Spring Flower Favourites

With the arrival of the silly season in the garden, all eyes are on what is flowering and what can be planted now. Rachel Vogan suggests her top spring flower picks to add colour and interest to your garden.

For those who like to pick stems for the vase and table, flowers in bloom now are spring bulbs such as daffodils, tulips, poppies, hyacinths, iris, ranunculas and anemones. Camellias, azaleas, viburnum, hebes and kowhai are ‘go to’ flowering shrubs to both plant and pick now. Loads of perennials are doing their thing too like winter roses and alstroemeria. Roll up your sleeves and get planting!


For a blast of flower power this growing season now is the right time to plant out flowering stalwarts such as cosmos, dianthus, Queen Anne’s Lace, lobelia, snapdragons, cornflower, stocks, and sweet peas. In warmer areas petunias, begonias, impatiens and Livingstone daisies can be planted. In colder areas where frost is still hanging around hold off until after Labour weekend.

The trick to getting the best impact out of bedding plants it to plant plenty, and don’t spread them out too much, a hand space or two is generally enough space between most smaller growing plants. Also give them a generous amount of fertiliser at planting time.


Go to perennials to plant are Peruvian lilies, alstromeria, delphinium, geranium, gaura, Japanese anemone, lavender, red hot pokers, marguerite daisies, nemesia, heliotrope, African daisies, verbena, scabious and achillea. The list goes on, with these come again flowers. Plant them in blocks of colour and in layers, with the shorter types at the front such as verbena, heliotrope and nemesia, then layer them back to the taller varieties such as delphinium, red hot pokers and filler plants such as lavatera and gaura.


This is your last chance to plant lilies, gladiolus and the summer greats, late flowering dahlias. All these need to get in the soil before it warms up too much. To add a punctuation of colour in the

Recipe for bountiful blooms:

  • Feed the soil before you start. Flowers, like people can’t thrive on an empty tummy, hence blend in sheep pellets, Tui Flower Mix and fertiliser before you plant.
  • Water, water and lots of it, until the plants are well established. Did you know that most petals have a high component of water in them?

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