After a winter with a splash of colour here and there I’m enjoying the wonderful explosion of fresh looking spring colour everywhere I turn.
Looking at the primrose tables in the garden centre it’s obvious that the most popular colour now is sunny yellow because the yellow ones are the first to go. What a wonderful colour to start the season off!
One of my favourite early flowering shrubs is the Forsythia displaying a mass of sunshine yellow flowers. It flowers on bare stems of the previous year and right now is a blast of golden yellow just about everywhere I look.
Forsythia ‘Golden Nugget’ is a compact, medium sized shrub with larger flowers than many of the others. It will grow to about five feet making it ideal for a mixed shrub border or small garden and will grow well in most fertile, well-drained soils in sun or part shade. With it being smaller and more compact it could also be used to form a hedge. Maintaining a good shape and ensuring plenty of flowers for the following year it should be pruned every spring after flowering.
Another welcome sight is the perennial Primula veris, the Cowslip. I planted one several years ago in a bed with aquilegias, brunneras, pulmonarias, hostas and geraniums. That one plant has formed a group creating good ground cover and much needed weed control. Its small nodding fragrant flowers at the top of those upright stems contrast perfectly with the pink and blue flowers of Pulmonaria ‘Majeste’. As the other plants around the cowslips grow lusher and begin to flower it will stretch those flower stems a little so as to keep up the show.
Kerria japonica ‘Pleniflora’ is another wonderful sunny flowering shrub with chunky bright yellow double flowers, rather pompom like with light green well veined foliage. It’s vigorous, suckering habit wants space to expand making it suitable for a large shrub border or a planting bed where it can be contained.