Plants to Admire this April


 




The month of April boasts many beautiful flowering plants, here are 4 of my favourites.

Deutzia "Nikko"

Deutzia "Nikko" is commonly known as the "Dwarf Deutzia". This low maintenance deciduous shrub can have ultimate height of 1 metre (3ft); it has a spread of approx 1 metre (3ft). Because of its size it is ideal for planting in the front of a border in full sun. This native of Japan is frost hardy and in many gardens right now is displaying clusters of white flowers which will last until late spring. These blooms are enhanced by a backdrop of bright green slightly pointed leaves. The "Dwarf Deutzia" requires a soil rich in humus or organic matter such as well rotted farm yard manure. Avoid planting in a raised bed which may cause the plant to receive excess wind due to the elevated position, also avoid areas that are prone to frosts which will scorch the leaves. If you can offer a suitable location to this shrub then I would highly recommend including it in your garden. It is an ideal plant for the smaller garden. Any down points, well it is deciduous but it exhibits reddish leaves in autumn to make up for its bareness to follow. Pruning is to be carried out after flowering.

Cytisus x praecox "Warminster"

Consider planting the fast growing Cytisus x praecox "Warminster" commonly known as the "Warminster broom". This reliable small evergreen shrub can have ultimate height of 1 metre (3ft); it has a spread of approx 1.5 metres (5ft). Because of its size it is ideal for planting in the front of a border or in a raised bed; in fact it will thrive in a raised bed which offers it free drainage as the broom prefers a well drained sandy soil. This native of Western Europe is frost hardy and at the moment has showy long lasting yellow flowers which are scented. Its wreaths these blooms along its slender arching stems from Mid to late spring. The flowering stems are good cut flowers lasting around a week indoors. Do not cut the plant back hard, as it seldom regrows afterwards. I would highly recommend this easy to grow plant if you require a flowering shrub for a coastal area as it has a good resistance to wind. Any down points, well it can be quite short lived but when it grows so quickly you can replant and have a full size plant within two years.

Brunnera macrophylla

Brunnera macrophylla is commonly known as 'Siberian Bugloss or Perennial Forget-me-not'. This low deciduous perennial can have ultimate height of 0.3 metres (1ft); it has a spread of approx 0.6 metres (2ft). Because of its size it is ideal if clustered in groups of 3's, 5's or 7's for impact. A native of Siberia as the common name suggests, it is frost hardy and at the moment has large branched clusters of pale blue flowers which resemble the blooms of the hardy biennial Forget-me-not. These flowers are held aloft dense heart-shaped leaves with soft downy hairs. Brunnera is an easy to grow, low maintenance perennial that thrives in partial to deep shade with a moist soil. Small back gardens in the city and woodland gardens are ideal planting situations due to its shade tolerance. If you have a sunny position, then Brunnera will tolerate this position if an adequate supply of ground water is available. I would highly recommend this plant if you require a long blooming (April to June) front of border planting.

Berberis darwinii

Berberis darwinii is commonly known as 'Darwin's bearberry'. This large evergreen shrub can have ultimate height of 2.5 metres (7 to 8ft); it has a spread of approx 3 metres (9ft). A native of Chile, it is frost hardy and at the moment boasts plentiful clusters of yellow flowers with a reddish-orange tint. These flowers are held amongst small dark green thorny leaves. Because of the thorny leaves Berberis darwinii is often used as a barrier planting but it is equally at home in the mixed border as a showy specimen plant. After flowering it will display dark blue bloomy berries, so do not prune directly after flowering instead wait to enjoy the berries. Give the easy to grow Berberis darwinii a position in full sun; it will also tolerate partial shade but with less flowering. I would highly recommend this shrub if you have a very heavy clay soil as it will thrive.

As a general rule, deciduous plants transplant well in late autumn and winter. Evergreen plants tend to tolerate transplanting better in early spring.

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