What to plant this spring

SHRUB OF THE MONTH – APRIL

Prunus_Kojo-No-Mai

PRUNUS KOJO-NO-MAI

An excellent shrub for the border or a container.

Intriguing wiry stems that burst into life from late Winter into early Spring with crimson buds turning into delightful pale pink flowers.  The foliage is small and green, changing to fabulous shades of red and orange with the onset of  Autumn.  With a compact rounded habit this lovely shrub grows to around 2.5mt high and wide over about 8-10 years. Grow in full sun in moist fertile, well-drained soil.  If pruning is required it is best done lightly in the summer.

RHODODENDRON – AZALEA- MAGNOLIA

With a huge range to choose from the above selection provide a dazzling display of Spring colour and interest.

RHODODENDRON – varying in height from 30cm to over 2mt. these delightful evergreen shrubs are ideal specimens for containers and raised beds.  Their spectacular performance takes place from April through to early summer with wide ranging shades of colourful paper like blooms. Preferring a location in semi-shade in moist acidic soil – hence ericaceous compost is advised – Dead heading following the demise of the flowers is advised to discourage the making of seed pods and to promote health and good growth. Taking note of any new growth under the flower bud, simply snap of the old flowers stalks. When planting into containers you need to be aware that you do not overdo it -Rhododendron have a shallow root system and prefer to be re-potted every couple of years or so, therefore it is no use buying a pot four times the size of the existing rootball, it will not sit in it at all happily!! Pot on into something a couple of sizes larger at most to get the best from your plants.  (THE SAME INFO APPLIES TO AZALEA)

EVERGREEN AZALEA

Flowering spectacularly in late April through to early summer they are ideal for any size of garden, typically growing to around 80cm. Perfect for window boxes, containers or raised beds, where they can enjoy the best soil conditions. With a choice of feeds to supply the correct nutrients, either a granular ericaceous feed in march or a soluble feed between March to August you can be assured of a delightful display.

DECIDUOUS AZALEA

Dramatic shades of vibrant colours are the most popular of this type.  making a spectacular display in early summer they have the added bonus of fragrant flowers and fabulous autumn foliage colour. Hardy and fast-growing they make a valuable addition to the garden.  Again they prefer acidic soil conditions So containers or raised beds provide a solution to growing them where soil conditions locally would not usually allow. This type of Azalea like a fairly sunny aspect, They are fairly quick growers reaching around 120cm plus in 10years and are hardy in low winter temperatures.

MAGNOLIA

This lovely group of plants cover a range of sizes, from 125cm to 0ver 600cm! with many varieties having fragrant flowers and supplying colour in early Spring and also in the Summer. The deciduous varieties are hugely popular with a choice of flower shapes and size. The Stellata types have open flowers with finger-like petals, while many of the Soulangeana types have large goblet shape blooms, all exceptionally beautiful! EVERGREEN Magnolia have gorgeous large shiny green leaves with a suede-like underside. They carry their flowers in the summer, these have a waxy like look about them. They prefer to be planted where they can benefit from the shelter of a warm wall in sun or partial shade away from the cold winter winds.

Generally with all magnolias, remember that they require a sunny sheltered location away from biting winter winds and early morning frosts in a moisture retentive, free draining soil, enriched with well rotted manure. They look wonderful planted with Spring Bulbs, Hellebores etc.

SPRING FLOWERING BULBS

Enjoy them now as potted plants, to infill gaps, make up containers or window boxes etc.  Usually planted as a dry product in the Autumn ,they bring a welcome show of colour and fragrance (in some cases) to the early Spring gardens.

Ready now you will find a range of potted bulbs available such as Narcissus, Muscari (Grape Hyacinth), Tulips and Alliums

For more information or to choose from a wide selection of plants, come and talk to our experts at Birchgrove Garden Centre, Surfleet Road, Pinchbeck, Spalding, Lincs. or visit our website www.birchgrovegc.co.uk

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