Best spring time plants to add colour to your garden

Less air pollution during lockdown is helping wild bees smell their flowers better.

Downham Home and Garden plant area manager Andrew Harper Scott says alliums and fritillaria bulbs supply nectar for garden bees. - Credit: Chris Bishop

Now that spring has officially arrived, here are some suggestions for the best plants to add a bit of colour and warmth to your garden at this time of year.

Andrew Harper Scott, plant area manager at Downham Home and Garden, has given his insights into some ideal plants for your outdoor areas and how best to care for them.

Daffodils

Daffodils in bloom inside the grounds of The Minster, King's Lynn. Picture: Ian Burt

Andrew Harper Scott, plant area manager at Downham Home and Garden, has given his insights into some ideal plants for your outdoor areas. - Credit: Archant

He said: "Spend some time outside and enjoy the natural warmth from the sun. Spring bulbs such as daffodils will be enjoying the sun too and smiling at you.

"When the blooms have finished don’t forget to remove their flower heads, so they don’t waste energy producing seeds. 

"Allow the foliage to die down naturally, will allow the bulbs to develop so you will get a good display next year. Applying a fertiliser such as Vitax Q4 will also help improve the display going forward."

Daffodils growing in the grounds of St Nicholas Chapel in King's Lynn. Picture: Ian Burt

Andrew Harper Scott, plant area manager at Downham Home and Garden, has given his insights into some ideal plants for your outdoor areas. - Credit: Ian Burt

Alliums and fritillaria

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"It’s an ideal time to plant alliums the flowering onion, with it’s large round flower heads in shades of purple. Or the crown imperial (fritillaria), which produces large clusters of yellow or orange flowers at the end of a single stem.

"Both these bulbs will supply nectar for your garden bees."

File pic of a bee

Downham Home and Garden plant area manager Andrew Harper Scott says alliums and fritillaria bulbs supply nectar for garden bees. - Credit: Chris Bishop

Dicentra spectabulis

"Herbaceous perennials are now springing back to life. One of the earliest to flower is the Dicentra spectabulis - commonly know as the bleeding heart because of the shape of its pendulous flower.

"Did you know if you turn a flower upside down and gentle pull on the outside petals a 'lady' will appear sitting in a bath.  

"Lady in a bath is another common name for these lovely pink or white flowers."

Osmanthus and Cytisus

"Should you fancy something with a perfume why not try the evergreen shrub Osmanthus, in April every shoot will be covered in small sweetly scented white flowers.

"This shrub is very versatile, growing in full sun or light shade, it is ideal for growing as a hedge or up against a wall or fence.  

"For a real splash of early colour in a sunny border take a look at the broom family (cytisus). 

"There are numerous varieties to chose from, so you should find something to suit your border, whether you are looking for cool whites or pastel creams to reds and golds."

Kojo no mai

Cherry Blossom out in the Spring sunshine in the garden of the Old House at Ranworth.
<Picture: Ja

Cherry blossom.

"Need something to cheer up your patio? Why not try the dwarf cherry prunus KoJo no mai, which will soon be dripping in white flowers.

"For a greater impact in your garden you cannot go far wrong with the bright yellow flowered forsythia or the majestic magnolia."

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