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The Spring Garden - Lottie Newitt’s Top 5 Plants for Spring

Spring glorious spring! The garden is beginning to wake up & come back to life again now, so why not kick the growing year off with a bang and get some new spring colour into your garden?! We spring clean our houses & re-decorate in the spring, why not refresh your garden too? 

Here are Lottie Newitt's top five plant ideas for spring colour and interest along with a few essential tips to help you get the best from your spring garden. 

1. Beautiful Blossom

Flowering Almond Tree- Prunus triloba has the prettiest double, ruffled petal flowers that bloom early-mid spring. The blooms are a stunning mix of baby pink, deep pink & peach shades that cover the upper stems of the tree. The leaves are very decorative too with their toothed edges in a lovely shade of bright green through the spring and summer, turning to yellow and oranges in the autumn before they drop. Sometimes you’ll see ornamental red berries on this variety too, late in the autumn. These are not edible, however they look lovely & the birds love them.

Patio Peach Tree has been a real favourite for many of our viewers & customers over the last couple of weeks, and with good reason. Not only will there be striking, light pink blossoms that completely cover each little branch of the tree in spring, there will also be a striking red foliage to enjoy too. Red foliage on a fruit tree is quite unusual and really sets this variety apart from the rest! Of course, it’s not just the blossom or the foliage you’ll enjoy; you will also be able to grow your very own edible peaches too. Buying them in a pair is a great way to dress your garden for spring, put one either side of your front door to create a pretty welcome for your visitors.

Top tip for blossoms - keep the soil nutrient and moisture levels stable by using a soil regulator when planting your blossom trees. Kick start soil improvement is a natural based medium that helps retain and gently release excess nutrients & moisture in the soil to your plants as and when they need it. Just a small handful thrown into the soil when planting, evenly spread, will do the trick!

2. Camellia Charm

Camellias are a good old garden favourite, they provide so much beauty and colour in the spring also adding structure, form and create a lovely backdrop for summer flowering plants later in the season. Camellia flowers are very pretty, you can find both single flowering and double flowering varieties in an array of colours. My favourite is the Camellia Spring Festival, this variety has won the RHS Award of Garden Merit due to the magnificent flower power it holds! The amount of pretty pink blooms this variety produces is unbelievable!

Top tip - keep Camellias protected from hard frosts by wrapping them up in garden fleece or if they are in a pot, wrap them up and move them closer to the house for protection.

3. Late Spring Stunners

Rhododendron flowers are, in my opinion, one of the most striking late spring flowering shrubs. A mass of huge, globe-like flower heads are produced mid-late spring, creating a fantastic floral show. There are so many varieties to choose from too! Rhododendrons have evergreen foliage that lasts all year round, so even when they are not blooming, they add structure and create a good backdrop for other plants in the garden. Plant them in pots or in the ground.

Top tip - Rhododendrons need acidic soil to thrive, plant in ericaceous compost to ensure that there is a good acidic balance for your plants. Keep this topped up by top dressing around the base of your plant with Ericaceous compost every autumn.

4. Alpine Plants for Spring Flowers

Many alpine plant varieties flower from early spring onwards and are a great way to get that early colour in your garden, no matter how big or small your space is. Create a spring alpine garden in a container using small rocks in between the plants for decoration or dedicate a small space in a border to create a rockery garden. Good spring flowering varieties are Saxifrage, Aubrieta, Gentiana & Campanula.

5. Spring Garden Preparation Tip

Make your own natural plant food now ready for spring feeding!

I love the Higrow natural plant food maker that we now have in stock! Looking after your plants is an absolute must to ensure that you give them the best chance of development to perform better in your garden through the year. With this fun and genius piece of equipment you can now create a natural plant food suitable for your plants in just 3-4 weeks. You can create your own mixes made up of natural kitchen waste (vegetable trimmings & left overs, egg shells, fruit waste) and garden waste such as leaves & grass clippings. Just add your chosen natural mix to the basket, pour in 4 litres of water into the main bucket and after 3 weeks you’ll have your very own plant food ready to use in the spring!

Lottie would love to see photos of your spring garden projects, so make sure you send them to us! 

If you enjoyed this blog, you can catch lots of gardening on Hochanda this weekend:
Friday 11th March 2016 (8pm)
Saturday 12th March 2016 (9am, 12pm, 4pm, 7pm, 8pm)
Sunday 13th March 2016 (9am, 12pm, 4pm and 7pm)

Tune into Hochanda live online, on Freeview channel 39, Sky channel 663 or Freesat 817.

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