People often ask me what to plant at this time of year and often tell me the soil is always very wet in their garden and which plants survive in that situation?
There are some which are particularly good in these conditions, although they are perfect in almost every situation.
The best plants are primroses, polyanthus and forget-me-nots.
Oh no, not forget-me-nots, they grow like weeds, even in walls and crevices in paving – yes, I have heard this dozens of times but we can take advantage of this successful species.
If your garden has forget-me-nots growing all over the place, this is the time to dig every one out and replant in a bed or as a drift in a border so that they are all in the same place.
Plant them five inches apart so that the flowers form a blue carpet during the spring and as you have saved a fortune, treat yourself to a big bag of pink tulips planted in between the forget-me-nots.
Pink and blue look just wonderful, ask any lady!
Primroses in the countryside are a pale yellow and the good news is that they have returned because people no longer pick the flowers, the countryside laws protect them.
They grow best in lightly shaded areas, especially in hazel woods on chalky soil. But have you noticed how prolific they are on the sides of ditches? This indicates they love water.
Our plant breeders have developed an amazing range of flowers in an array of different colours and the great advantage is that we can choose the colours we enjoy the most at our garden centres.
If you are wondering about the cost, they are a bargain – £2.99 for six. Plant about five inches apart.
Polyanthus have also undergone major changes by our plant breeders, the flower stems are longer, blooms larger and some have perfume. Which ones?
Smell the flowers.
Separate colours always appeal to me. I love the yellows and oranges, these are really good spring colours but they usually produce a few flowers which last all through the winter.
This wasn’t the case when I was an apprentice – the hardiness has been introduced by the plant breeders.
Even if the weather is freezing for weeks, polyanthus flowers will cover the ground during the spring.
If you like contrasting colour schemes, bear in mind planting red with yellow or red and gold look brilliant, plant them five to six inches apart.