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What’s orange/red and flowers in April/May? Not a trick question!

NollieNollie Posts: 7,511
As I sit here, looking out at at my rain-sodden, not-hot-at-the-moment border, I am dreaming of fiery colours. 

Geums were disappointing, tulips are a no-go here, but I do have a few small species tulips, but not a massive impact. It seems a long time to wait until June to see all those heleniums, achillea, hemerocalis, etc.

Any ideas for an injection of hot colour in Spring?
Mountainous Northern Catalunya, Spain. Hot summers, cold winters.


  • owd potterowd potter Posts: 968
    edited April 2020
    22 April last year...

    Just another day at the plant...
  • Dirty HarryDirty Harry Posts: 1,048
    Why are tulips a no-go? 
  • NollieNollie Posts: 7,511
    Ah, I should have said, @owd potter, I have very alkaline soil, but I was eyeing up an orange Azalea, maybe something to think about in pots I could dot around the border, thanks.

    @Dirty Harry, my winters are pretty short over here and the prolonged cold chill they need I just don’t get - they all got tulip fire/blight thingy and were a total deformed mess. I am trying the little species tulips and the orange ones (Whitallii) are lovely, but I would need to order 100’s I think to have any impact in my big border. They don’t need the chill as much.
    Mountainous Northern Catalunya, Spain. Hot summers, cold winters.
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,747
    The species tulips might work - or have you tried them @Nollie. Mainly strong colours. I have an orange one about to do it's thing. Fusilier [I think]
    I have a couple of brighter grasses - an Uncinia [rusty red] and a Libertia, which isn't strictly a grass, but it's a golden one. Would they be any use?
    Some of the bright Phormiums with a few other bits and pieces? I also have a Euphorbia in the same bed. Strong colour and the bracts are there just now. Do geraniums flower early enough for you?

    Spring's later here than you'll be though, so my timings might be a bit out for you too. 

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • NollieNollie Posts: 7,511
    edited April 2020
    With respect to your reference to species tulips, I refer you to the answer above yours madame @Fairygirl :D  Yes the little Whitalliis are very lovely. I would dearly love some Euphorbia Griff/Dixter but was put off as lots of people said it was a nightmare spreader.

    I wonder if such a thing as an early flowering orange/red thing (apart from tulips) exists, I keep searching but not coming up with much....

    Edited to add, geraniums are only just beginning to leaf up, but can’t think of a fiery coloured one??? Things can be up to a month earlier here, but it does vary.
    Mountainous Northern Catalunya, Spain. Hot summers, cold winters.
  • pitter-patterpitter-patter Posts: 2,409
    edited April 2020
    I’ve bought a Berberis Orange Sunrise earlier this year and now it’s starting to leaf.‘Orange-Sunrise’

    I can’t make the link work, but copy and paste in browser ant it should be fine. Sorry.
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,747
    @Nollie your post wasn't there when I posted mine!  ;)

    I missed you saying you had  a few of the species ones. Not all Euphorbias are like that mad, world domination one too. 
    I suppose I was thinking more of a hot pinky colour for geraniums.
    How about the bright Potentilla? There's orange and reddish orange ones of those.
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • edhelkaedhelka Posts: 2,350
    Aquilegia? There are some orange and red varieties.
    Irises? I don't know much about them but have some flowering in May. Quick google - maybe Iris Germanica 'Glazed Orange' could be May flowering for you?
    Alstroemerias are long flowering, starting in mid-May here.
  • Jason-3Jason-3 Posts: 391
    Cytisus  will do well with your conditions. I would imagine you could get some earlier pelargonium and definitely iris. You will be 6 weeks ahead of most us here. So I reckon you reckon you could get all those in bloom by april
  • NollieNollie Posts: 7,511
    Thats a lovely Berberis @pitter-patter, I have orange rocket, which is the only bright thing in that border just now. I do love a berberis.

    I was being a bit cheeky there @Fairygirl, soz. Potentilla is a great idea!

    @edhelka, I didn't realise alstroemerias flowered that early, for some reason I thought of them as a summer flower, but if they start mid-May in Wales, that is definitely a contender and I will have a look at your other suggestions too. In fact I have an Iris Germanica left by the previous owner, a wishy-washy lemon/brown, but it IS starting to flower...

    Thanks so much, lots of excellent suggestions already!

    Mountainous Northern Catalunya, Spain. Hot summers, cold winters.
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