Winter-Spring Flowers in the Garden
– these colourful perennials are a joy to behold in late winter, early spring tempting us to believe that spring is finally approaching. The first to flower in the garden is usually the Primrose, followed closely by the Snowdrops. The Iris reticulata species create a wonderful colourful display and both these and the Omphalodes that follow later give us some beautiful pure blue colours.
Primroses or Primula vulgaris in the countryside are lovely to see but can look stunning on mass in a garden situation and with their soft pale lemon petals and delicate stems lift our spirits when all is drab and grey. They also have a very delicate perfume and suit a small vase to grace a dressing table. Snowdrops or Galanthus look glorious when planted in great quantities under trees and there are so many different cultivars to choose from. This is a lovely double variety that just appeared in the garden and gradually over the years is bulking up to create a lovely clump.
Iris reticulata and in this instance Iris reticulata ‘Cantab’ is a gorgeous mid blue and grows well either in the ground or in a container. Again the range of colours, shades and shapes is immense within Iris reticulata and most garden centres and nurseries will have a good selection. Omphalodes ‘Cherry Ingram’ is a favourite for my planting schemes and gives great pleasure as it is usually one of the first spring flowers to appear before the daffodils and tulips. At first glance the flower is not dissimilar to a forget-me-not, but it has a much larger flower and the foliage is more attractive. It appears to be happy in some shade and grows well under deciduous trees and shrubs.