October 3, 2019
Gardens

In the garden: What’s in flower this spring

The colours of spring are everywhere, with vibrant blooms including ranunculus, prunus trees and purple statice.

Ranunculus

With 400 species of annuals, biennials and perennials, ranunculus is a widespread group with appealing cultivars suiting a variety of conditions.  

How to grow: Ranunculus are one of the most rewarding spring bulbs to grow in the garden. Plant the korm in winter for spring blooms, in a semi-shade position protected from harsh afternoon heat with the claws pointing down. One korm may result in a bountiful display of up to 20 blooms, and while they may last a second season with the right conditions, it’s best to plant fresh annually for guaranteed blooms. 

In flower: Swirling rose-like blooms with rows of semi-double and double petals in solid, bold colours, that are ideal as cut flowers. With their pop of rich red, orange, pink and yellow, you can’t beat these cheerful blooms.

Prunus

New cultivars of the versatile prunus tree are always becoming available, as they provide a most spectacular spring blossom. Rosebud and Crimson Spire are especially popular.

How to grow: Prunus are very hardy, adaptable and are hence some of the most popular deciduous trees in the country. From small to medium varieties try in well-drained soil and a sunny position. Prune well after flowering for more new growth.

In flower: Prunus blossoms can be pink, white or a mix of shades in simple single or frothy double flowers in a range of sizes. The prolific spring-flowering makes them an excellent specimen tree as clusters of colour spread along each branch. The trees continue to delight with colourful leaves through summer and autumn and beautiful tracery in winter. 

Statice

Thank goodness this hardy perennial is back in style! With masses of tiny upright blooms in bold shades, the “sea lavender” is a burst of colour in warm weather and makes excellent cut and dried flowers. They’re very tough against pests and diseases and drought tolerant in our hot summers. 

How to grow: The statice performs best with minimal interference in very well-drained soil and a full sun position for the strongest stems and brightest blooms. Ideal as borders, in pots or a mass planting, ensure they have ample space for air circulation and don’t overwater. 

In flower: Available in a rainbow of colours, the most popular statice blooms are violet-blue, yellow and pink. You will have months of ongoing flowering, with their tall stem and compact blossoms with papery petals in bright shades.

 

This story first appeared in the Spring 2018 issue of SALIFE Gardens & Outdoor Living magazine. 

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