Top 5... win­ter bed­ding

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1 Bel­lis daisy

Ev­er­green bi­en­ni­als or short-lived peren­ni­als form­ing tight clumps of spoon-shaped leaves. Heads of sin­gle, semi and fully dou­ble, yel­low-cen­tred flow­ers in shades of red, pink and white. Ideal for un­der­plant­ing tulips. Any moist, well-drained soil in sun or semi-shade. H: 15-20cm (6-8in), S: 15cm (6in).

Tip Re­move faded flow­ers to keep more blooms com­ing.

From www.thomp­son-mor­gan.com; tel: 0844 573 1818.

2 Wallflower

Shrubby, up­right peren­ni­als clothed in nar­row, dark to grey-green leaves. Sweetly fra­grant, four-petalled flow­ers in shades of red, pink, or­ange, yel­low, lilac and white. Any moist, well-drained soil in sun. H: 30-60cm (1-2ft), S: 20-30cm (8in-1ft).

Tip Avoid plant­ing con­tin­u­ally in acid soils to pre­vent build-up of club-root dis­ease. Adding lime will help pro­vide con­trol in prob­lem ar­eas.

From www.un­wins.co.uk; tel: 0844 573 8400.

3 Prim­rose and polyan­thus

Clump-form­ing, ev­er­green peren­ni­als, pro­duc­ing rosettes of oval, quilted leaves. Rounded, yel­low-cen­tred flow­ers in an ar­ray of colours and pat­terns, with flow­ers on in­di­vid­ual slen­der stalks (prim­rose) or clus­tered on top of a stout, cen­tral stem (polyan­thus). Any moist, to well-drained soil in sun or shade. H: 15-30cm (6in-1ft), S: 20cm (8in). Tip To cre­ate more of a favourite va­ri­ety lift and di­vide plants af­ter flow­er­ing. From www.thomp­son-mor­gan.com; tel: 0844 573 1818.

4 Pan­sies and vi­o­las

Mat-form­ing to loosely spread­ing, short-lived, semi-ev­er­green peren­ni­als, with fleshy stems and notched oval leaves. Yel­low-cen­tred rounded or oval blooms. Wide va­ri­ety of colours and pat­terns. Smaller va­ri­eties, known as vi­o­las, are closer to na­tive V. tri­color. Any moist, well-drained soil, in sun or semi-shade. H: 10-30cm (4in-1ft), S: 15-60cm (6in-2ft).

Tip Prop­a­gate de­sired va­ri­eties from soft­wood cut­tings rather than seed.

From www.sut­tons.co.uk; tel: 0844 326 2200.

5 For­get-me-not

Spread­ing, open-stemmed an­nu­als, bi­en­ni­als or short-lived peren­ni­als, with nar­row leaves. Clus­ters or sprays of small, rounded blos­soms in shades of blue, pink and white. H/S: 15-30cm (6in-1ft).

Tip Grow plug plants on in pots be­fore plant­ing out.

From www.sut­tons.co.uk; tel: 0844 326 2200.

Plan your dis­plays now and look for­ward to a suc­ces­sion of colour­ful spring blooms

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