Flowering today

Winter Aconites

These tuberous perennials are easy to grow and make a nice splash of colour in February. They are good for ground cover under roses and around trees. Pretty tough, tolerating most soil PHs and very hardy to frosts.

Hellebore

Hellebores or the Christmas rose grow well in shady areas They are prolific seeders and come in many different colours. They grow to a max of 30cm and flower in early spring

Chaenomeles

Chaenomeles or flowering quince is a spring flowering shrub. Quite hardy and easy to grow. They have glossy leaves and are quite spiney, making a good barrier. Their fruits are food for some butterflies and moths.

Osteospermum

Osteospermums produce prolific flowers in the spring. They are not that hardy and won’t withstand prolonged frosts but will survive mild winters. They are probably best in pots so that they can be protected in winter. If in a pot they mustn’t be allowed to dry out for a long period because they will go in to a hibernation state to withstand the drought and won’t produce any flowers. They don’t like being too wet either. The photo was taken of a plant left outside on a rooftop garden in central London.  

Begenia

This tough plant flowers in spring. The leaves are large and glossy and the flowers are produced on long stalks. They can withstand very low temperatures and are fully UK frost hardy. They don’t like windy conditions when their leaves can go a bit brown around the edges.

Muscari

Muscari is a spring flowering bulb with the common name of Grape Hyacinth. They like a neutral to acid soil that is not too rich, in full sun or light shade. They multiply quite quickly so careful thought needs to be given to their position so that do not become invasive. They can be an interesting feature in pots.

Crocus

This easy to grow plant flowers in early spring. It likes a sunny position. it is prone to be eaten by mice and squirrels. Easy to grow, just plant the corms 3-4cm deep in well drained soil. They are frost hardy, their flowers being protected by a waxy cuticle.

Mahonia Japonica

This evergreen flowering shrub is easy to grow and makes a great background for any large border. It flowers late autumn to early spring. It can grow up to 2.5 metres in height and this takes 10 to 15 years to reach. Its not fussy about soil PH but likes the ground well drained.