Liven Up Winter/Spring Beds with Colourful Primulas

Lift your spirits in the dull days of winter with the bright colours of Primulas. No garden is complete without these cheerful and hardy perennials as they are available in a wide range of sizes, shapes and come in every colour imaginable. These easy to grow blooms are perfect any type of garden, whether you need to fill some ground space or adding some wonderful colour to the front of the border.

In this blog post, we will guide you through our favourite Primula varieties, planting tips and aftercare, so that you can grow a rainbow of beautiful Primulas even during those cold, winter months.

Top varieties

Primula Colour Carnival

Packed with vibrant shades, our ‘Colour Carnival’ are an exciting mixture of bi-coloured Primula. Their fragrant blooms are perfect for attracting pollinators to the spring garden. Easy to grow, robust plants for beds and borders.

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Primula Husky Raspberry Punch

Brighten up the winter garden with the bursting brilliant pink hues of Primula ‘Raspberry Punch’. Flowering from January through to April, these cheery flowers will add a kick of colour to borders, pots, or why not plant them en-masse for a real eye-catching feature.

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 Primula Primlet

Producing masses of stunning double and semi-double flowers, these blooms almost resemble a miniature rose in the midst of the winter/spring season. From yellows to violet hues, these hardy perennials are ideal for creating a rainbow in the winter border.

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 Primula Showstopper Lime/Cream

A bright and delicate perennial. Our beautiful new ‘Showstopper’ is a pure delight in the late winter garden when their lime tinted cream flowers are on show. Ideal for the border, beds and containers.

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Primula Wanda

Fill the winter garden with the beautiful fragrance of Primula Wanda. Plant them where you can enjoy their scent, such as in patio containers or the front of the border. Wanda is a beautiful mixture of vibrant, ruffled flowers that are perfect for any garden.

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There are many benefits to growing Primulas:

  • A wide range of colours are available. 🌸
  • Fragrant varieties available.
  • Versatile plants – great for beds, borders or containers. 🏡
  • Varied flowering times – winter/spring/early summer  ☀❄

Planting Guide

Planting Time: August – October 📆

Flowering Time: February – May 🌸

Soil Type: Fertile, moist, well-drained soil. 🏡

Position: Full Sun/Partial Shade ☀

Beds/Borders

  • Best results are achieved by potting up into 9cm pots for 2-3 weeks upon arrival.
  • Allow them to establish a good root system.
  • Gradually harden them off before planting outside.
  • Water well after planting.

Containers

  • Using a good quality, peat-free, multi-purpose compost, fill a pot around 10cm from the rim with compost.
  • Plant them so the top of the rootball and compost are level.
  • Fill in any gaps between the plant with more compost.

Aftercare Tips

  • Water regularly.
  • Prune dead leaves and spent blooms regularly.
  • For potted Primulas, transplant them to your borders in the spring, where they will flower gain next year.
  • For container Primulas, feed with a high potash feed every fortnight.
  • Keep them moist but not sodden to avoid moulding.

October Plant of the Month: Heather

A terrific plant that deserves a spot in any garden. They may be small, but Heather are inexpensive, evergreen plants that provide colour even in the coldest months. Originating from the Scottish Hylands, transform any garden border, patio or rockery with the vibrant floral clusters of Heather and turn any garden into a carpet of dazzling colour.

To celebrate Heather as our plant of the month, we have selected our best Heather mixtures and collections on offer, as well as ideal planting partners, a planting guide and even some traditional folklore about Scotland’s national flower.

Top Varieties

Winter Flowering Collection

These small Heathers make a big impact with their masses of tiny blooms that flower all winter long into the spring. This collection of low-growing evergreen shrubs make excellent and colourful ground cover.

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Winter Mixed (Erica)

One of the hardiest of the Heathers. This wonderful mix of Erica Heather are low and quick growers, which will form eye-catching mats of pink, white, purple of red blooms. The perfect plant to compliment early spring bulbs.

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Summer/Winter Collection

Fill your garden with beauty all year round with this collection. Our summer Heathers bloom from July-October, while our winter Heathers flower from December to February. Plant en masse on a slope and an impressionist’s landscape will burst into life.

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Summer Mixed (Calluna)

Among the most hardiest and most varied of all Heathers. Appearing from mid-late summer, these showy flowers practically glow with their bright and beautiful shades. An easy to grow contender for adding to cottage gardens or as ground cover.

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Looking for some floral inspiration? Here are some tips on companion planting with Heather…

When planted en masse, Heathers and Heaths make a swath of tones and foliage with easy appeal and graceful texture. Adding some dimension to such plantings further enhances the garden area and increases interest year around.

Rhododendrons & Azaleas

A classic Heather companion. They crave the same acidic soil and consistent moisture on which Heather thrive. You can even feed Heather with a Rhododendron fertiliser.

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Pansies

When planting Heather in containers, keep it simple by accenting them with beautiful hardy Pansies. An excellent pot plant that grow well with Heather.

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Lavender

Smaller flowering plants compliment Heather and bloom at different times, thereby extending the bloom show. The look of Lavender and Heather together is a real showstopper.

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Planting Guide

Planting Time: Autumn-Early Spring 📆

Soil Type: Well drained, lime-free soil 🏡

Location: Full Sun/Partial Shade ☀

Flowering Time: July-October & December-February 🌸

  • Space Heathers as far apart as their mature width and at least 60cm away from other shrubs (to ensure good air circulation).
  • Dig a hole about twice as wide as the plug and half again as deep.
  • Firm the soil around the plant and water-in.
  • Water the plant once or twice a week when the soil is dry throughout the first season.
  • Mulch after planting.
  • Trim faded flower stems back to bases straight after flowering.

  • Plant them in a large, wide pot with good drainage holes in the bottom.
  • Use ericaceous potting mix (they enjoy highly acidic soil).
  • Shelter from strong winds and water when the two-inch later of soil is dry.
  • Protect from frosts by moving small pots indoors or cover the plant with polystyrene foam, then mulch the plant heavily.

Folklore 🌟

Here are some fascinating tales about these wild blooms.

How to Plant: Indoor Hyacinths

Why not fill your home this winter with the sweet smell of beautiful Hyacinth flowers? As one of the most popular indoor flowering bulbs on the market, these beautiful star-shaped blooms are well-loved by gardeners for adding a burst of colour and fragrance to the home, even as early as Christmas. Through this guide, we will provide an easy step-by-step instructions (including video tutorial) on how to grow these specially prepared indoor-flowering Hyacinths.

What are Prepared Hyacinths?

16/17cm Hyacinth Bulbs

Our Prepared Hyacinths are treated in a special way through a cooling process to trick them to believe that winter has been and gone and it is time to grow. Through this process, this makes these Hyacinths perfect for early forcing and indoor flowering. They can add beautiful blooms to the home as early as late November/Early December.

Planting Guide

Planting time: September-October

Bulb Size: 16/17cm

Flowering time: Late November to March

Instructions
  • Add crocks to the bottom of a pot or container.
  • Plant in fibre.
  • Plant the bulbs (pointed end up) at approx. 10cm deep.
  • Add more fibre, up to the neck of the bulbs.
  • Press the soil down firmly.
  • Place your pot in a cool, dark cupboard for 6-8 weeks.
  • Water when required, do not allow them to dry out.
  • Once shoots have established, bring the pot into warm daylight.

Click here to view our video tutorial on Indoor Hyacinth planting.

Our favourites:

Prepared Hyacinth Delft Blue

Our Prepared ‘Delft Blue’ will fill your home with beautiful blooms and an intoxicating fragrance. Showcasing tightly packed, porcelain blue, star-shaped blooms, these sweetly-scented floral spikes bring joy on any dull winter day.

 

Prepared Hyacinth Aiolos

The glistening, pure white blooms of Hyacinth ‘Aiolos’ will brighten the home this winter. With densely packed clusters of highly fragrant flowers, this variety is perfect for creating an elegant and scented table centre for special occasions, or can be used to create a beautiful cut flower bouquet.

 

Hyacinth Prepared Collection

Bring an abundance of fragrant and colourful blooms into the home this winter with this fantastic collection of Hyacinths.  This vibrant selection includes five each of Delft Blue, Aiolos (white), City of Haarlem (yellow), Woodstock (purple), Jan Bos (red), and Fondant (pink).

How to Plant: Outdoor Hyacinths

With their heady, sweet perfume and assorted rainbow of colours, Hyacinths are an extremely popular choice for brightening up the spring garden. For outdoor planting, we have a marvelous range of Bedding and Top-Size Hyacinths. To help you decide which options are the best fit for your spring garden displays, we have created this guide with the benefits and planting recommendations for both Bedding and Top-Size Hyacinths.

Hyacinth Benefits:

  • Easy to Grow
  • Strong, sweet fragrance
  • Hardy & Perennial
  • EXCELLENT CUT FLOWERS

Bedding Hyacinths 14/15cm

Hyacinth Fragrant Sea Mixed 14/15cm

Our bedding Hyacinths are a magnificent compact option for the spring garden. They are ideal for planting in groups in flowers beds and borders for a cluster of bold and beautiful colour. Growing to a mature height of approx. 25cm, their shorter growing habit is that they are less likely to become battered by the wind, and the planting options are endless. Beds, borders, containers or window boxes, the wonderful fragrance and vibrant colours of our Bedding Hyacinths are guaranteed to brighten up your spring garden.

Planting Guide

Planting time: Autumn (September to December)

Position: Full/Partial Sun

Flowering time: March-April

Instructions

  • Plant bulbs pointed end up at approx. 10cm deep and 10-12 cm apart.
  • Plant in well-drained soil (mix in some compost for peak performance).
  • Ideal for spring borders and containers.
  • Once planted, cover with soil and firm down lightly.
  • Protect from frosts in Winter.
  • Leave undisturbed after flowering for years of spring colour.

Click the video below for a full planting tutorial.

Our top choices:

 Hyacinth Autumn Colours Mixed

Add the beautiful warm tones of autumn to your garden with this beautiful mixture of orange, yellow and purple Hyacinth blooms. These fantastic hardy spring flowers are great for filling your spring beds and borders with stylish colour and sweet fragrance.

 

Hyacinth Double Mixed

The same beautiful colours and fragrance as a normal Hyacinth but double the blooms! The fluffy whorls of colourful double-flowers are the perfect eye-catching Hyacinth plants for creating sweet-smelling, vibrant summer bedding.

 

Top-Size Hyacinths 17/18cm

Hyacinth Jan Bos 17/18cm

Is there anything better than being greeted at your front door by beautiful tall, sweet-smelling pots of Hyacinths? Top-Size Hyacinths are supplied as giant 17/18cm bulbs. Their enormous flower heads are perfect for planting outdoors in patio pots and containers to create a dramatic showcase of colour. They are ideal spring garden flowers as they produce amazing large blooms that are not too heavy to need support.

Planting Guide

Planting time: Autumn (September to December)

Position: Full/Partial Sun

Flowering time: March-April

Instructions

  • Plant bulb with the pointed end facing upwards.
  • Plant at least 10cm deep and approx. 10-12cm apart.
  • For garden planting (beds, borders), plant in well-drained soil.
  • For container planting, use a soil-based compost (e.g. John Innes No.2).
  • Once planted, cover with soil and firm down lightly.

Click the video below for a full planting tutorial.

Our top choices:

Hyacinth Miss Saigon

With deep, rich purple flowers, Hyacinth ‘Miss Saigon’ bring a cheerful sight to the spring garden. This RHS award-winning Hyacinth produces dense floral spikes with starry, violet florets. Plant near a doorway, path or on the patio, where you can enjoy its beautiful perfume daily.

 

Hyacinth Delft Blue

The extremely fragrant, award-winning ‘Delft Blue’ features soft blue, densely spiked florets that will add some stunning colour to the spring garden. For best visual impact, plant in groups in patio pots, window boxes, or even in the garden border.

 

Continue reading How to Plant: Outdoor Hyacinths

Fragrant Spring-Flowering Bulbs

Fragrance can add a whole new dimension to the spring garden. By planting some fragrant plants this autumn you can create a peaceful, secluded scented garden spot for relaxation, a wonderfully fragrant walkway, or create vibrant and sweetly-scented beds and borders to great you in the spring.

Fill your spring garden with colour and fragrance with these beautifully scented bulbs.

Daffodil Cheerfulness

An award-winning double flowering Daffodil with flecks of sunny yellow nestle within the central cluster of the frilly crisp white petals. This English-grown variety is extremely sturdy and will liven up any borders or containers with their wonderful fragrance.

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Narcissi Derringer

Soft butter-yellow blossoms complement the bright yellow cup for a charming display. ‘Derringer’ is a fragrant bloomer that smells of spring. We recommend planting in containers or in a location where the sweet aroma can be appreciated.

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Hyacinth Miss Saigon

This award-winning Hyacinth produces fragrant bell shaped blooms perfectly formed from compact clusters of violet star shaped flowers. With its deep, rich purple color, ‘Miss Saigon’ brings a cheerful sight to the dull days of late winter.

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Hyacinth Fragrant Sea Mixed

A lovely mixture of fragrant Hyacinth in a soothing blend of white and blue shades for a contrasting display of sea breeze colour. These lovely highly scented flowers are excellent for bedding in early spring.

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Tulip Orange Princess

You’ll soon see why this double early Tulip has won the Award of Merit. ‘Orange Princess’ Tulips are among the most scented tulips and have a light, pleasingly sweet scent. This garden royalty is a sight for sore eyes!

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Tulip Purple Peony

With wonderful large, peony-like blooms, this gorgeous double Tulip blooms with sweetly fragrant, deep purple flowers. Pair alongside ‘Orange Princess’ for a eye-catching and contrasting spring display.

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Galanthus Elwesii

A spectacular giant Snowdrop. At the end of a long gloomy winter there is nothing to match the breath-taking sight of a carpet of snowdrops. These award-winning honey scented nodding white flowers are an essential part of the winter/spring garden.

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Puschkinia Libanotica

Winner of the RHS Award of Garden Merit, these small and fragrant starry, bell-shaped blooms can create a beautiful blanket of white and blue striped flowers under trees and in the grass.

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Ipheion Uniflorum White Star

These sweetly scented, star-shaped flowers produce silvery white blooms that will brighten up the spring garden. Beautiful and long lasting, these cheery flowers are great for the edges of borders and rockeries.

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Ipheion Uniflorum Mixed

These simple yet elegant blooms are an absolute delight in the spring garden. With bright colour and a sweet fragrance, these hardy flowers are great for naturalising in the garden.

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Muscari Cupido

Add clusters of these sweetly fragrant flowers to your spring garden. This easy to grow perennial bears densely packed blue pea-like flowers, edged in white, which can create a beautiful combination when planted with other spring-flowering favourites.

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Muscari White Magic

These heavily scented flowers will create a glorious carpet of fragrance that will shine in the spring garden. These white spherical blooms are perfect for partnering alongside richly coloured Tulips.

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Crocus Snow Bunting

As white as the name suggests, this award-winning Crocus is considered one of the best spring-flowering Crocus varieties. With a sweet scent, their pretty ivory flowers and rich golden hearts are a sight to behold in the garden.

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Crocus Cream Beauty

These award-winning, creamy yellow fragrant flowers are perfect for planting under taller shrubs and trees in beds or borders. A pure delight in early spring that, if left undisturbed, will multiply year after year.

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