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March is a wonderful month; when new growth starts in earnest in the garden and we welcome the official start of spring. More daylight hours and lighter evenings make it a great time to get outside and plant something new, so here are my top 10 choices for adding colour and beauty to your garden this March.

1. Chaenomeles x superba (Japanese quince) ’Crimson and Gold’

This beautiful, bright red coloured flowering shrub is one of the best known and loved of the flowering quince. Such a cheerful, welcoming sight and it has a very long flowering period too.

It produces fruit in the autumn that can be made into a delightful light pink colour jelly. Also, if space is limited in the garden, it can be trained against a wall making it the perfect addition to the spring garden.

  • Flowers in spring and fruit in autumn
  • Fully hardy
  • Grows to 1.5m tall and 2.5m wide
  • Moist but well-drained or well-drained soil
  • Full sun or partial shade
  • Exposed or sheltered
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2. Narcissus (daffodil) ‘Jetfire’

This dwarf daff is not only highly weather and wind resistant, but also packs a huge punch of colour with its bright yellow petals and warm orange trumpet. Ideal growing in groups around shrubs and under trees, they also look wonderful in pots placed near the house.

  • Flowers in spring
  • Hardy
  • Grows to 20cm tall and 10cm wide
  • Moist but well-drained soil
  • Full sun or partial shade
  • Exposed
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3. Bergenia (elephant’s ears) ‘Purpurea’

Evergreen perennials are few and far between and this is just one of the reasons why this plant is so special. It has rounded, deep-green leaves forming ground-covering clumps.

It produces lots of pure pink flowers on red stems over many months that are popular for pollinators. Keep the plant looking neat by dividing when woody growth appears in the centre.

  • Flowers in spring
  • Fully hardy
  • Grows to 50cm tall and 1m wide
  • Moist but well-drained soil
  • Full sun or partial shade
  • Exposed or sheltered
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4. Primula (polyanthus) ‘Gold-laced group’

It’s this time of year that trays of multi-coloured polyanthus are seen for sale in a wide number of places and they are invaluable for adding a splash of colour around the garden.

There are gold and silver-laced polyanthus that look striking and were very popular in Victorian times. The single flowers have unusual golden eyes and margins.

  • Flowers in spring
  • Hardy
  • Grows to 25cm tall and 30cm wide
  • Moist but well-drained soil
  • Partial shade
  • Exposed or sheltered
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5. Skimmia x confusa (skimmia) ‘Kew Green’

Next is a great compact evergreen shrub that grows well in shade and needs very little pruning. It also acts as a pollinator for any female skimmia planted nearby to ensure the female variety produces red berries.

Thick clusters of scented creamy-white flowers bloom over several weeks to brighten a woodland garden area or shady shrub border. It benefits from a mulch of well-rotted compost after planting and watering.

  • Flowers in spring
  • Hardy
  • Grows to 1m tall and 1.5m wide
  • Moist but well-drained
  • Full shade or partial shade
  • Exposed or sheltered
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6. Pulmonaria (lungwort) ‘Blue Ensign’

Such a delight to spot the first sprays of its funnel shape flowers in early spring. This cultivar forms large, upright clumps with long broad leaves covered in light spots which show up beautifully when grown in a shady area. The flowers are violet-blue in colour and the plant as a whole is easy to grow.

  • Flowers in spring
  • Fully hardy
  • Grows to 50cm tall and 50cm wide
  • Moist but well-drained soil
  • Full shade or partial shade
  • Sheltered
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7. Camellia x williamsii (camellia) ‘Water Lily’

If you have acidic soil, then this beautiful evergreen shrub with deep green shiny leaves deserves a place in your shady garden border. It has highly scented, deep pink double flowers and is best planted beside a wall to give winter protection.

In addition, it needs to be planted out of the way of early morning sunlight which can damage flower buds after a frost. When growing in pots try to water with rainwater rather than tap water.

  • Flowers in spring
  • Hardy
  • Grows to 4m tall and 2.5m wide
  • Moist but well-drained or well-drained soil
  • Full shade or partial shade
  • Sheltered
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8. Ribes odoratum (buffalo currant)

A tall, upright shrub producing soft yellow flowers with a rich spice scent in early spring. The leaves also have a similar scent too when rubbed. The shrub looks great with a selection of spring flowering bulbs planted around the base.

In autumn, they provide wonderful autumn colour because the leaves turn shades of red and purple and edible black berries grow. Once flowering is done, pruning should be done immediately.

  • Flowers in spring
  • Hardy
  • Grows to 2.5m tall and 2.5m wide
  • Moist but well-drained or well-drained soil
  • Full sun
  • Sheltered
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9. Omphalodes cappadocica (navelwort) ‘Starry Eyes’

This unassuming looking plant makes fabulous ground cover for that dry, shady corner under a tree. It’s also great for this because it’s fast to establish and generally a trouble-free plant to grow. In spring, cascades of bright blue flowers cover the plant.

  • Flowers spring
  • Hardy
  • Grows to 50cm tall and 50cm wide
  • Moist but well-drained or poorly drained soil
  • Partial shade
  • Sheltered
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10. Fritillaria meleagris (Snake’s head fritillary)

Finally, this British native wildflower is bound to be a talking point in your garden with the unmistakable checked markings on its purple flowers.

It’s very hardy and looks wonderful naturalised in lawns, but also looks great in containers. However, when growing in containers, the soil must remain moist, so regular watering when in containers is a must to keep it looking happy and healthy.

  • Flowers in spring
  • Fully hardy
  • Grows to 30cm tall and 80cm wide
  • Moist but well-drained soil
  • Full sun or partial shade
  • Exposed
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As we step into spring, spruce up your garden with these top ten picks for March gardens. In no time, your beds, borders and containers will be full of colour and texture that will get spring to a spectacular start.

Spring is nearly here, see my post on spring pollinators:

Or check out my Pinterest board for more ideas:

spring pollinators
Spring pollinators
Pinterest
Pinterest Board


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