February can be a quiet month in the garden – the summer perennials have been cut back, but the new buds have not yet sprung to life. If you planted bulbs back in the Autumn, you might be seeing them poke through the ground – some may even be in flower by now. Even if you didn’t plant in advance there are plenty of things available just now in nurseries and garden centres to brighten up an early Spring garden.
If you have empty pots on your patio, why not fill them with some stunning blue Iris reticulata mixed with sunshine yellow Narcissus? These are in flower just now and you can keep the bulbs to use again next Spring – either in pots or in the ground.
Other attractive-looking bulbous plants include the strappy leaved Muscari and the very delicate looking Fritillaria.
Shady borders can sometimes seem challenging to fill but there are lots of Spring flowers that do well in a shady setting below shrubs. Hellebores, for example, come in a range of shades from white through to plum. These can look particularly lovely planted alongside Wood Anemones and spotty-leafed Pulmonaria in a woodland style setting.
Shrubs too can provide interest at this time of year. Sarcococca confusa has glossy foliage and small highly scented white flowers in Winter and early Spring. It will grow in most conditions, including shade. For a sunnier spot, Daphne odora is another evergreen shrub that has delicate scented flowers at this time of year. Plant it in a sheltered position near a doorway or window to enjoy the fragrance.
My all-time favourite in Spring has to be Hamamellis, or Witch Hazel. These large deciduous shrubs have scented flowers in Winter and early Spring that look like little starbursts along the branches. Most are yellow in colour, but there are also varieties with rich orange flowers.
So, whether you are looking for instant colour in pots, or some Spring flowering plants to add to your borders there are plenty to choose from! If you’d like more advice specific to your garden, please get in touch – firstname.lastname@example.org
All photos courtesy of www.gardenersworld.com