INTO THE GAR­DEN...

WITH GAR­DEN EX­PERT HAZEL SILLVER

My Weekly Special - - This Month Spring Sorted! -

Get the spring plant­ing out of the way now be­fore the Christ­mas rush

En­sure a glo­ri­ous gar­den show come spring­time by plant­ing up bor­ders in Septem­ber and Oc­to­ber. We of­ten re­sor t to a few bulbs, which can look sparse, but with the right plants, spring can be as florif­er­ous and ro­man­tic as June. Get it all in the ground now be­fore the preChrist­mas chaos de­scends.

Bor­der Ro­mance

In the flowerbeds, plant swathes of Chion­o­doxa ‘Pink Gi­ant’; bleed­ing hear ts (such as ‘Alba’); and granny’s bon­nets (Aqui­le­gia). Be gen­er­ous with volup­tuous tulips such as ‘Fi­nola’ (pink), ‘An­tra­ciet’ (crim­son) and ‘Mount Ta­coma’ (white), which look like pe­onies; and irises such as ‘Dutch Cho­co­late’ (caramel) and ‘Bev­erly Sills’ (coral-pink).

Big and Buxom

For size, opt for a mag­no­lia tree, which could be trained against a wall where space is tight. ‘Rus­tica Rubra’ has pink gob­let flow­ers and ‘Ni­gra’ has deca­dent red-pur­ple blooms. To pro­vide food for wildlife, go for the gor­geous Ex­o­chorda ‘The Bride’, a shrub with arch­ing sprays of white flow­ers that are adored by but­ter­flies; or the flow­er­ing cur­rant ‘King Ed­ward VII’, whose hot pink flow­ers lure bum­ble­bees.

Scent

Clad walls with fra­grant climbers, such as Clema­tis ar­mandii, which smells of marzi­pan. Wis­te­ria is un­ri­valled when trained up the house, where its per fume can float through open win­dows. In the sunny bor­der, plant wall­flow­ers and hy­acinths; and cul­ti­vate lily-of-the-val­ley in shade. Last but not least, lilac is the queen of spring scent: ‘Madame Le­moine’ is white and el­e­gant, and ‘Sen­sa­tion’ has pi­co­tee flow­ers that smell of a sweet shop.

Blos­som

Spring would not be com­plete with­out blos­som. The cherry ‘Amanogawa’ is clad in fluf fy pink bloom in April and fits into the small gar­den eas­ily, hav­ing a colum­nar habit. Al­ter­na­tively opt for a blos­som­ing shrub, such as the pink-apri­cot Chaenome­les ‘Geisha Girl’ or the cherry ‘Kojo-no-mai’, which can be grown in a con­tainer and in March and April is a mound of blos­som.

When trained up the house wall, Wis­te­ria scent drifts in the win­dows

WHY IT’S GREAT…

Most eu­ony­mus grow into size­able shrubs; this small cul­ti­var will fit into a small gar­den, reach­ing 1mx1m over time. For the rest of the year, it is largely in­signif­i­cant, but earns its place for its spec­tac­u­lar au­tumn colour. It’s de­cid­u­ous, green leaved un­til au­tumn with tiny yel­low-green flow­ers in early sum­mer.

GROW­ING TIPS…

It’s thought leaves turn red to pro­tect from the sun while ab­sorb­ing nu­tri­ents. The best shades of red are achieved by plant­ing in full sun, in rel­a­tively poor soil. Eu­ony­mus like well-drained soil, so dig in com­post be­fore plant­ing. Prune in late win­ter.

Strik­ing, fiery Eu­ony­mus ala­tus

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