When winter is nearing its end and the garden is just starting to come back to life, there are a few ‘old faithful’ plants that I know I can rely on to bring bursts of colour to my garden. Whilst most other plants slumber in the depths of winter, these early risers are heroes of providing stunning early colour as well as valuable nectar to our pollinators at the beginning of the season!
So, if your garden tends to feel a little dull at this time of year, let me share with you some of my top five early flowering plants and shrubs that will help to provide bursts of colour at the start of spring!
Hellebores have to be at the top of my list! My garden is overflowing with different varieties of these beautiful plants with colours that range from delicate pink to crisp white. There’s plenty of variety to choose from as this genus offers approximately 20 species! Fitting into the ‘nodding flower’ group these hardy plants are sticklers of the winter frost and require minimal clean up, albeit removing fading foliage throughout the plant’s life. Plant them in well drained soil and watch them thrive!
When you see the pasqueflower begin to grow it’s a sure sign that easter is just around the corner! Belonging to the buttercup family and often mistaken for an anemone, this plant harbours bright purple flowers that last right the way through spring. Unfortunately, the pasqueflower is very rarely found growing in the wild in the UK, but this gives you all the more reason to plant some of your own in your garden! A fun fact about this plant is you’ll often find it flowering before its foliage even gets the chance to unravel – talk about an early riser!
If you’re lucky enough to grow wisteria, you’ll be revelling in her blooms come spring. This high maintenance plant produces glorious, sweetly scented blooms and looks idyllic draping over a pergola or climbing up the side of a house. From violet-blue to lilac flowers, this plant can require lots of maintenance, but it certainly pays off leaving you to reap the rewards. Allow wisteria to grow up your chosen structure and then begin to prune twice yearly to encourage flowering.
Adding a little drama to your space, these bell-shaped flowers bring exotic colours into your spring garden. They are a sturdy and reliable early spring bulb suitable in pots, for cut flowers or dotted around borders to add a hint of excitement. They are an easy to care for plant requiring little attention and make a great addition to any beginner garden. I love the Fritillaria meleagris species, it has an incredibly unique purple and pink chequered pattern that is a sight to behold!
With impressive blooms, this plant can grow up to 10ft in height and spread and is often used as a screen or for tall hedging. Though slow growing, the recognisable spindly flowers of the witch hazel range from bright yellow to warm reds and grow on bare branches throughout the season. Maintaining colour throughout your garden across many winter months, they come into their own in early spring and make for a stunning display. Top care tip, these beauties flourish when placed in slightly acidic soil.
I hope I’ve given you some inspiration to add a dash of colour throughout your garden this season. Keep your eye out for these beautiful blooms, they are a true promise that spring is on the way!