evergreen shrub with its lavender blooms is perfect for edging borders or pathways in herb/kitchen gardens, rock gardens or planted in containers. It is great for attracting pollinators, and will thrive in full sun, in drier, well-drained soils. It's reasonably winter hardy, however may need winter protection in colder regions.
LEWISIA cotyledon Rainbow
A gorgeous and easy to grow plant, Lewisia Cotyledon Rainbow produces spikes of flowers in summer and can keep flowering all the way to autumn. Originating in North America where plants cling to rock faces, it’s no surprise to find that it needs sun and dry soils. The rosettes of leaves are leathery, green or pale green and the flowers can be in any shade of red or orange, and sometimes pink. It’s a low growing and hardworking plant requiring little attention – perfect!
LUPIN Gallery White
A beautiful dwarf Lupin - 'Gallery White' features showy spikes of sweetly scented, pure white blooms in late spring - early summer which attract many pollinators such as butterflies. They perform best in full sun but prefer some afternoon shade during hot summers. These plants grow vigorously up to around 45cm tall, providing height and structure to your borders. Keep sheltered from winds to protect your Lupins, and dead head spent blooms to promote more.
Myosotis, more commonly known as Forget-me-nots are short-lived perennials which make excellent ground cover for the front of borders, along pathways or in pots and containers. They are one of the most popular spring filler plants and pair beautifully with many spring plants such as tulips and wallflowers. They flower in late spring to early summer and self seeds readily after flowering. They thrive in moist, well-drained soils in sun to partial shade. They're really easy to grow - just don't let them dry out. Their flowers are loved by pollinators!
SAXIFRAGA x arendsii Alpino Early White
A pretty low-growing evergreen alpine perennial which produces snow-white, starshaped flowers. It's a very early variety which can flower in late winter - early spring. It's a perfect plant for dappled shade in a rock/alpine garden, beds, borders and pots. It likes moist, gritty soil which is very well-drained. A light mulching of sand after flowering can assist with drainage and prevent root rot.
SAXIFRAGE Peter Pan
A pretty low-growing evergreen alpine perennial which produces deep pink, starshaped flowers. It's a very early variety which can flower in late winter - early spring. It's a perfect plant for dappled shade in a rock/alpine garden, beds, borders and pots. It likes moist, gritty soil which is very well-drained. A light mulching of sand after flowering can assist with drainage and prevent root rot.
SEDUM rupestre Angelina
A gorgeous evergreen perennial with fleshy succulent leaves and creamypale yellow flowers which appear in spring. This is an alpine plant which has a lowgrowing, trailing form and will thrive in gritty, well-drained soil with moderate sun exposure to light shade that has adequate air flow. It makes an ideal addition to a rock garden as well as in pots and containers. It can be cut back in autumn/winter after flowering or left for winter interest.
STACHYS lanata (byzantina)
Also known as 'lambs ear', this is a hardy evergreen perennial with thick silvery leaves and stems coated in dense white, woolly hairs. The basal leaves form a rosette shape and the flowering spike protrudes from the centre up to around 50cm in height. Flowers appear in the summer in shades of dusky pink - purple and are attractive to pollinators. It grows happiest in partial shade in a wide variety of soil types, providing it isn't too waterlogged.
VERONICA peduncularis Georgia Blue
A creeping evergreen perennial with deep green foliage that changes to a bronzed hue as the temperature cools. Come spring time, it will produce an abundance of dainty sapphire-blue flowers which put on a sweet display, often lasting until late summer. This plant grows vigorously and is a great choice for groundcover on the edge of borders, in alpine and rock gardens, or as a semi-trailing plant in pots and containers. It'll grow best in full sun or partial shade with well-drained soil.
Tulips are symbolic of spring and every spring garden should have space for these beautiful bulbs. They are easy to grow and make a great addition to borders and containers with their range of bright colours and distinctive cup-shaped blooms. They grow best in moist, well-drained soil in a sheltered position in full sun. Avoid waterlogged soils. Tulip bulbs can be left in situ to flower again next spring or they can be lifted (once the foliage has completely died back) and stored in a cool, dry and frost free location until it's time to replant.
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