With the cold winter months coming to an end and the temperature beginning to rise, March sees bulbs springing into life and adding a pop of colour and the feeling of spring. It’s an exciting time for gardeners with garden centers and nurseries filling their shelves with bright and cheery spring flowers and there is a huge variety to choose from. Pansies and Daffodils are the usual go-to choice for colour, but if you’re looking for something a little different, here are a few to choose from…
The chionodoxa bulb produces dainty, star-shaped flowers growing from 15cm to 20cm in height depending on the variety. The ‘Pink Giant’ grows to approx 20cm with green leaves with pale pink flowers and a white centre during spring. The Scilla Forbesii is the small, intense blue star-shaped variety. This grows to around 15cm in clusters of 2-3 per leafless stem. The Scilla Sardensis, like the ‘Pink Giant’, grows to approximately 20cm in height with a pair of narrow leaves and up to 10 slightly nodding, deep blue flowers. Although great pots and planters, these create most impact when planted in large drifts.
Bulbs planted in autumn will start to come into bloom towards the end of March. These come in a variety of colours and are perfect for brightening up both the garden and containers. The vivid pink-plum flowers of the ‘Woodstock’ variety grow the tallest to around 30cm and have rich, glossy green leaves, the ‘Minos’ variety grow to approximately 20cm in height and have shapely spike-like flowers in lilac-blue tones, while the ‘Italica’ version has mid-blue flowers, dense racemes and grow to 20cm aprrox. Hyacinths smell beautiful, which is why they’re often used in perfumes and each colour smells a little different from the other. Blooming right from November to May.
Tulips are one o the most popular flowers for spring due to their varied and vibrant colours and shapes. It is best to plant Tulips October to November for flower in March and May, which can grow from as small 15cm to as tall as 75cm. Tulips are also a versatile option to brighten up spring gardens as they’re adaptable to use in beds and borders, rock gardens and pots and planters. The white variation includes ‘Spring Green’ displaying ivory-white, green feathered flowers in late spring and fragrant, star-shaped golden-yellow at the base and flushed grey centered Tulipa biflora from late winter. The deep purple and violet blue variety includes the dark blue/purple bowl shaped flowers of the ‘Blue Diamond’ and the velvety dark purple cup-shaped flowers of the ‘Queen of Night’ in late spring. For pink toned tulips, the Peony-shaped, slightly ruffled shell-pink flowers of the ‘Angelique’ or the deep pink, goblet shaped blooms of the ‘China Pink’ are a stunning option. Tuips are also available in yellow and apricot tones such as the lemmony ‘Sweetheart’ and the salmon pink and orange tipped ‘Apricot Beauty’.
Named after the 19th century German physician Friedrich Heinrich Theodor Freese, Freesias originate from Africa and are a spring staple all over the word. Plant these bulbs in the garden during the spring for flowering during July and August or plant indoors or in greenhouses between August and December for very early spring flowering or in October for a four to five week flowering period during March. Although Freesia’s are most commonly yellow and white they can also be found in red, purple, orange and pink tones.
Native to China, Peonies are highly valued and often referred to as the ‘king of flowers’. The thick, tuberous roots and are sold either as bare-root, at least three or four growth buds and produce flowering plants quickly, or container-grown plants which have fewer buds and can take longer to establish, and are ideally planted in the autumn for a mid-spring flowering which will take you through to early summer. The most common and popular colours are the pink, peach and coral toned flowers such as Paeonia ‘Bowl of Beauty’ and ‘Sarah Bernhardt’, but red and white varieties are also available such as the deep crimson of ‘Rubra Plena’.
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