The Experts’ Guide to Spring Plants

With 16 garden centre across Surrey, Sussex, Berkshire and London. Squire’s has branched out since opening its doors in Twickenham in 1964. But with so many colourful plants on offer, where do you start? Three of Squire’s horticultural experts tell us their spring favourites…

Theresa Scattergood, Plant Manager at Squire’s Washington

Narcissus ‘Tête-à-tête’ – A happy little golden yellow dwarf daffodil. This only grows to 15cm so it’s ideal for front borders or containers. It is very easy to grow and looks neat even when it has finished flowering. A plant to make you smile!

Camellia japonica – An evergreen shrub with glossy green leaves. In February and March elegant rose-like flowers are produced in abundance. Ideal for a pot where this beautiful shrub can take centre stage in the garden.

Sarcococca – Also known as ‘Sweet Box’, this evergreen shrub has strongly scented white flowers that appear from December until March. A compact plant ideal for containers,
the heady honey like scent is intoxicating.

Azalea ‘StarStyle’ – A compact evergreen shrub, this new variety has unusual and attractive star-like flowers in pink, lilac or white. A great plant for colourful pots or borders.

Chris Carpenter, Plant Manager at Squire’s Milford

Nemesia ‘Wisley Vanilla’ – A half-hardy perennial that has given me yearly colour in my planted containers. It has white flowers with a pink blush and a scent of vanilla. Regular dead heading will give you colour from spring well into late autumn.

Peonies – A beautiful herbaceous perennial, producing single or double flamboyant scented flowers. Some varieties can have flowers the size of dinner plates! I love seeing them emerge from the ground signalling spring has arrived and they add beautiful colour to my cottage garden. I also like to use them as a cut flower for a table arrangement.

Buddleja ‘Butterfly Candy’ – This is a fantastically reliable compact shrub, which always performs whatever the weather. It’s low maintenance and comes in a range of colours. It will thrive in a pot or a border, so any size of garden or balcony can have one. It flourishes in a sunny spot and will give you lots of nectar-rich flowers from late spring through to late autumn, attracting lots of butterflies.

Richard Wells, Centre Manager at Squire’s Badshot Lea

Rhododendron ‘Praecox’ – One of the first flowering Rhododendrons of the season, it’s a plant that really reminds you that spring has arrived! The mauve scented flowers look great against its dark evergreen leaves. Grows up to 1.5m.

Laburnum x watereri ‘Vossii’ – A perfect tree for smaller gardens. Its common name is the ‘Golden Rain Tree’ as it produces a mass of Wisteria like golden hanging flowers that almost drip off the tree. The flowers appear in May and are incredibly eye catching.

Prunus serrula – This ‘Tibetan cherry’ tree is perfect for all gardens. It has a deep red glossy peeling bark that looks amazing through winter, followed by masses of small white flowers that appear in early spring. It can grow up to 5m tall. 

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