Your Garden Springing to Life

There is so much unfolding in our gardens in spring that every trip outside will reward you with a new visual feast. The sight of fresh ferns (such as Polystichum setiferum) unfurling is a magical reminder of the myriad shades of green we can all enjoy in our gardens. Contrasting leaf shapes are also delightful, as Polygonatum stems emerging through Geranium foliage demonstrate. The fresh new petals of Crocus tommasinianus can be almost jewel-like as they glisten in the early sunshine. When the sun is high in the sky at midday, they open their petals out into a star shape, gradually closing them up again as the light fades. Alliums such as ‘Purple Sensation’ open gradually from a tight lollipop shape until they resemble a sparkler, with a multitude of vibrant stars atop hundreds of tiny stalks. Other plants have a more subtle beauty. The flower buds of Pulsatilla vulgaris and Geranium ‘Samobar’ are covered in countless fine hairs, giving them an ethereal glow. Some sights need to be viewed close up for you to really appreciate their intricate wonder. Parrotia persica (also known as Persian ironwood) has magenta-pink flowers that resemble tiny sea anemones. The dainty flowers of Sarcococa hookeriana make a brilliant contrast against the glossy emerald foliage. But for sheer simplicity of architectural form, it’s hard to beat the emerging buds of Nectaroscordum siculum. Nestling together under a wispy papery casing, they gradually push outwards into the light, opening up into the familiar graceful nodding umbels of creamy pink flowers.