As we are heading for better weather, I have moved away from my indoor house plant ideas and ventured into the garden. Here are my suggestions for the top 10 flowers for planting in spring.
Trachelospermum Asiaticum ‘Pink Showers’
The first ever evergreen Star Jasmine with pink scented Flowers; now available to UK gardeners.
This climbing plant is a hot, fragrant favourite, and an exciting breakthrough in colour breeding.
With its typical jasmine fragrance filling the garden with a seductive perfume, you’ll be transported to a tropical paradise.
Top tip; although hardy, when in unusually cold areas, Trachelospermum is best grown in containers which can be moved to a protected position over winter, as it dislikes cold, drying winds.
Callistemon Viminalis ‘Hot Pink’
A fabulous new colour addition to the fantastic bottlebrush family.
Usually red, this is the first widely available pink, and what a neon pink it is too!
Each flower is made up of thousands of thin petals, each pollen-rich, so they become a mecca for bees and butterflies early in the season.
Top tip: Callistemon will flower best when grown in full sun in moist but well-drained soil, in a sheltered position away from cold winds.
Here is this exciting new seed-raised compact Canna variety, the result of years of breeding and selection.
Canna is a real summer dazzler; their exotic and exuberant coloured flowers are set off by lush, jungle-like green or purple and brown leaves, giving a real taste of the tropical, yet they are very tough and hardy.
‘Canasta’ is a dwarf series, reaching only 60cm or so tall, so are perfect for planting in big pots. Canna will form tubers over two to three years, so give them space; for colossal impact, plant all six in a 30 to 35cm diameter pot.
Mediterranean Flowering Oleander Collection
Summer-long flowers, fully hardy; perfect for your patio!
One of the UK’s favourite exotics, Oleander adds a real Mediterranean feel to your patio.
Sweetly perfumed pink, red and white blooms stand out against their vibrant green, glossy foliage.
Top tip; best grown in a large pot, in full sun, so it can be moved to shelter in winter to keep looking at its best.
Bottlebrush Plant Callistemon Citrinus
This unique exotic ‘bottlebrush plant’ has the most eye-catching fluffy red cylindrical flower heads during late spring and summer; hence the name!
It produces the most delicious lemony citrus scent as you brush past it; a fragrance so different from other common plants in the garden.
It’s a very versatile plant and perfect as a specimen in the lawn, against a wall or fence, or looks stunning planted in large pots as a tropical feature on the patio.
Musella Lasiocarpa: Hardy Golden Lotus Banana
Grown for its fabulous, large, paddle-shaped leaves as an architectural focal point.
The toughest and hardiest of all the ornamental bananas in the UK.
Does not produce fruit though, but does create an exotic yellow flower after five to six years.
Top tip; it is much shorter and less vigorous than other banana plants at around four to five feet tall maximum, making it ideal for large pots in small gardens. Grown in full sun or shade, it makes a great talking point.
Pink Oleander Standard 80 to 100cm
These Mediterranean beauties will add height, colour and sweet fragrance to your garden for years!
A riot of gorgeous pink, sweetly scented flowers and rich evergreen foliage!
Flowering all summer long, they are wonderfully exotic, yet can survive a UK winter to minus five degrees too.
Callistemon ‘Bottlebrush’ Standard
Fabulous bottlebrush-like brightest red flowers in late spring and summer; stunning detail on each strand.
A magnet for bees and butterflies when in flower, which need attracting to our gardens to pollinate food crops.
This standard form on a clear stem looks excellent in a big pot, on the patio.
Hardy Bromeliad Fascicularia Bicolour
Fasicularia bicolour is an unusual and attractive plant which will be a talking feature in your garden.
Its brilliant colours erupt along with the leaves, giving this hardy plant a tropical appearance.
This unique evergreen plant produces bright red leaves leading to the rosettes of colourful blue flowers.
Top tip; it grows to about 50cm, so it is perfect for containers or pots; put it in a sunny spot on your patio, and it will thrive for years to come.
Architectural Banana Plant Collection: Three Varieties
Bananas have become very popular in the last few years, mainly for their large architectural leaves.
Wonderfully exotic, and great for adding architectural impact to gardens, this trio of banana plants will look especially impressive.
Create a unique, tropical jungle look to your garden, while you sit back and enjoy the warm, summer sun.
Top tip; the red banana is borderline hardy, so they’re best grown in pots and moved indoors over winter.
What are your suggestions to add to the top 10 flowers for planting in spring?