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Spring Collection

As April was one of the coldest since 1917 plants and trees that would normally be blossoming by now are still languishing. In many ways this is a light respite for our traditional English plants and trees. Over the last 30 years there’s been a warming in the climate and as a result many tended to come into life early because it’s been so mild. Due to this artificially long growing season, they undoubtedly suffer a period of drought. A wetter, longer winter is actually a bit of a relief and takes the stress off the plants. All the water we had last year was very welcome and the shorter growing season is better for them.

So you see it may not have been fun for us but every cloud as they say.

Here are some of my favourite Spring stunners….

viburnum davidiiViburnum davidi

Position: full sun or partial shade

Soil: moderately fertile,  moist, well-drained soil

Flowering period: May

Flower colour: white

Hardiness: fully hardy

Flattened heads of tubular, white flowers in May, followed by metallic, turquoise-blue fruit, and distinctively veined, dark green leaves. This compact, evergreen shrub is an attractive groundcover plant for the front of a border in sun or partial shade.


BergeniaBergenia ‘Overture’

Position: full sun or partial shade

Soil: tolerates most

Flowering period: March to April

Hardiness: fully hardy


Bergenias have become fashionable again. Bergenias are low maintenance, evergreen, will grow in sun or shade and tolerate a wide range of soils, including dry soils and clay. A cold snap in winter will turn the leaves from deep green to a rich claret. After flowering remove faded flowerheads. Cut off damaged foliage in spring. Lift and divide large clumps in early spring.

choisyaChoisya ternata

Position: full sun to partial shade

Soil: fertile, well-drained soil

Flowering Period: April to May, often with a second flush in late  summer or autumn

Hardiness: fully hardy

Wonderfully scented, star-shaped, white flowers appear in late spring among glossy,  dark green leaves. This  easy-to-grow shrub is a valuable garden mainstay for a protected site in sun or part shade, although in shade it may not flower.

Garden care: Prune established plants in spring immediately after flowering, removing 25-30cm (10-12in) of the flowered stems. This encourages a second flush of flowers in late-summer and autumn. At the same time, remove any frost-damaged stems to the base.

wisteria x formosaWisteria × formosa

Position: full sun or light, dappled shade

Soil: fertile, moist, well-drained soil

Flowering period: May to June

Flower colour: violet-blue

Hardiness: fully hardy

Pendent clusters of fragrant, pea-like, violet-blue flowers, each with white and yellow markings appear in May and June on this vigorous wisteria. It is perfect for training over a sunny wall or stout pergola. To enhance flowering it requires ample space for the roots to become well established and it will need pruning twice a year.

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