Shrubs and plants flowering in April

By April, the garden is waking up, and more shrubs and plants are blooming. The precise timings will vary depending on the weather, and where in the UK you garden. Here are some seasonal ideas for colour in the garden in April.


spiraea canescens

Spiraea is a deciduous shrub, and there are several bright white, spring flowering varieties, with lovely arching branches.

Easy to grow and undemanding Spiraea is an ideal garden shrub with a good buttery yellow colour in autumn.

Check out How to grow Spiraea. 

Fritillaria imperialis

Bold orange Fritillaria imperialis

The imperial fritillaria is spring flowering bulb with large, dramatic flowers in bold shades of orange, yellow and red.

It is ideal planted with tulips to make a bright spring display. Plant in a well drained sunny position and usually it will grow well undisturbed for years. 

fritillaria meleagris

Fritillaria michailovskyi

Fritillaria meleagris the Snakes Head Fritillary is a smaller, much more delicate variety and also a spring flowering bulb.

The Snakes head Fritillary is more suited to a naturalistic meadow planting and is best planted in large numbers when it looks really effective.

Easy to grow. Its ideal for a semi wild area.

Forget me not

forget me not

Forget me nots are a simple, self seeding biennial which bring early colour to the spring garden.

Often overlooked because of their 'cottage' plant label, forget-me-nots are underrated and look fabulous with spring bulbs and in semi wild settings. In the image at the top of the page, they are growing alongside a stream.


Camellia 'easter morn'

Camellia is an evergreen shrub with glossy leaves and large showy flowers. Flowering can be as early as late February to early May, most flower in March and April.

A very attractive showy shrub, Camellia requires careful planting in the right place to get the best results.



Pieris is an evergreen shrub with attractive red foliage in the spring, often followed by flowers and berries.

Suitable to grow on acid soil. Tolerant of semi shade, there are a good number of varieties to choose from.

Growing tips, images and further information.



Primula is an evergreen spring flowering plant. There are lots of different varieties, including our native primrose, polyanthus, candelabra (deciduous) P. denticulata which is drumstick shaped.

All Primulas are easy to grow but vary in their growing conditions. Some are tolerant of damp and semi shade, others require full sun.

Brunnera macrophylla

Brunnera macrophylla ‘Jack Frost’

Looking similar to forget-me-not, this is Brunnera macrophylla ‘Jack Frost’. Brunnera is a  hardy (H6) spring flowering herbaceous perennials.

Brunnera are suitable for most conditions including semi shade and most are low growing up to .5m . Ideal in a woodland and naturalised settings. 

Early Clematis

Clematis alpina "Willy"

There are early flowering Clematis illustrated is C.alpina 'Willy'. Also, flowering early in the year is C. macropetala both of which are easy to grow and group 1 so no routine pruning required.

For more growing information and images, see Types of Clematis.

Clematis armandii

Clematis armandi growing in good conditions

One of the most spectacular of the early flowering Clematis is armandii, with glossy leaves and scented flowers in the right position it is quite special.

Unlike C.alpina and macropetala, C.armandii is very fussy in its growing conditions, more info


Aubretia trailing down a wall

Aubretia is a spring flowering perennial usually found in shades of blue,mauve, pink and red.

It looks great tumbling down a wall, in crevices and is attractive to bees.

Easy to grow, it spread to make a great display.



Bluebells are synonymous with spring and make a wonderful carpet of blue. 
A perennial woodland bulb, bluebells will grow in semi shade and damp condition.
It's important to know that bluebells are vigorous, because of which they can be invasive. 
Growing tips and differences between Spanish and English bluebells.