I know I'm way ahead here but still a new garden , so... Currently it is spring bulbs, tulips, daffs , snowdrops, hellebore.. What is next ? My garden is very much summer and am trying to move to winter interest ,spring interest into summer ..autumn.. Shrubs, bulbs, flowers ..what do we look forward to next .. (So I can pick up ideas)
Alchemilla Mollis (Ladies Mantle), aquilegia, foxgloves, many hardy geraniums (cranesbills) such as Johnson's Blue, geums, irises, trollius, veronica all flower early. There are a number of clematis that flower early, especially the (large) clematis montana and there are also roses that start in May. Spicebush and Fothergilla are two early-flowering shrubs that flower around April and May.
The other thing to think of is which plants give real vlaue for money by flowering for a long time, like fuchsias and cranesbills and osteospermum, especially if you choose the right variety.
Bunny, if you don't mind using biennials or short lived plants, you can buy plug plants of forget- me- nots, bellis daisies, violas, primroses etc in autumn, plant them then up they come in late spring putting colour in the garden. Oh and wallflowers - scent as well.
Don't think I've ever had sweet William