Elegant flowers with three hanging and three upright petals make the iris one of the most eye-catching spring flowers. There’s something regal about them, because the fleur-de-lis symbol is derived from the iris. At the same time they have a natural look, as if they could be growing amongst the reeds. Perfect for the style trend that is all about pure products with strong lines, the iris is traditionally a cut flower that can cope with mono bouquets and arrangements. Growers are now pre-treating the flowers, which has greatly enhanced the lifespan. This means that the flowers always open and they have an excellent vase life.
Spring Surprises like hazel (Corylus avellana Concorta’), rock cress (Arabis), primula (Primula aucalis) and Aubrieta are perfect for those who can’t wait to bring their garden to life. Not only do they bloom early, but the latter two provide a second round of flowering later in the year. And hazel offers an attractive green backdrop that changes colour in autumn and reveals the decorative twisting branches in winter. So these garden plants don’t just surprise in the spring, but all year round.
From bushy to stylised, and from dark green to silvery grey-green: ferns come in many forms with leaves that can also vary considerably. One has curls, the other more feather-like, and a third has no frills at all. Together they form an attractive group of green plants that fit with the growing interest in botanical elements and collections in the home. As a bonus, ferns also help keep the air in the home healthy.
As the undisputed number 1 amongst the cut flowers, roses provide colour, scent and beauty indoors in the month when nature is still only hesitantly getting started. This Valentine’s essential is a real stunner, available in many colours and shapes from a spray rose to a solo star. With new varieties being added every year to enhance arrangements and bouquets.
When the whole garden is still sleeping, dogwood (Cornus), Viburnum and redvein enkianthus (Enkiathus) with their attractive, sometimes coloured branches and eye-catching lines still put on a good show in winter, particularly with a coating of rime or snow. And although these sleeping beauties appear to be resting, there’s lots going on inside these plants that manifests themselves faster than you think: they’re early bloomers that offer beauty during all four seasons.