It feels a little strange, approaching the second spring in the shadow of a scary cloud. I will never forget the experience of rushing to throw a bucket of wildflower seeds in a park near my work in March last year before I packed up the tools and went home to close. The flowers opened, but I could barely see them.
Of course, the spring of 2020 was unsurpassedly beautiful, providing a weather from which the plants blushed gratefully. During my daily walks, I witnessed a succession of front gardens: the muscari never turned bluer, the organ never became brighter, and spectacular flowers bloomed. Spring flowers, which are the first to follow the dark months, are particularly irritating: anemones, primroses, lungweeds, tulips and daffodils, and an abundance of bulbs, the appearance of which is accompanied by the development of lush foliage and ferns.
We are facing another uncertain spring this year: it is time to make joyful flower pots – for gardens and windowsills, balconies or stairwells – to cheer up the next few months and sow the seeds that bloom all summer. . Garden centers are open and many nurseries offer mail order plants. So, if you want to develop a healing color correction for yourself like me, here are five ideas for the best flowering pots in early spring – but also for annuals that bloom until fall. If not for your own well-being, do it for pollinators.
No flower starts spring like a fox. Of their many varieties are hybrids H. orientalis (the Lenten rose) is considered the most colorful, ranging from white to pink to pale yellow, the petals are often delicately freckled, and the anthers are eye-catching citrus. Make them the centerpiece, cut off the large palm-shaped leaves to reveal its captivating flowers and make room for the bright white undertone. Cardamin trifolia, copper Ajuga reptans or sulfur spray from inert grass (Epimedium x versicolor).
If you had missed a daffodil delivery boat last fall, it’s time to pick up the potted bulbs “green”. Although the range is more expensive and limited, the advantage of precise positioning. The common ‘Tête-à-tête’ daffodil complements this system well, as do similarly modest species such as N. poeticus or the miniature N. ‘Minnow’. Fill the remaining space with colorful accessories such as delicacy Erythronium ‘Pagoda’ or bright, cornflower blue Anemone mixture. Finally, add deer tongue or Korean fern (Polystichum tsussimense) for contrasting vegetation. These provide foliage for all three pots.
The sky is shining, the days are getting longer; time for believers in the middle of spring. Traditionally, this wall flower season (Erysimum cheiri) and there is rarely a shortage in crèches. I prefer the darker burgundy varieties (e.g. ‘Blood Red Covent Garden’). E. “Ivory White” has a distinctly sunny appeal. If something less traditional but at least as striking, try the mysterious woodland Uvularia grandiflora. There is also a paler option (‘var. Pallida’) if yellow is not your business. The tulips are now starting and are more than likely to stand up on the action racks. Choose soft apricots and velvet apricots.
That’s the height, now the tall ones. Spring is not spring without forgetfulness foam (Myosotis spp.). Ask around – you probably know someone whose garden is flooded with these fertile seed drills and would love to get rid of a bunch; alternative is Omphalodes “Cherry Ingram.” Then there are the ground lung grasses (Pulmonaria spp.): ‘Sissinghurst White’ for spotted leaves, ‘Blue Ensign’ for richer azure. Primrose, I think, belongs to the hedge; cow shield (daisy spring), however (his cousin from the field) adds a savage to the pots in April.
While the British mark May Day with hawthorn flowers, the French always subtly replace the scented stem of the muguet (lily of the valley), which is perfect for a well-watered pot and its cousin, the seal of Solomon (Polygonate × hybrid). Sweet rocket (Hesperis matronalis) and perennial stocks (Matthiola incana) are showered over white to purple, which is enhanced by the acid-green color Euphorbia oblongata (sarahraven.com).
Geums has become a spring star since they dominated the Chelsea Flower Show a few years ago. Pastel-colored varieties such as ‘Pink Petticoats’ or ‘Totally Tangerine’ are attractively light and long-lasting flowers. Similarly, the intricate petals of aquilegia are “naturalistic”. THE.’Munstead White ‘ill A. krizantha The “Yellow Queen” is as attractively vibrant as complex asterisks like “Nora Barlow” and “Ruby Port”. Again, a good foliage plant will help enliven the above flowers. Add the dead nettle Lamium maculatum “White Nancy” not only because of the silver splashes of leaves, but also because of the bonus of the white hooded flowers. Replace with chunky ornamental grass Festuca glauca for dishes in a sunnier place.
Planting spring pots
Any style of tile will work as long as it can hold several plants, is at least 20 inches deep and can be securely fastened if needed. Place them where they will be exposed to direct sunlight for several hours, but do not overcook them, and add broken pots or 2.5 cm garden grits to the bottom for drainage. Fill with tank compost; or use peat-free multi-purpose compost and add a handful of wood chips, homemade compost, coconut fiber or garden soil. When planting, leave for approx. 2.5 cm lip on top to make room for a layer of protective cover – grit or wood chips is best.
These pots can be planted in one go or when the plants become available. However, where possible, plant multiple times (three just the right weights) or repeatedly if you are using a narrow window planter. In the summer months, the plants can be moved to a garden edge, or the pot can be cut back and placed in the shade to rest. Allow the bulbs to die naturally before cutting the foliage.
Sowing flowers from seed
In addition to planting spring pots, it’s time to take hardy annual flowers from seed. Very small seeds should be sprayed on moistened, lightly solidified compost in an open seed tray; the slightly larger ones are taken one at a time in a multi-cell modular tray and covered with a thin layer of compost. I tend to sow two per cell to double the chances of germination, and if both are successful, I remove one seedling. After the real leaves have sprouted (the cotyledons that form part of the seed embryo hatch first), transfer them to separate 9 cm pots, first making a hole in the solidified compost with a pencil. Place the dishes in a bright, slightly cooler place, protected from frost. Water it from time to time to prevent the compost from drying out. Plant in a sunny place after the last frost. Try sarahraven.com or chilternseeds.co.uk for seeds.
Early summer flowers
Potted marigold (Calendula officinalis) is easy to grow from seed. Try modern varieties, from showy specimens like “Indian Prince” to a mixture of fluffy, semi-double “Sunset Buff”, “Orange Flash” or “Cantaloupe” apricots – destroyed flowering prolongs flowering and water well rooted in the heat. for a week. Nasturtiums are equally reliable, making long-lived perennials for containers, edible flowers and foliage in summer. In April, throw the large peppercorns into the prepared pencil holes, 15-20 cm around the edge of the container, cover and water.
Love in the fog (Nigella spp.) excellent annual, sown directly into the soil in April and indoors in March: try deep purple N. hispanica or seductive white N. damascena ‘Miss Jekyll Alba’, which grows to 40-50 cm. The stems of the European flowering meadow, the cornflower (Centaurea cyanus). The “Blue Boy” lends a classic azure look, though the varieties range from deep brown to white. Finally, add sweet peas (Lathyrus odoratus). Versatile reliability includes the ruffled pink ‘Anniversary’, the contemplative ‘Blue Velvet’ and the sophisticated ‘Matucana’. Connect a supporting pyramid frame of tall, branched twigs to allow the seedlings to climb; Regular flower cutting in the vase encourages more follow-up.
Late summer flowers
The tobacco plant (Nicotiana tools) is a fantastic annual for the flowers of the middle and late season – little “trumpet” stars that are easily held on the elegant stem. The “Lime Green” and “Crimson Bedder” are a complementary combination and remain manageable compact. The big daisy Cosmos bipinnatus another tall summer annual variety that you can choose from more massive varieties, including ‘White Popsocks’ and creamy yellow ‘Xanthos’. Early pinch the growth peaks to stimulate bushy growth.
Eschscholzia californica (California Poppy) is a winner in a brilliant orange color throughout the summer and beyond. These can be sown directly in pots in April or in modules indoors, carefully planted after the last frosts. Ornamental grasses are also of interest for a long season. Panicum elegans The “splatters” are high, while the bunny’s tail (Lagurus are) is compact and irresistibly fluffy. Finally, Dahlia variabilis “Bishop’s Children” is an ingenious blend of single-flowered dahlias (red, pink and orange) that dispels the misunderstanding that dahlias should be grown from tubers. Flowering begins in August and can continue until the first frosts if it dies again.