PLANT­ING GUIDE

Jen­nifer Stack­house’s ex­pert ad­vice on your spring gar­den.

Country Style - - CONTRIBUTORS -

Gar­den writer Jen­nifer Stack­house’s ad­vice on how to make the most of your spring gar­den.

AS­PARA­GUS

( As­para­gus of­fic­i­nalis) The ten­der green spears of as­para­gus push through the soil to wel­come spring. Plant crowns (dor­mant roots) in win­ter or very early spring in a bed. Space crowns a me­tre apart. Male plants pro­duce the fat­test spears.

ASTILBE, FALSE SPIRAEA

( Astilbe x arend­sii) Leap­ing to the world’s at­ten­tion in Meghan Markle’s wed­ding bou­quet, astilbe is a feath­ery flower of early spring. She favoured white flow­ers but astilbe comes in pink, mauve and red. Per­fect for a shady spot in the gar­den.

BECHTEL’S CRAB

( Malus ioen­sis ‘Plena’) This is one of the pret­ti­est crabap­ple trees with clus­ters of dou­ble pink and white flow­ers in spring, fol­lowed by large bright green crabap­ples. It de­vel­ops red to orange au­tumn colour and forms a round-headed tree.

BOTTLEBRUSH

( Cal­lis­te­mon ‘Mauve Mist’) Known for its bright bottlebrush-shaped flow­ers, the na­tive bottlebrush can sur­prise. ‘Mauve Mist’ is a pretty shrub for a fast-grow­ing fea­ture plant or hedge. En­joy its mauve flow­ers from spring to sum­mer. Tol­er­ates coastal con­di­tions.

CANNA

( Canna in­dica) Can­nas grow from noth­ing to a clump of leafy canes as the weather warms. Stems are topped with bold orange, yel­low, red or pink flow­ers. Some have colour­ful leaves. Wa­ter well when dry or plant in a wet po­si­tion.

JA­PANESE BOX

( Buxus mi­cro­phylla var. japon­ica) Box is one of the world’s most pop­u­lar hedg­ing plants. Ja­panese box per­forms best in warm cli­mates. It has larger leaves and lacks that tom­cat smell of English box. Prune in spring af­ter new growth hard­ens off.

PROTEA

( Protea ‘Pink Ice’) If you are given a bunch of flow­ers that features a protea, chances are it’s the va­ri­ety ‘Pink Ice’. This is the most widely grown of all proteas and a long-last­ing cut flower. Of­ten con­sid­ered a na­tive, proteas are from South Africa.

PER­SIAN LI­LAC

( Syringa x per­sica) Li­lac is a stand-out in spring when it’s laden with fra­grant flow­ers. Per­sian li­lac is a fast-grow­ing shrub with pan­i­cles of soft mauve blooms. Un­like the com­mon li­lac (Syringa vul­garis), this species tol­er­ates warm con­di­tions and acid soils.

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