12 Designs for Spectacular Spring Borders

Since we are now going into the last month of Summer, now is the perfect time to start planning your spring displays in time for bulb planting season. From delightful Daffodils and Narcissi to deep, dark Tulips, we have a fun and colourful planting idea to suit any spring garden border.

Here are our 12 spectacular spring planting ideas…

1. Fantastically Fragrant

Recreate this boldly colourful spring theme with vibrant yellow Narcissi and blue Muscari for a fragrant, clustered, show-stopping display.

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Narcissi Jetfire

A real British favourite. This sweet-scented clump-forming Daffodil produces bright yellow petals with a deep orange trumpet. Surrounded by purple flowers, such as Muscari and Crocus, for an extraordinary spring display.

 

Muscari Armeniacum

This RHS Award-winning Muscari variety blooms with electric deep violet-blue pea-like flowers and is guaranteed to make a real feature in the garden, especially when planted in groups. An additional benefit is its lovely fragrance. The more you plant, the more fragrance you get!

2. Fiery

By blending warm shades of orange, pink and peach together, you can create a beautiful fiery and fragrant display of spring colour.

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Hyacinth Jan Bos

An RHS Award-Winning Hyacinth. With its distinct bold reddish/pink colour, ‘Jan Bos’s’ floral spikes are a perfect fragrant addition to mid spring beds, borders or along walkways. They will even naturalize beautifully in the right spot.

 

 

Tulip Suncatcher

A true symbol of spring. Tulip ‘Suncatcher’ produces bright golden yellow blooms that are detailed with fiery scarlet edging, that are sure to bring the warmth to your spring borders with their intense colouring.

Hyacinth Apricot Passion

This uniquely coloured Hyacinth produces star-shaped flowers in soft, warm apricot and pink tones. Enjoy these highly perfumed blooms in pots, containers or garden border and beds.

 

 

Muscari Blue Magic

With their densely packed flower spikes, Muscari Blue Magic are perfect for adding a contrasting accent to this fiery themed border. ‘Blue Magic’ blooms in mid spring with a stunning royal blue colour. Best planted in groups for an amazing visual impact.

 

3. Dramatic & Bold

Add a touch of drama to your borders with this monochromatic scheme. A simple blend of colours that provides a big impact.

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Tulip Queen of Night

Extremely popular and considered as one of the top ten prettiest deep purple cultivars, the RHS Award-winning Tulip ‘Queen of Night’. Known as the blackest Tulip ever bred, their impressive, velvety dark maroon blooms are the perfect show-stoppers in any spring border.

 

Tulip Alabaster

Blooming with the purest white flowers, and alongside ‘Queen of Night’, Tulip ‘Alabaster’ creates the most striking spring display. Paired together, these Tulips will blend together for a fantastic checkerboard-like-effect.

4. Pastel

Pastel flowers look beautiful in the bright spring sunshine, but also stand out in shade gardens and can brighten up especially dark areas. For a peaceful and relaxing space, try this sweet shop themed Tulip and Muscari mixture.

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Muscari Peppermint

Scented blooms of this Muscari bloom in shades of cool, pale blues which fade to white towards the tip. This pretty variety is robust with a delightful sweet fragrance that is perfect for naturalizing in a woodland garden at the front of the border or in containers.

 

Tulip Huis Ten Bosch

With a huge cream base and candy pink edging, the delicate edges of Tulip Huis Ten Bosch look as though they are made from spun sugar – and it’s no surprise why this Tulip is known as the ‘Candy Floss Tulip’.

5. Wonderful White

A timeless and sophisticated colour scheme. Brighten up your borders with crisp, clean white Tulips.

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Tulip Clearwater

With neatly formed, cup-shaped blooms in the purest white, Tulip ‘Clearwater’ will create a sophisticated and modern look when planted en-masse in the spring border. They tend to look best at dawn and dusk, when they practically glow in the half-light.

6. Bright & Cheerful

Let your creativity flow and inject some life into the spring garden with bright, bold colours.  If you’re looking for something that packs a punch, this combination is for you.

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Tulip Saxatilis

An RHS Award-Winning Tulip. Blooming with soft lilac petals surrounding a bright sunny yellow center, this colourful compact variety makes a wonderful addition to spring beds and borders, or even for naturalizing in groups in grassy areas for maximum impact.

 

Narcissi Tete-a-Tete

This early spring bloomer is quite possible the most renowned scented dwarf Daffodil on the market. These RHS Award-Winning perennials boast perfectly formed, fragrant flowers with pale yellow petals and bright yellow trumpets. Plant en masse or with other flowers for visual impact.

 

Muscari Blue Magic

Along with the vibrant shades of the yellow Narcissi and pink Tulips, the bold tones of Muscari ‘Blue Magic’ are perfect for adding compact accents of rich blue to the spring border.

7. Glowing

Light up your garden with warm tones of yellow, orange and red.

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Tulip Verandi & Narcissus Falconet

‘Verandi’ offers glowing deep red blooms with brilliant thin edge of yellow. Whilst Narcissus ‘Falconet’ is a cheerful bright yellow flower with deep orange cups in the center. A stunning display that will shine in the spring time when planted together.

8. Cool and Tranquil

 For a fresh, clean combination, try this simple yet eye-catching colour scheme.

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Tulip Hakuun

Also known as ‘White Cloud’, this Darwin Hybrid Tulip boasts large snowy blooms that will gleam in the spring garden, and are guaranteed to bring borders to life. This long lasting mid-season variety will create a soothing effect when planted against blue spring flowers for a cool, calming border.

 

Muscari Blue Magic

Featuring eye-catching grape-like clusters of sky blue flowers, this Grape Hyacinth looks truly magical planted alongside white spring-flowering bulbs. They’re hardy, easy to grow and go with so many planting schemes – no garden should be without them.

 

9. Early Season Sunshine

The most striking combinations are complimentary colours, e.g. purple and yellow. Bring the sunshine to your garden with this cheerful plant combo.

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Crocus Flower Record

These deep violet flowers with contrasting orange stems are a pure delight in early spring. Bearing large, cup-like flowers, this vigorous variety is perfect for naturalizing against Daffodils for a stunning and vibrant border display. Spectacular when planted in large, sweeping drifts.

 

Narcissi Lemon Sailboat

The perfect match for planting alongside purple Crocus blooms are the lemony-yellow flowers of Narcissi ‘Lemon Sailboat’. The petals on these delicate blooms are swept back like sail on a boat, hence their name. Their sweetly scented blooms are ideal for naturalizing in the spring garden.

 

10. Colour Block

Make a real statement with texture and shape with this simple colour blocking display style.

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Tulip Red Blend Mixed

Plant this sultry mixture of red Tulips, from light crimson to deep dusky reds, to create a terrific, multi-textured spring display. Perfect flowers for planting en masse for maximum effect, or in pots and containers. Mixtures are also available in other shades, including orange, pink and purple.

11. Dreamy

Add some romance to your garden using charming shades of pink, purple and white with this fresh and classic cottage garden style.

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Tulip Tom Pouce

Named for the lusciously sweet Dutch pastry (kind of like a pink Napoleon), ‘Tom Pouce’ is especially enchanting in the spring sunshine. This lovely Tulip is a sweet combination of bright pink that fades into a soft, creamy yellow towards the base. An ideal choice for mid-spring borders.

 

Tulip Purple Bouquet

Also known as ‘Bouquet Tulip’, ‘Purple Bouquet’ produces pretty purple flowers that have multiple blooms per stem. Paired alongside pink spring flowers, these are the perfect companions for designing a magical cottage garden-like border display.

 

Tulip Clearwater

These pure white blooms are perfect for creating the most attractive mid to late spring flowering combinations. Along with pink and purple varieties, this graceful yet striking Tulip is perfect for planting en masse in a border to add a flash of crystal clear white colour.

12. Complementary Colours

Intensify your spring garden with an excitingly bold and beautiful colour palette.

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Tulip Golden Apeldoorn

Known for their colossal and reliable blooms, this popular Tulip will bring the sunshine in spring with their deep, golden yellow blooms. This bold and beautiful Darwin Tulip is fantastic for the border to brighten up the spring garden. Pair alongside purple flowers for a show-stopping display.

Pansy Ocean Breeze Mixed

The best, large flowered pansy on the market. This gorgeous mix of cool, soft blues and violet pansies are the perfect long-lasting flowers to accent a contrasting yellow Tulip in spring borders. Plant en masse with spring flowering bulbs for an impressive display of colour.

Planting Tips 🏡📆

Here’s a simple guide to when you should plant your spring flowering bulbs this autumn for the perfect displays.

Crocus: September – November

Daffodils: September – November

Hyacinths: September

Tulips: October – November

Muscari – Before first frosts

Complete Guide: How to Plant Buddleia

Looking for advice on how to plant Buddleia this spring? Through this informative guide, we will share all our best knowledge and tips on the planting, arrangement and aftercare for your Buddleia shrubs. When it is covered in butterflies, no other garden plant brings so much pleasure on a summer’s day!

Buddleia, also known as Butterfly Bush, is one of Britain’s most popular summer flowering shrubs. Buddleia comes from Asia and there are more than 100 species that have spread from northern India, China and South Africa to Central and South America, largely after being introduced by the great plant hunters around the beginning of the 20th century.

Planting

Buddleia are superb additions to the garden for attracting wildlife with butterflies and bees being big fans of this shrub. Known for their burst of colour and their distinct tubular fragrant flowers, this vigorous, deciduous shrub is the perfect choice for summer blooms. Here are our guides to planting out in the garden and in containers for easy planting this spring.

In the Garden

Great for long-term borders/rockeries. They perform best when planted in full sun (or at least in partial shade) and in fertile, well-drained soil. Dependent on the variety, plant around 5 to 10 feet apart for a gorgeous display. Plant Buddleia in Spring or in Autumn before the first frosts and water thoroughly after planting.

Buddleia Mixed (Hardy)

Tips

  • When planting, loosen the soil and mix in compost and dig a hole twice the diameter of the plant container.
  • They will not perform well if grown in soil that tends to retain a lot of water in the winter.
  • Do not plant under trees.

In Containers

Use a pot deep enough to contain the roots and heavy enough to weigh the plant down. Make sure the pot has a good amount of drainage holes to allow the roots to breathe. Place the pot in full sunlight and water regularly. Cut the plant back around 10-12 inches in late winter or early spring.

Our Tips

  • Whisky Barrels make great planters
  • Avoid garden soil which becomes heavy/compact in containers.
  • Dwarf varieties like our Minature Collection are the best choice for pots and containers.

Video Tutorial

In this gardening tutorial, our resident gardening expert Jeff demonstrates how to plant Buddleia (Butterfly Bush) for summer flowering and shares his tips and tricks for getting the best results out of these beautiful shrubs.

Aftercare

  • When in bloom, you can snip their stems for honey scented cut flower bouquets.
  • Buddleia can be pruned hard after flowering, and you should cut shoots back to strong buds/younger growth.
  • We recommend reducing plants by half in Autumn when they are grown in windy positions.
  • Removing the dead blooms and watering the plants in very dry conditions will bring butterflies flocking to your Buddleia plants.
  • You can take softwood cutting in late spring just as the stems begin to harden up a little.

Our Top Picks

Flower Power

This magical hybrid showcases a mix between the usual blue-purple varieties along with a yellow flowered species. This plant’s gorgeous spikes of flowers blend perfectly from purple to orange for a sensational display of multi-coloured shades and sweet scent to radiate your summer garden.

Buddleia White Swan

The stunning fragrant white flowers are displayed on strong arching branches that are amazing for attracting wildlife in to the garden. Ideal for brightening your summer gardens in patio pots and containers.

 

 

Buddleia Purple Lion

Purple Lion is a stunning, fragrant  dwarf variety of Buddleia. This compact plant bears large purple flower spikes along with attractive silver-green foliage making Purple Lion the perfect long term addition to borders/rockeries and patio pots.

 

 

Companion Plants

Lantanas

The green foliage of Lantanas are topped with clusters of tiny, vibrant little flowers that are superb plants for attracting birds, butterflies and bees to the garden, making them a perfect pollinator companion for Buddleias.

Lantana Esperanta White

This variety is the perfect colour complimenting partner for white and purple Buddleias. These snow white, compactly formed flowers with bright yellow centers are an ideal plant for filling your landscape as ground cover or in containers to bring the wildlife swarming to your beautiful pollinator friendly garden.

Lantana Esperanta Yellow

The cheerful sunny yellow blooms of this Lantana variety are bound to become a showstopper in your garden when planted alongside purple Buddleia for a stunning contrast of colour.

 

 

Asters

A border of Asters creates a truly unforgettable spectacle. Combine with Buddleia for a truly delightful show of colour. They are bound to liven up your garden as Asters are great pollinator attracting plants with their bright colours and nectar rich, wide open blooms.

Aster Alpinus Dark Beauty

These vibrant violet blue, daisy-like flowers with their sunny yellow centers are the perfect partner to a white or purple Buddleia for a bold cluster of vibrant colour to the summer garden.

 

 

 

Aster Alpinus Pinkie

This vivid pink variety of these tough, sun-loving perennial plants are a great easy to grow pairing with Buddleia. Their cheerful ornamental cluster of flowers will certainly bring a pop of colour to summer rock gardens, borders and pots.

 

Click here to view our full range of Buddleia

February Plant of the Month: Snowdrops (Galanthus)

There’s nothing quite like the sight of delicate Snowdrops bursting into flower to signal that winter is almost at an end. The sight of snowdrops appearing late in January is a cheerful reminder of the warmer, brighter days to come.

Galanthus nivalis are single flowering, with three inner petals marked green at the tips encased in milky white outer petals and strappy, grass-like foliage. These traditional small-flowering Snowdrops give a barren winter garden a breath of life, and give a wonderful woodland feel if planted in drifts beneath a deciduous tree with Hostas. The flowers has a sweet, honey scent that will attract bees. You could plant in patio pots or window boxes for a neater, more compact display.

Double Snowdrops boast all of the same features, but with novelty double flowers as a twist to the early spring favourite.

Both are great naturalisers, so will multiply and come back year after year. They are robust and easy to grow and have earned a RHS Award of Garden Merit.

Planting

You can plant dry Bulbs in the autumn or from January to March you will be able to buy snowdrops in the green.

In the Green simply means that you plant the snowdrops whilst they are in leaf. You can buy them like this, or when your bulbs come through you can lift dense clumps of snowdrops and transplant them elsewhere which will create a better display but also give the snowdrops more space and encourage them to flower better next year.

Snowdrops prefer shade, and work really well amongst shrubs or under trees. Ideally they like fertile, moist but well drained soils.

Bulbs: You can buy and plant Snowdrop bulbs in the autumn for the following early spring. Plant in moist, well-drained soil at least 5cm deep and 5cm apart. They can be grown successfully in pots and containers but only temporarily and will need to be lifted after their growing season.

In the Green: transplanted with their green foliage intact giving you a guaranteed 100% success rate. Make sure to water well once planted, to encourage their roots to re-establish with the soil.

These RHS award winners will naturalise well and you can just let them die back at the end of their season so require little after care. If you get heavy, dense clumps of snowdrops in one place lift and divide the clump when the foliage starts to fade, careful not to break any of the roots.

Make sure the soil does not fully dry out in summer.

Our Snowdrops in the Green offer guaranteed pre-grown success, supplied in the green ready to be planted straight in the ground.

Click here to shop Bulbs in the Green

 

July Plant of the Month – Scabiosa caucasica

Scabiosa caucasica

Scabiosa Mixed

Introduced to the UK over 200 years ago Scabiosa caucasia are a striking alternative to the sunny yellow, orange and red shades that tend to dominate the summer months. They become a beautiful sight once their amazing and colourful blooms appear during the summer, flowering perpetually from June through to the first frosts in autumn. They make excellent cut flowers, but left in the garden are highly attractive to butterflies and bees.

POTM July Scabiosa

 

 

 

 

 

 

Planting

Scabiosa like a sunny position. They will do best in temperate weather conditions, do not allow to get over wet in winter. In a really hot summer they can die back but as the weather cools towards October they may start to flower again. Extremely hardy and free flowering; they will thrive in most well drained soils – particularly good for chalky soil.

Aftercare

Deadhead to promote flowering. When established they will be more drought tolerant.

Will naturalise if left undisturbed making them a good addition to a wild garden.

Top Picks

Scabiosa Caucasica Snow Cushion

‘Snow Cushion’ is a mound-forming, deciduous to semi-evergreen perennial with broadly lance-shaped, variably-lobed, grey-green leaves and upright, wiry stems bearing semi-double, white flower heads from early summer into autumn.

This attractive perennial will produce pincushion type flowers from June through to late October. They are very hardy plants and free flowering, and Scabiosa thrive in most types of well drained soil.

Click HERE to view our full range of Scabiosa!