First Flowers of Spring
PERHAPS NOTHING IS MORE WELCOME in the garden than the first sightings of spring flowers to mark the end of the drab days of winter.
Snowdrops are ideally grown in a woodland situation although they will prosper in cool, moistat the base of a sunless wall. Here they look splendid in contrast to the deep red leaves of bergenia.
Anemone blanda is a plant for the edge of woodland. Its many petalled blooms are usually of mid-blue. 10cm/4in
Chionodoxa luciliae – The common name, Glory of the Snow, well describes these pretty bluish-lilac flowers. 10cm/4in
coum is available in many different forms.
Leaves are often interestingly marbled. 10cm/4in
Crocus tommasinianus – this bulb should be placed in drifts in an open position and left undisturbed to naturalize. 10cm/4in
Narcissus cyclamineus is particularly distinctive with its protruding trumpet and reflexed perianth segments. 15-20cm/6-8in
Narcissus ‘February Gold’ – This miniature daffodil enjoys damp soil and is an excellent choice for rough grass. 15-20cm/6-8in
reticulata ‘Harmony’ – This blue iris is an early flowering dwarf form for a sunny position. 10-15cm/4-6in
– Place the Algerian iris in a pot to stand beside an entrance or doorway for its brief but lovely flowering period. 20 x 60cm/ 8in x 2ft.
rigida – Glaucous leaves make this a most striking spurge. 60x45cm/1 x 1.5ft
♦ Propagate the reticulata irises by lifting and dividing the bulbs in late summer.
It is not simply the range of hues from purest white to deepest black, but the limitless variations of shading. Veining and spotting that makesuch magical plants.
Hugging the floor of the woodland, the winter aconite vies with the snowdrop to be amongst the first flowers of spring. Its glossy, bright yellow buttercup flowers will make a splash of gold year after year if left undisturbed. The little blue Iris histrioides, 10cm/4in tall, blooms slightly later.