Azaleas are acid-loving plants which produce long-lasting, small flowers in a variety of gorgeous colours to cover the entire bush. Azaleas are flowering shrubs in the genus Rhododendron, generally smaller in height with glossy green leaves. They grow best in light shade in a moist, well drained soil.
Ideal for moist shady borders, the Primula japonica or the Candelabra Primula, grows to about 45cm tall and bears beautiful, bright whorls of flowers on tall, upright stems above a large, basal rosette of light green, lettuce-like, crinkly leaves. It is a late spring bloomer and will come back stronger each year, while also happily self seeding around if it gets a moist, shady spot where the soil does not dry out too much. This primula will do well in boggy soil or at the edge of ponds and sits well with ferns and hostas which like the same conditions.
Tulips thrive in Scotland, as our climate offers them a period of cold dormancy during the winter followed by a cool spring. They are one of the easiest ways to achieve a riot of early colour in the garden and the huge variety of tulips available means you can have singe, double, fringed, ruffled, or lily-shaped blooms. Part of the lily family, tulips are the National Flower of Turkey and Afghanistan.
Paeonias are the fabulously showy glamour queens of the late spring/early summer garden. Grown for their large, blousy blooms, they make a great cut flower and come in a huge range of colours, forms, and sizes. Often associated with cottage garden planting designs, they are contemporary enough to add an impressive burst of colour to any garden style. Peonies do not like to be planted too deeply but once you find the right spot for them either in sun or partial shade, they will reward you with big, beautiful blooms year after year.