Our Guide on the Best Plants to Grow in the Spring

As winter fades away and signs of new life start appearing, it’s time to embrace the beauty of spring and revitalise your garden. Whether you’re an experienced gardener or just getting started, our top tips and expert guidance for the best plants to grow in spring will help you create your perfect outdoor space.

Selecting the right spring plants for your outdoor space 

It may seem like spring is finally on its way but remember that winter can return any day, so be careful when choosing new plants for your garden.There are some fantastic plants that look their best in very early spring and are super tough and hardy. I would spend time visiting gardens and garden centres and see what they have living outside that is hardy enough to plant now and won’t be killed off if the snow and ice return.

To help choose the right plants, see what gaps you have in your garden, whether they are in sun or shade and what sort of height you require them to grow. If you are planting a brand new border make sure that you select plants and shrubs that will flower at different times of year and with an evergreen framework so not completely bare in the winter.

If you are not too confident in planting your own, let us help you with our range of ready-made garden borders.


Early bloomers 

Here are a few of our favourite plants for spring impact: 

  1. Cornus (Dogwoods) - These shrubs have striking coloured stems in Lime green, orange and red. In summer they are often ignored as simply green foliage, but from winter to spring is when they really shine

  1. Sarcococca (Christmas box) - This is such a hardy little evergreen with beautifully scented flowers that early insects relish. It can be grown as a neat, low hedge and grows in shade too
  2. Ribes (flowering currant) - This is a very traditional shrub that has fallen out of fashion for the past 20 years but deserves a revival. The masses of pink flowers smother the stems and take your breath away when most shrubs are still fast asleep

  1. Daphne - The deliciously scented flowers last a good few weeks and can fill a small garden with its aroma. Such a special shrub and very easy to grow. Plant near a path or front door in the ground or in a container

  1. Camellia - These wonderful, evergreen shrubs have probably the most extravagant and exotic looking blooms of all, making them one of the best plants to grow in the spring. Many varieties flower as early as February and can continue into April. They require neutral to acid soil so thrive well in containers and can grow in shade   

Perennials for a long-lasting display 

Perennial plants do not have a woody stem and some disappear completely in the winter. Others have evergreen foliage and some flower from February when most plants are still dormant. Bulbs are prolific in early spring too and can be planted as pot-grown plants now or in autumn when they are cheaper.

Here are a few of the best treats for February:

  1. Bergenia - These bullet-proof, evergreen perennials thrive anywhere, sun or shade and some have purply-red leaves in winter with glorious pink, red or white flowers from early spring to early summer

  1. Helleborus - Another firm favourite for the shady garden, this hardy customer is ignored in summer but takes centre stage at this time of year. The early bees love this plant

  1. Cyclamen - These grow from corms and are naturally found in woodland edges so grow happily under trees and in shady areas. Low growing and very dainty, they grow well amongst other plants. Such a welcome site in autumn and spring and bees love them!

  1. Snowdrops are another of the best plants to grow in spring as they are truly the star of the show at this time of year. To see them at their best visit a garden that has a snowdrop day in early Feb, you will be blown away! Buying them ready grown in pots is expensive so try to find them online ‘in the green’ in march so you can enjoy them in your garden next year

  1. Crocus - There are so many colours to choose from but we love mixed shades growing through grass or amongst plants in the border. Dip them in garlic water before planting to help prevent squirrels smelling them and digging them up

  1. Narcissus ‘February Gold’ - Such a reliable short daffodil that multiplies well and has bright yellow flowers that look great amongst plants in a border

Enjoy spring flowering plants and shrubs for years to come

The great thing about introducing colour into your garden at this gloomy time of year is that it really lifts the spirits and gives promise that spring is just around the corner. Also these plants need very little maintenance once established and should reliably flower year after year! 

Elevate your spring garden with our knowledgeable guidance 

Feeling inspired to bring some spring interest to an empty area of your garden, but lacking the confidence, time or knowledge to do it yourself? At Garden on a Roll, we have spent years perfecting the right mix of plants that produce a well-balanced border with seasonal colour and interest all year. We are also passionate about nature and our wildlife garden borders attract all sorts of wonderful wildlife.

Whether you’re a first-time gardener or just in need of a helping hand to elevate your outdoor space, our knowledgeable garden experts have done the hard part for you. Each border has been professionally designed by Antony Henn and the team so you can plant your dream border, first time. 

We also collaborate on school or community gardening projects, so get in touch to find out more about how we can help with feel-good initiatives such as these this Spring!