One of our favourite spring perennials is Dicentra spectabilis commonly known as Bleeding Heart. It thrives in a semi shady spot but can thrive in full sun as long as the soil stays moist. It can work well either front or mid border. The unusual flowers stand out in the garden and stay around during the whole spring and into the summer.
For those who don’t want the vibrant pink flowers the white cultivar Dicentra spectabilis ‘Alba’ is well worth considering.
Slow growing and gorgeous the Magnolia stellata is a perfect specimen for a small garden. The beautiful white flowers appear in early spring before the bright green leaves. If you get close, you’ll be able to catch it’s scent.
Contrast it against a dark evergreen background either in a border or a large container. It likes a a bit of ericaceous (acidic) compost but is not too fussy.
Cultivars are available, some of which have traces of pink in the flowers. Magnolia stellata ‘Rubra’ actually has dark pink flowers.
One of the best things about this time of the year is that plants with scent and flowers stand out because you’re just not expecting them. Viburnum bodnantense ‘Dawn’ is one such plant.
Easy to grow and maintain it will get up to 8 -10 foot as a multi stemmed shrub or can be kept smaller if required. The beautifully scented flowers appear sometimes as early as November and continue right through into the spring when the mid green foliage takes over.
Depending on the weather the plant can get quite nice autumn colour too before dropping it’s leaves.
‘Dawn’ works best against a dark background or as a focal point. Position it in a spot that you walk past regularly or near a window or door to get the most of the heavenly scent.
The pictures above were taken in January and as you can see the flowers were really getting going.