Nothing heralds the arrival of spring like a joyful burst of blooms. Whether it’s the first magnolia blossoms crowning an otherwise bare tree or the heady whiff of jasmine, we love the way spring flowers signal the end of the dreary winter months and the warmth and beauty of the warmer seasons. From the obvious to the exotic, these are 10 of our favourite spring-blooming plants.
Cercis canadensis ‘Forest Pansy’
We love this little deciduous tree as a source of garden colour throughout the year, as its leaves turn from deep burgundy in summer to gold in autumn. But the highlight is surely spring, when its bare branches are suddenly smothered in deep pink blossoms.
Echium fastuosum ‘Pride of Madeira’
With its blue conical flower spikes, this shrub is an attention-grabbing addition to any garden. It flowers in late spring, so seeing the blue spikes starting to push up from the grey-green foliage is one of our favourite signs that summer is on its way.
Spring-flowering bulbs are a favourite way of bringing colour to a spring garden and this is one of our top picks. Available in a huge range of colours, Hippeastrum have spectacular, long-lasting flowers that increase in number every year.
NSW Waratah (Telopea speciosissima)
Our state flower is one of the most beautiful native blooms around in early spring. Most people are familiar with the common red varieties, which bloom with a bold splash of scarlet, but we love the white cultivar for its understated elegance.
Eupatorium megalophyllum ‘Blue Mist Flower’
Similar in scale to a hydrangea, this pretty shrub prefers a part-shade position – don’t let it burn in the hot afternoon sun – but in the right place, it rewards gardeners with fabulous fluffy clouds of mauve flower heads.
Salvia leucantha ‘Santa Barbara’
One of the first signs of spring is the green shoots of this fast-growing perennial pushing up. By mid summer, the heat encourages them into a riot of deep lavender flower spikes, which are wonderful for attracting butterflies and native birds like honeyeaters.
For anyone wanting to experiment with bulbs, freesias are among the easiest to grow in Australia, as they’re tolerant of dry sandy soil. They flower in early spring, producing beautifully scented blooms that are also lovely as cut flowers to display indoors.
Foxglove (Digitalis purpeurea)
This classic cottage perennial is making a comeback, as they’re super easy to grow and now available in range of colours – pinks, whites, reds and apricots. They’re best planted as a seedling, which can take 12 months to flower but is well worth the wait.
Cistus ‘Rock Rose’
If you’re after pretty flowers for little effort, rock roses deliver. This tough shrub lives in sunny spots and requires very little water or maintenance. Available in whites, pinks and yellows, this robust plant blooms with surprisingly delicate-looking flowers.
Trachelospermum jasminoides ‘Chinese Star Jasmine’
There’s a reason why this climber is so ubiquitous in Sydney, suffusing whole suburbs with its intoxicating scent. It’s fast growing, durable and guaranteed to delight as the days get warmer.