Gardening Magazine

Spring Flowering Shrubs

By Notcuttsuk @notcuttsuk

Spring flowering shrubsBorder mulched with homemade compostThings are really beginning to move in the garden now and I hope that we do not get too much cold weather although there is still plenty of time! It is hard to believe that we are only half way through the winter - the sun is lovely and warm when it does make an appearance!

I have been busy over the weekend, spreading mulch on the borders that I have already weeded and pruned. As well as spreading a good 5cm layer of homemade compost on the soil, I have added a light covering over the crowns of perennials now that the previous year’s dead leaves have been removed, exposing soft young growth. The mulch layer will protect the plants if we do get frosty mornings. Two of the heaps have been emptied of compost that is ready, and one has already been filled back up with vegetable waste from the allotment and prunings from the garden tidy up. This one has been treated with compost maker and covered. I will leave it to rot for six months before I turn it again.

Signs of spring are everywhere. There are plenty of Daffodil leaves shooting through the soil and try as I did to avoid them, some were trodden on leaving them bruised and broken. Hopefully the flower buds are not damaged as they are still below the soil surface. The double Snowdrops are starting to pierce through the soil; their buds showing just a hint of white, waiting for some sunshine to tempt them into flower.

I have a white flowered Ribes that was given to me by a friend a year ago and have a spot in the green and white garden for it so that it will eventually be freed from its flower pot! We have a Spiraea x arguta (Bridal Wreath) which has never done well in this border so I have moved it to a sunnier part of the garden. Another that we have is always smothered in tiny, pure white flowers as the bright green leaves begin to appear in April.  It really is one of the prettiest spring shrubs when given room to show off the arching branches that are weighed down with flowers.

Camellias are beginning to flower in some of the local gardens and the two that I have in containers are carrying plenty of fat flower buds. I have raised the pots up onto blocks to try and help with the drainage during this spell of wet weather but the plants are looking good with deep green, glossy leaves that will set off the beautiful flowers.

Although I gave my winter Honeysuckle a severe pruning last autumn, some of the old, twiggy growth was left and this too is beginning to flower. The scent on a warm day is very strong and bees are already tempted to the creamy white blooms. This really is the hardiest of shrubs and puts up with an exposed, shady site in our back garden, gradually spreading itself by underground suckers that I have to prune back each summer to keep the plant in bounds. Although it is not a climbing plant, it is very vigorous!

The borders that have been tidied and mulched do look very smart - clearing the old growth from perennials and clumps of bulbs has given them the encouragement that they need to start growing for the coming season but I am still mindful of the time of the year and ready with more mulch and horticultural fleece in case it turns cold!

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