Spring Time Flowers
While Knoll Gardens is known for it stunning high summer and autumn displays of richly colouring trees and shrubs, combined of course with the fabulous effects of the grasses and perennials, we try very hard to have something in flower for every day of the year. This can be a bit difficult during the winter but come the spring nature seems to awake with a veritable bonanza of flower in all shapes, colours and sizes. It is a most beautiful and optimistic time of year.
We cannot do without the woody plants; the trees and shrubs that make up the backbone of the garden providing structure all year and for many, such as the beautifully scented Magnolia Jane (above), a massed flower event to celebrate the coming of spring.
Then there are those slightly more tender shrubs that require a sheltered position but reward such care with some tremendous flower displays. Acacia pravissima (below), has a most distinctive shape and many thousands of pom pom like soft yellow flower at this time of year.
Camellias come into their own now with such an amazing selection of flowers in all shapes and sizes that it is seriously difficult to choose. Below is Camellia Donation in full flower at the moment hanging over the path to the Stream Garden.
While the woody plants are with us all year the spring flowering bulbs pop up to entertain us with their displays of bright fresh flower, and then disappear for a well earned rest until the same time again next spring. Who would want to be without them.
Take for example our Shady Meadow (below), which is in a fair amount of dry shade and is planted with Carex remota and Carex Silver Sceptre as a base cover which is present all year. As you can see spring is the time when bulbs such as Anemone nemerosa Alba combine with the native primroses, Primula vulgaris, to provide a delicately beautiful display that is all the more vibrant when seen with a shaft or two of sunlight.
In the Deschampsia meadow elsewhere in the garden Primula Minicombe (below), a native selection found in Devon is looking very lovely. All these primulas can be divided after flowering to bulk up numbers if desired.
A little further up the garden from the Shady Meadow is the Sedge Meadow, which is comprised of another dry loving native sedge, Carex arenaria. This is making a durable cover in rather difficult conditions and through which we have planted some blue Chionodoxa forbesii which are creating a real dainty scene (below).
Another dainty looking but wonderfully effective association is using the marsh fritillary (below), Fritillaria meleagris, amongst some more Carex remota. They look amazingly airy and fragile but seem to be persisting in our relatively dry soils.
Ipheions are easy to grow bulbs that love sandy, dry and sunny conditions and those that we have planted in the Gravel Garden (below), seem to thrive and are looking really great just now.
Snowdrop time is long past but the giant snowdrops (below), Leucojum, are larger and later and especially wonderful coming into fresh flower at this time of year.
Surrounding the Lower Lawn are some drifts of Chionodoxa Pink Giant (below), which as the name suggests has comparatively large soft pink flowers and is quite gorgeous.
And perhaps the best thing of all is that spring is just the start of a long season of flower foliage and form in the garden!