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Spring flowers - snowdrops and crocuses. Photo: Howard Rice

Crocuses - a Springtime flower, displaying shades of purple, yellow and white.

Alliums are fantastic garden plants - the flowers are dense balls of colour that look amazing

Astrantia Superstar (syn 'White Giant') - The large, greenish-white flowerheads look like pincushions surrounded by a spidery ruff of green-tinted, white bracts. These are produced en masse above the lobed, dark green leaves from early summer to autumn adding bobbles of colour to the border. Astrantias have become the 'darlings of the designers' in recent years as they lend themselves to most styles of planting, and mix happily with most plants.

Rosa Munstead Wood ('Ausbernard') (PBR) - Richly coloured, many-petalled, cup-shaped flowers, that have a wonderfully fruity fragrance, form on this bushy shrub rose throughout the summer. The leaves emerge with a reddish-bronze flush before they turn mid-green, creating further interest in spring. An award-winning rose, which shows a good resistance to disease, this is a wonderful specimen for a rose garden or mixed border.

Clematis urophylla 'Winter Beauty' - The wax-like, creamy-white sepals, which surround a prominent boss of cream anthers, emerge from pale green buds and become paler, and more flared at their tips as they mature. These small, nodding, urn-shaped flowers contrast well with the rich green foliage.

for shade... Buy lily-of-the-valley Convallaria majalis: Delivery by

Clematis 'Princess Kate'. New dainty flowered clematis, on quite a big plant. Part shade. June to Sept 1m x 3.5m

Hydrangea paniculata Little Lime ('Jane') (PBR) - It may be half the size of its sibling 'Limelight', but this fab new hydrangea still packs pretty good punch. It has strong stems that support the weight of the conical, lime green flowers, which fade to cream and then pink as the season progresses. Grate where space is limited, but you want a hard-working and colourful plant, it can also be grown in large pots if kept well watered.