Mid spring is a wonderful explosion of colour and scent. If you want rainbow colours, tulips will provide that wow factor. Tulips will often come up each year provided they have fertile well drained soil and a sunny position. Most tulips dislike heavy wet soil and you will need to replant with new each year in these conditions. Planting in pots gives a stunning display and you can select different types to give flowers over a period of weeks.
For something more delicate in a woodland spot you can plant Epimediums with their tiny pale yellow or pink blooms in early spring. You will only see the flowers and the new leaves if you cut off last year’s foliage. It will cover the ground under trees and gradually spreads. Another good woodland edge plant is the Brunnera with green, cream and silvery foliage. However at this time of year they also have bright blue forget me not flowers.
If it is scent that you are looking for then I would plant Osmanthus delavayi or Osmanthus burkwoodii in your garden – maybe next to the Winter Box (Sarcococca) that I recommend for winter scent. The former is a smaller shrub and the latter larger but both have glossy green leaves with white scented flowers in mid spring.
April is a good month to sow seeds or hardy annuals such as Marigolds, Stock, Nasturtiums and Clary. On the vegetable front you should be planting out your chitted potatoes in trenches with lots of compost or well rotted manure in the base to give a good crop. Salad seeds can be sown and Runner beans and French beans.
If you want to grow lilies then plant in April in well drained fertile soil or John Innes No3 compost with added grit in pots. Lilies will come back each year if grown in the garden, unless we have a really severe winter, so don’t think of them as tender plants, they are tougher then you think!
I also give all my plants a feed with a slow release balanced fertilizer such as Growmore in March or April. Roses need more regular feeding throughout the season so use a specific Rose fertilizer for healthy plants.