There are plenty of Iris varieties that can be grown throughout the year, but in spring the electric-blue blooms of Iris reticulata are the ones to look out for.
Hyacinths come in a range of colours: from classic deep indigo through to pinks, purples, magentas and whites. They’re a great choice for fragrance.
Snake's head fritillary
These pink-and-purple-chequered flowers are said to resemble the head of a snake, hence the name. They’re usually found in meadows and some wilder gardens.
Alliums offer a great burst of colour and drama in late May, marking the transition into summer.
Need an excuse to spend more time outside? Our gardeners have come up with five key gardening tips for spring, to help you getting your own patch of green looking its best.
The first job is to weed the beds, then you can refresh the soil by digging in a 5cm layer of compost or manure. You can also add mulch to keep the weeds down.
If your perennials are getting unruly, just lift the plant with a garden fork, divide into chunks and then re-plant separately. Make sure to water them in well.
Aim to get bare-rooted plants like soft fruits, roses and shrubs planted out before St Patrick’s Day (17 March). Mid-April is the time to sow vegetable seeds.
Remove flower heads as they fade, but leave the foliage to die back. You can then leave the bulbs in the ground, or lift them and store in a cool, dry place.
Get the mower blades sharpened before the first cut, and use a high setting for the first few weeks until the grass is stronger. Use a lawn feed if needed.
From buzzing bees to chattering birds, wildlife can be found right on your doorstep. There's loads you can do for nature in your garden to make it a haven for all sorts of creatures. You could even make a promise to nature if you're stuck for inspiration on how to help the bees, butterflies and hedgehogs who love to visit your garden.
Annuals like cosmos, perenials like bellflower and even herbs like rosemary, lavender and sage are all great sources of food for pollinators like bees and butterflies.
By installing bird boxes and feeding birds you can make sure they thrive. Put your bird box up high in a sheltered site. In spring, provide protein-rich feed, such as fat balls.
By letting some or all of your lawn grow you will make space for many plant and insect species, including butterflies and wildflowers.
These clever boxes will attract a variety of insects including bumblebees, lacewings and ladybirds which will preserve a healthy ecological balance in your garden.