Go Gardening - - Flowers -

1 Forsythia - I wouldn’t be with­out its cheer­ful haze of bright clear yel­low flow­ers, which ar­rive be­fore the leaves in early spring. It looks amaz­ing in a vase just by it­self. 2

Purest white with dark green leaves, can­dytuft (Iberis sem­per­virens) is a stun­ning lit­tle ground cover peren­nial. It makes an ex­cel­lent bor­der to roses or taller peren­ni­als and it thrives in a pot too. The taller and larger flow­ered va­ri­ety, ‘Pu­rity’ is es­pe­cially good. 3

I’ve al­ways had a pas­sion for

tulips. I plant more ev­ery year, some­times leav­ing it wickedly late when we are busy in the gar­den cen­tre, but lucky for me tulips love the cold Dunedin win­ter and they last well in my gar­den.


Al­li­ums are among my favourite spring flow­er­ing bulbs. Their per­fect globes on long stalks add huge char­ac­ter to my gar­den in mid spring and early sum­mer. I es­pe­cially love Al­lium

Globe­mas­ter, which does well for me but there are lots of va­ri­eties, from tiny balls to some the size of bas­ket balls. 5 Who doesn’t love lily of the

val­ley, Con­va­l­laria ma­jalis? This charm­ing wee wood­land flower has a won­der­ful fra­grance. Its thicket of lush green leaves is a great ground cover in shady spa­ces, and it loves a good win­ter chill. The bet­ter the chill, the more flow­ers its gets. 6

As an easy care de­cid­u­ous shrub,

snow­ball tree (Vibur­num op­u­lus ster­ile) is one of the most spec­tac­u­lar for spring drama. The flower buds start the show with a hint of lime green then erupt into masses of gor­geous creamy white balls. 7

Li­lacs (Syringa) re­mind me of my child­hood. They look and smell heav­enly with masses of tiny flow­ers packed into grape sized bunches. These old-world shrubs are bare in win­ter but they more than make up for that ev­ery spring when they cover them­selves in glory.


As­tran­tia ma­jor alba - these lit­tle stars grow any­where in my gar­den. They have lovely long stems topped with del­i­cate wood­land flow­ers which are ac­tu­ally tiny flo­rets sur­rounded by spe­cialised leaves in per­fect cir­cu­lar for­ma­tion. Fluffy seed­heads fol­low. As­tran­tias are great for plant­ing in semi-shade. 9

Peonies - full, frilly and sim­ply out­stand­ing! The abil­ity to grow these iconic vase flow­ers is one of the rich­est re­wards for en­dur­ing a cold win­ter. 10 David Austin Roses

- I can’t get enough of them! I was lucky enough to visit the David Austin Nurs­ery in Eng­land a cou­ple of years ago, and their gar­dens fu­elled my pas­sion for these fan­tas­tic old fash­ioned look­ing but mod­ern day, su­per free-flow­er­ing roses.

Li­lacs and Snow­ball Vibur­num Iberis ‘Pu­rity'

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