Bulbs are a particular favourite of mine, especially dwarf narcissi, cyclamen, tulips, grape hyacinth
and, of course, crocus.
Muscari THE grape hyacinth
is one of the most popular and widely-grown spring-flowering bulbs, creating spectacular bedding displays and providing a pint-size focal point planted in single colours in containers.
ONE of our forgotten heroes of the spring garden is Muscari, the Grape Hyacinth
, with its tiny, mostly blue racemes of flowers that give of their best but almost seem to do it without being noticed.
Wildflower choices might include poppies, mallow, ranunculus ficaria, salvia pratensis, knautia arvensis and lamium purpureum, while bulbs such as alliums, crocus, snowdrop, grape hyacinth
and chionodoxa luciliae will all attract bees.
In the spring, choose from aubretia, grape hyacinth
, primrose, sweet violet, wallflower and wood anemone.
a queen of the common wasp, Vespula vulgaris, resting on grape hyacinth
Picture: DAVID MAITLAND
Less common types start appearing in nurseries this month, including baboon flower (Babiana), corn lily (Ixia), grape hyacinth
(Muscari), harlequin flower (Sparaxis), Homeria, ranunculus, Tritonia, and species tulips such as Tulipa clusiana and T.
As the season continues, the lawn will fill with daffodil, grape hyacinth
, crocus, Dutch iris and two kinds of feverfew, among other plants.
The same goes for the grape hyacinth
and while they look great as a huge purple blue haze, especially under trees, I'd rather they weren't in my garden.
This delicate spring flower, also know as the grape hyacinth
, is the perfect way to bring natural scent into your home at this time of year.
Other bulbs that were in the running were Narcissus Avalanche, a multiheaded variety with white-petalled flowers with lemon-yellow cups, and muscari armeniacum, a delightful and reliable grape hyacinth
which produces deep blue, long-lasting fragrant flowers in mid-spring and looks great in a pot mixed with the dwarf Tulipa Red Riding Hood, or planted as a solo species in one or more pots, to give a burst of blue.
An enormous dragon is also slowly awakening underneath the soil: this spring, 24,500 tulip and grape hyacinth
bulbs will burst into bloom, forming a 15 by 10 meter floral mosaic of this traditional Chinese symbol.
All will give a colorful display in spring: baboon flower (Babiana), African corn lily (Ixia), dwarf Narcissus, Freesia, grape hyacinth
(Muscari), harlequin flower (Sparaxis), Homeria collina, naked lady (Amaryllis belladonna), ranunculus, Tritonia and species tulips (such as Tulipa clusiana, T.
The gazebo was flanked by iron urns filled with yellow and white roses, delphinium, and grape hyacinth
, and the couple knelt on prie-Dieu on a white fringe carpet under a canopy of tulle.
The snowflake (Leucojum) and the neat little grape hyacinth
(Muscari) are also delightful and reliable spring flowers, and so too are the dwarf Reticulata irises, which are great in containers or on rock gardens.