SALLY'S TOP 10
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'