Spring into action this March

Company: HTA
  • Brunera Jack Frost in April (Adam Pasco Media)

Spring is in the air, and there’s no better time to start planning and planting colourful displays to enjoy over the months ahead.

For instant impact choose plants at their best through spring including daffodils, tulips, fragrant hyacinth and other flowering bulbs, all perfect for partnering in patio pots and flower beds with seasonal bedding like pansy, viola, wallflower, bellis, forget-me-not, primula and polyanthus.

Growing flowers, crops and herbs from seed is also a rewarding way to grow, and perfect if you’re gardening on a budget. By producing wonderful displays and enjoying the fruits of your labours you’ll be satisfying an intrinsic need for creativity and achievement, both important for our mental health and wellbeing.

Gardening is excellent exercise, too. Gently stretching and bending while planting and weeding helps keep you fit and flexible. More active gardening like digging, clearing, raking, sweeping and lawn mowing will also raise your heart rate, and burn off more calories too. Just an hour of active gardening could use around 250 - 500 calories. Forget joining an expensive gym and get active outdoors in your garden instead.

So, spring into action and get your body and garden into shape for the year ahead with support from the ‘Gardening is Good for You!’ campaign, supported by National Garden Gift Vouchers.

DID YOU KNOW?

The Green Gym run by The Conservation Volunteers uses natural exercise to promote community health. These fun and free outdoor sessions involve activities like tree planting, sowing flower meadows and creating wildlife ponds. By connecting with nature the Green Gym enhances mental wellbeing, helping people contribute something positive to their community. Find out more at www.tcv.org.uk/greengym.

PLANTS OF THE MOMENT:  SPRING COLOUR & SPRING PLANTING

Spring bulbs are the perfect choice to fill borders, patio pots and window boxes or even to grow indoors. Keep the colour coming by mixing bulbs with seasonal bedding. Also choose early flowering hardy perennials.

PLANT SUGGESTIONS:

Spring flowering bulbs including daffodils, tulips, fragrant hyacinth.

Spring bedding plants, including senetti, long-flowering wallflowers, frothy forget-me-nots, bold daisy-like Bellis perennis, pansies and dainty violas, or primulas and primroses.

Hardy perennials such as Perennial Wallflower (Erysimum ‘Bowles’s Mauve’ AGM), hellebores, euphorbia, epimedium, bergenia and bruunera ‘Jack Frost’ AGM.

Green perennials to plant now such as paeonia, lupin, delphinium, hollyhock (Alcea), digitalis.

Spring flowering shrubs:

  • Erica x darleyensis eg ‘Ghost Hills’ AGM
  • Clematis armandii ‘Apple Blossom’ AGM
  • Oregon Grape - Mahonia aquifolium ‘Apollo’ AGM
  • Pieris japonica eg ‘Passion’, ‘Flaming Silver’ AGM
  • Skimmia japonica ‘Rubella’ AGM
  • Camellia, azaleas, rhododendrons.

You can find further information at www.hta.org.uk/gardeningisgoodforyou.

Consumers can follow ‘Gardening is Good for You!’ at www.hta.org.uk/gigfy

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