Berberis darwinii will be lighting up our gardens in a month or so (this picture taken in the show gardens at Bridgemere Garden World on 2nd April last year) with vigorous, evergreen shrubs smothered in rich orange flowers. Possibly not the easiest display to fit into a town garden (and the shrub grows up to 3m x 3m, though there is a smaller cultivar called Flame which touches just 1.5m). But what a show!
Forsythia is budding now with the promise of an equally strong show in yellow. A short season, a big shrub, awkward out of flower – though seen at a distance, with cherry blossom about and daffodils at their skirts, a pale blue sky. Lovely.