This is a dainty, striped purple and white flower that blooms from a corm in February and March. Plants are fully hardy and will bloom through snow, unscathed. They prefer full sun and a gritty well-drained soil. In time they’ll form large clumps and will naturalise in grass. A cheerful harbinger of spring that looks perfect in the lawn, alpine gardens, or dotted through a border under deciduous trees. H12cm (5in) S8cm (3in)
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This upright winter shrub bears clusters of spidery, fragrant yellow flowers in December and January. Can you tell what it is by completing the jigsaw and looking at the five clues below?
1. It likes a moist, well-drained soil and prefers full sun or part shade... ideal for a woodland edge
2. It will slowly grow to H and S4m (13ft) in time - prune in spring after flowering
3. It's a deciduous shrub and the bright green leaves turn soft yellow before falling, making it a good choice for autumn colour and winter flowers
4. Cultivars include 'Jelena', 'Aphrodite' and 'Diane'
5. The leaves, bark and twigs are used as a homeopathic remedy for diarrhoea, itching, stings and bruises.
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This stunning Christmas plant grows from a massive bulb. Can you guess what it is from the jigsaw?
1. This stunning plant is native to South America and grows from massive bulbs
2. It flowers September-December and will come back year after year. It’s tender though so in the UK has to be grown indoors
3. This cultivar has several flower stems each bearing an exotic stripy red and green trumpet
4. Prefers a bright position on a windowsill out of draughts. Rotate the pot so it won’t lean toward the light
Buy the bulbs for £12.99 each from Bakker in our Christmas Special issue!
1 Flowering from October to the frosts, these are elegant shade-tolerant plants that don’t mind heavy soil as long as it doesn’t get too dry.
2 They come in white and different shades of pink, with a central boss of golden stamens.
3 They reach about H and S1.2m (4ft) with ease
4 They come from Japan and western China.
5 Popular cultivars include the white-flowered ‘Honorine Jobert’
1 Common names include Robin-run-around, lad's love and Indian feathers.
2 Plants are perennial and flower July to September - ideal for a late summer border.
3 Cultivars generally have tufted pink or red flowers.
4 Plants prefer full sun or part shade and moist but well drained soil. H90cm S45cm
5 Cultivars include 'Pink Lace', 'Cambridge Scarlet' and 'Gardenview Scarlet' (above)
1 The tiny white spring flower buds open pale pink and mature to a deeper hue in autumn, making large flat-topped flowers
2 Succulent grey-green leaves and stems are mostly upright but can flop in the middle – especially in a fertile clay soil
3 Loved by bees and butterflies in late summer
4 Seedheads will stand well in autumn and look sculptural traced in frost
5 Plants grow in clumps to around knee-high at H and S45cm (18in)
1 Pink summer flowers are like fluffy plumes of smoke.
2 It’s a deciduous shrub whose foliage is dramatic red all year but becomes more purple in autumn.
3 Grows to 5m (16ft) – ideal at the back of a border.
4 This particular cultivar sounds a bit regal.
5 Fossils have been found of this plant that date back to the Pliocene era – roughly between two and five million years ago!
1. It's an upright bushy annual growing to H50cm (19in) - approx knee high
2. Common names include blue spiderflower and kiss-me-twice-before-I-rise
3. Blue summer flowers (May-Sept) are followed by decorative swollen seed capsules
4. Cultivars include ‘Miss Jekyll’ and ‘Tudor White’ – a double form with a ruff of white petals
5. Prefers full sun and a light, well-drained soil
1. Commonly known as star of Persia
2. Flowers can measure a whopping 15-20cm (6-8in) in diameter.
3. Perfect for a sunny site in fertile, well-drained soil.
4. Grows from a bulb and flowers in early summer.
5. The faded flower heads take on a parchment colour in late summer.
1. Flowers May, with star-like flowers on elegant stems
2. Member of the Asparagaceae family
3. Good for naturalising in grass or woodlands – it’s a native of damp meadows in north America
4. Thrives in sun or shade in any soil – even clay
5. Grows to H1.3m (4ft) S10cm (4in)
1. Part of the saxifrage family
2. Clump-forming evergreen ground-cover plant with large, upright leathery leaves
3. Sprays of cup-like pink or white flowers are held aloft on reddish stalks in spring.
4. The glossy green leaves can turn red and bronze in autumn in colder areas.
5. Plants prefer a moist but well-drained, humus-rich soil.
6. Popular AGM cultivars include ‘Bressingham White’ and ‘Irish Crimson’.
1. Nodding or outward facing flowers
2. Flowers February to April
3. Prefers part shade and humus-rich, neutral-to-alkaline soil
4. Once thought to dispel evil spirits
5. H30cm (12in) S45cm (18in)
1. It flowers in January and February
2. It prefers full sun and a neutral to slightly alkaline soil
3. It's happy growing under deciduous trees and shrubs
4. And... it's named after the wife of plant enthusiast, Eliot Hodgkin
1. It’s a small perennial that flowers in January and February
2. Its tubers grow underground, in damp soil in woodland
3. Its botanical name translates as ‘Spring flower, winter flowering’
4. Its leaves were once thought to resemble poisonous monk’s-hood.