10 of the best for colour in April

It’s the month we’ve all been waiting for here at The Nunhead Gardener when the garden explodes into colour and vibrant green.

It’s almost worth enduring those long months of winter for…

Here’s a quick pick of our favourites for magical spring-has-arrived vibes.

Photo: Oleg Saprykin

Photo: MT

1 Spiraea

Easy to care for and needing very little in terms of maintenance, this shrub bursts into life now, its graceful arching branches awash with a dense covering of tiny pinprick white flowers. The effect is positively bridal in its charm and elegance.

2 Forget-me-nots

These are biennial, meaning they make green growth in the first year, flowers the next, then they die. But they have a brilliant self-seeding trick up their sleeve, meaning once you have them, you’ll be blessed with them forever. Their vivid blue flowers with pink and white centres look wonderful underplanted around tulips

Photo: Karolina Kolodzie

Photo: Oleksandr Kuzmin

3 Brunnera macrophylla

The flowers themselves are familiar to forget-me-nots, but this is a perennial so it’ll keep coming back year after year from the same plant. It’s happy in shade, and some varieties, like ‘Jack Frost’ have bright, silvered leaves, which brighten up a shady bed marvellously.

4 Fritillaria meleagris

Aka the snake’s head fritillary, this spring-flowering bulb has nodding heads of claret and white chequerboard design. Really unusual and delicate-looking, it needs a spot where the soil will be kept reliably moist. You can naturalise it in a meadow setting if you have the room.

Photo: Linda Buscop

Photo: Lenic

5 Bergenia cordifolia

With their big, glossy evergreen leaves (the common name is elephant’s ear) and robust spikes of pink or white spring flowers, these perennials are great for impactful underplanting in a shady corner. They’ll soon spread to form a mat of glossy green all year round. Easy to care for too – just snip off any tatty leaves as and when.

6 Epimedium

This is a lovely group of perennials, which will colonise shadier areas of the garden. The flowers are sent up on wiry stems, and nod prettily above them in shades of white and yellow. The leaves are heart-shaped, evergreen and often tinted with bronze or copper. A real beauty.

Photo: Paylessimages

Photo: Yoksel Zok

7 Muscari

The common name grape hyacinth gives a clue to the flowers, which sit at the tips of the stems like clusters of fruit, in shades of white and blue, from the merest hint to deep, rich midnight. Pack these spring bulbs tightly into a pot for proper wow factor.








8 Euphorbias

They come in all shapes and sizes, but their USP is the amazing lime-green flower bracts that zing like nothing else in the garden. Some need full sun, others semi-shade, although the brighter varieties tend to be the sun lovers.


Photo: Flavia Crasta

Photo: Anton Darius

9 Tulips

Tulip bulbs were exchanged for thousands of pounds in the 17th century Dutch Golden Age, and although we wouldn’t fork out that much, we understand the obsession. You’d be hard pressed to find a more colourful, more varied and more intricately painted flower species – make room for a pot or two in whatever colour and shape takes your fancy.

10 Wisteria

A lot of wisterias come into flower at the end of April, and it’s a stunning sight, the long flowers tumbling down from the bare stems in rivers of purple and white. If you want to grow one, you’ll need to commit to a twice-yearly pruning regime, but it’s worth it. Your pergola or house front will thank you for it – as will the neighbours.

Photo: Zhen H

Remember, if we dont have specific plants in stock, just come and ask one of the team. Well be happy to suggest an alternative or order it for you, if we can.  

Explore ways to add colour to your garden