Plant Selection – Amazing in April

Finally, spring is actually with us (albeit for brief and teasing snatches here in the UK). It means our plant choices are getting more varied.

So following on from March’s subtle planting scheme that wouldn’t clash with all the spring flowering bulbs, this month’s garden plant selection has brighter colours but will still compliment all the bright bulb colours. This selection is part 1 of the scheme, part 2 will be in May and will carry on the intense purple and lime combination…

APR-plants-selection

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Pulmonaria ‘Trevi Fountain’ – ‘Lungwort’

This makes a great groundcover plant. The leaves are speckled with white, making it stand out from the crowd. ‘Lungworts’ as they are often known, will grow in shade to part shade and prefer slightly moist soils. The gorgeous cobalt blue flowers start out a purple shade and turn blue with age. This is possibly so that insects know which flowers have already been pollinated! Flowers aside, the white splashed leaves are attractive until they disappear in the late autumn.

Choisya ‘Aztec Pearl’ – Mexican Orange Blossom

This is one of my favourite Choisyas. The fine cut, evergreen, foliage, means there’s some green to look at all year round. The white, strongly scented, flowers make it wonderful to walk past. They are fairly slow growing can reach over 6ft tall, in time. You can keep them smaller with yearly pruning. They will grow well in sun or shade and will grow on most soil types. They don’t like frosts much, so a bit of winter protection is a good idea.

Phormium Variegata – New Zealand Flax

I love the striking, spiky foliage of all the Phormiums. This is one of my favourites as the gentle yellow variegation makes the leaves more interesting and in this combination, it draws in the yellow from the Euphorbia. These prefer full sun and will grow in most soils, reaching heights of over 6ft, so put them in areas with room to grow. They are reasonably hardy, but again, not lovers of frosts, so a bit of winter protection is a good idea in colder areas.

Erysimum Bowle’s Mauve – Evergreen wallflower

This is such an under-used plant in my opinion. It flowers for MONTHS, not just in April. In a good year, it can flower from February right through to July! It’s fairly easy to grow, as long as conditions aren’t too wet or to cold. It has evergreen, slightly blue tinged leaves and gets about two and a half feet tall. Definitely worth giving a go.

Euphorbia polychroma – Spurge

The acid green leaves and flowers of this Euphorbia are stunning, especially when combined with purple flowers like the Erysimum above and Alliums which follow in May. Seeing this plant flower in April, really lifts my spirits every year. Its bright flowers light up the garden. You do of course need to be a little careful of the sap as it is can cause skin irritations for some people, so perhaps not a good idea if you have small children running around that like pull plants to pieces! It will grow in semi-shade to full sun if there’s enough moisture in the ground.

What are you favourite plants for April?

So you know my favs, what are yours? Leave your suggestions in the comment boxes below!

Want to learn more about choosing and combining plants?

Check out the Plant Design Formula.

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About Rachel Mathews

Professional international garden designer for over 20 years. My mission is to de-mystify garden design and make it easy for people to successfully design their own garden - without needing to spend a fortune!

Comments

  1. Hi Rachel, I planted up a Brunnera 'Dawsons White' under a choisya 'aztec perl'. It has really nice bold variegated leaves, and blue forget me not flowers in Apr – May. The blue forget me not type flowers work well also with the coral azalea in an adjacent bed

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