Gardeners' World: Adam gives advice on planting spring bulbs
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Plants can create a real focal point in the garden and opting for a colourful and unusual variety will give your outside space the added edge. Here gardening expert Chris Bonnett from GardeningExpress.co.uk looks at the rare plants and those more associated with UK gardens to make your garden stand out.
Plants have many purposes – they bring interest, colour and scent to our gardens, they attract and encourage wildlife and insects and they can give our garden a focal point.
There are many plants common to the UK that do just that. Think of a fragrant Honeysuckle trailed along a fence or a graceful Japanese Maple adding a touch of sophistication and elegance.
You could also opt for more unusual varieties including the Edgeworthia Red Dragon or even try growing eye-catching fruit like the UFO nectarines.
Here’s my guide to the plants to create a focal point in the garden:
Edgeworthia Chrysantha Red Dragon
This rare beauty originates from woodlands in the Himalayas and China and flowers from late winter to early spring with unusual bright scarlet red, intensely fragranced blooms.
Flowers appear in clusters on the tips of the stems and are covered in silky white hairs which make them look as though they’re covered in frost. This is a great plant for winter gardens and will retain interest during the summer with green foliage covering the branches.
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UFO Peaches and Nectarine
For something a little different that will create a real talking point, try planting and growing UFO Peaches and Nectarines. These fruit trees thrive in sheltered, sunny spots in patio planters and can be kept compact with careful pruning.
The pink flowers throughout spring will add interest to the garden with a delicious yield of fruit to follow in the summer. Trees should be producing fruit within a season or two of planting, and by buying as a pair, these trees will pollinate each other.
Chinese Witch Hazel
For a year-round focal point, consider Loropetalum Chinensis Ever Red or Chinese Witch Hazel. The bright red, spidery flowers appear from late winter to early spring and create a stunning display against the dark burgundy foliage. This evergreen shrub looks good all year and looks good in beds and borders or in patio planters.
Cordyline Australis Verde
This structural plant with its upright and palm-like appearance makes a strong focal point in the garden. The green sword-shaped leaves give a tropical feel but don’t be deceived, this plant is very hardy and can survive the changing UK weather. It thrives in full sun, is drought tolerant and looks great in patio planters.
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