Flowering and foliage plants for March are considerably more plentiful than the previous months. I’ve gone for quite a subtle colour scheme this month. There’s good reason, March tends to see the start of spring bulbs. Swathes of bright yellow, orange and pink can appear and cause some mighty awful clashes, if you’re not careful! So this scheme will work well with whatever you happen to have going on in the garden.
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Astelia chathamica Silver Spear
As you know, I’m very found of spiky shape plants in the garden, as they break up the monotony of round and oval-shaped plants. Astelia is a great, little, evergreen gem. The striking leaves are glittered silver when they catch the sun and its spiky shape makes for a striking addition to any planting border.
This magnolia is one of the few that can cope with slightly alkaline soils, so they are much easier to grow. It’s not an evergreen variety though, and frankly, it is rather dull when not in flower. So, best planted to the back or middle of a border so it can be hidden by more interesting plants in the summer. It’s showy, early spring flowers do make it well worth having though. *Interesting fact – magnolias are such an ancient species they appeared before bees did so they’ve evolved to be pollinated by beetles!
I love the acid, lime-green flowers of this hellebore. They light up dull areas in the garden and make a gorgeous combination when used with blue, white and yellow. Plant them in groups of five for full effect. They flower from January right through to April in good years. If that wasn’t enough, they are also semi-evergreen, so most winters you’ll have something to look at! Don’t eat this one as all parts of the plant are poisonous.
Muscari armenaicum (Grape Hyacinth)
A slight caveat with this one – if it’s really cold, they may not flower until April, but even so, they should still catch the hellebore above to create a stunning combination. As Muscari is a bulb, they will need to have been planted in the autumn, but often these days, you can buy pots of them in the garden centres. They add a dramatic splash of blue to your planting scheme. The only downside is they can sometimes be invasive, so plant with care.
This variety of Abelia isn’t always the easiest to track down, but well worth it if you do. The striking, variegated, evergreen foliage makes a great accompaniment to the garden. The variegated leaves bring plenty of colour and make a nice backdrop for other flowering plants. It’s also evergreen in milder areas, which makes it a good all-rounder. It does have white/pink flowers in the summer, but it’s the foliage that I like this plant for.
BUT do be warned, plants alone will NOT give you a stunning garden – you have to get the design layout right first. If you don’t know how to do that then…
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