In spring, it is easy to find plants with yellow flowers to add colour to your garden (tulips, daffodils, celandines, cowslip,primroses) and the perfect foil to these are the stunning little blue bulbs. They will be appearing in garden centres and nurseries now and you can buy a few flowering in pots to get hooked on and then order masses of these good value bulbs and plant them in the autumn for spring next year. The photos below were all taken here and show how tough these little plants can be.
For drifts of early spring colour try Chionodoxa or ‘Glory of the Snow’. In the last couple of years, the name changes for this little genus has been baffling but, if you see blue Chionodoxa bulbs advertised, whichever you end up with will probably do well. Plant them on the edge of shrubs or in thin turf.
At Easton we use Chionodoxa in the meadows and over the years have bought various blue varieties all of which have given us great pleasure every spring and they are slowly multiplying. The only variety we have kept in the border is Chionodoxa ‘Pink Giant’ which is said to prefer these conditions.
Muscari or grape hyacinths also have lots to offer in containers, borders or in wild areas. We grow Muscari latifolium which has leaves similar to a small tulip. It looks lovely with the Snowflake (Leucojum) or in thin grass with other spring bulbs. Muscari neglectum has rushy leaves and is the grape hyacinth of cottage gardens and traditionally goes well with primroses. It can be aggressive but is a good plant for shady areas.
If you have pots of hyacinths (the big ones that come in baskets and smell amazing) left over from Christmas put the bulbs out in the garden amongst perennials and they will flower again outside albeit with smaller spikes. Hyacinths flower early so they make a good bridge between snowdrops and spring flowering perennials. We use them in amongst clumps of golden feverfew.
A beautiful blue for a spring garden is Anemone blanda. It has a depth of colour which gives it a royal richness. Anenome blanda is also available in white or pink and in woodland type conditions they will spread to form beautiful carpets of flowers.
You can see these flowers at Easton from April and into May.