Spring planting ideas

There are many easy to grow garden favourite plants which make colourful borders and are readily available in garden centres and on line. Every garden and gardener is different;  it's a pick and mix of spring flowering plants. 

Ideas for summer planting combinations

Aquilegia 'Swan-Lavender' with Euonymus fortunei Emerald Goldand Rhododendron luteum

Aquilegia 'Swan-Lavender' with Euonymus fortunei Emerald Gold and Rhododendron luteum.

This is a lovely spring combination, Aquilegia 'Swan-Lavender' with Euonymus fortunei Emerald Gold and Rhododendron luteum.  This planting combination creates a bright yellow splash in the border and these plants are easy to grow.

Aquilegia, common name columbine, is a herbaceous spring perennial with delicate flowers. The true beauty of the Aquilegia is not really displayed in the image, check out growing Aquilegia. Euonymus is a common garden shrub which means it can get overlooked but many varieties have strong variegated leaves. It is evergreen and fully hardy.

The Rhododendron in this planting combination is deciduous but has the real bonus of being scented. In common with all Rhododendrons it needs acid soil to thrive.

Spring plant combinations Clematis montana and Allium

Clematis planting combinations

Clematis look good with so many plants in combinations, and also on their own as a specimen plant but they are not the easiest of plants to grow. For detailed advice on planting, growing and pruning clematis.  The image left shows the early flowering Clematis montana with spring flowering Alliums.

Clematis montana is one of the easier clematis to grow because it only needs pruning when it has grown too large. Unlike the group 2 & 3 clematis C. montana does not need regular pruning, so if you don't enjoy pruning, this is the Clematis for you.

 Clematis mix well with most garden plants, and are especially associated with Roses, which is a hard combination to maintain requiring time with pruning and feeding. There are over 200 species of clematis with specialist web sites and growers to give advice.   

Allium hollandicum purple sensation with euphorbia palustris

Alliums look fabulous with many spring flowers as the following images show. Alliums are easy to grow and once planted they will come up reliably each year. 

In the image Allium hollandicum 'purple sensation' is planted with Euphorbia palustri a strong combination of lime green and purple.

Allium with Camassia

Planting combination Allium with Camassia

In this image a different type of effect is obtained from planting Allium with Camassia creating a haze of soft blue and purple. Camassia are also a bulb, tolerant of most soils including damp soil and they will tolerate partial shade.  

The only drawback is that they are ** hardy so many not survive a bad winter and are best with a good mulch before the cold weather.

Spring plant combination allium christophii  and primula harlow carr

Spring Planting combination Allium christophii  and primula 'Harlow carr'

Still with Allium this is A. Spring plant combination allium christophii  and primula 'Harlow carr'  a lovely combination of the Allium spiky flower head which looks very stylish together with the yellow, red and orange hues of Primula 'harlow car' both are very easy to grow and look lovely in the spring border. Primula are a wide-ranging group of plants and worth checking out. They are long flowering and come in many colours and sizes; the Harlow carr varieties are especially nice,  a tall candelabra variety.

Spring plant combinations blue Geranium with Achemilla mollis

Plant combinations Geranium (Cranesbill) and Achemilla mollis (Lady's Mantle)

An easy combination of plants both of which are perennial and fully hardy. A contrasting combination of purple and lime green.  The purple flower is a hardy Geranium, which will grow in most soil conditions including light shade;  further growing information on Geraniums. The lime green is Achemilla mollis, again easy to grow, possibly too easy as a bit of a self seeder but equally easy to remove where it is not wanted. Further growing information on Achemilla.

Planting combination  Cornus, honesty seed heads and snowdrops.

Winter planting combination, Cornus, Honesty Lunaria annua and snowdrops

This lovely planting combination can be found at RHS Harlow Carr, which has a lovely winter garden. 

The yellow stemmed Cornus is likely to be  Cornus sericea 'Flaviramea', or similar, with the seed heads of Honesty and the lovely delicate snowdrop in the foreground an inspring combination.

Betula utilis jacquemontii 'Snow Queen' Tree Single Stem Himalayan Birch Trees

Winter planting combination, Cornus and Betula utilis jacquemontii 'Snow Queen'

This lovely planting combination can also be found at RHS Harlow Carr.  

Here strong Red stems of Cornus Alba Sibirica and contrasted with the stark white of Betula utilis jacquemontii 'Snow Queen' Tree, also known as the Himalayan Birch Tree.

For best colour with Cornus cut the stems and prune hard in late February - see growing Cornus tips.

Last updated 12.01.2020