INTO THE GARDEN...
WITH GARDEN EXPERT HAZEL SILLVER
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.
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.
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.
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.
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