From £2.28Hedge Height: 1m upwards Soil: all soils Use: Country/eco hedging, coppicing, specimen
From £6.50Thornless. Small fruit, sharp, wild flavour. Compact, upright plant, good for pots. Crops Mid-Aug -
From £8.34Bay Trees - Laurus nobilis Glossy, neat evergreen foliage Provides structure and formality Aromatic
There's always room for more white spring bulbs, as they're so versatile, and Muscari White Magic is a case in point. Combine these almost pure white grape hyacinths with other spring favourites in pots and window boxes, where it will partner up beautifully with so many others, knitting together bright pinks, blues and yellows to harmonious effect. In beds and borders it's a brilliant choice, too, lighting up the scene at ground level and bringing a sprinkling of pure bright white that will quickly banish any vestiges of the winter blues.
When White Magic starts to open its dainty little pointed flower spikes from early April, the individual flowers have a fresh greenish tinge, gradually changing from the base upwards to crisp white, with a more rounded appearance, the whole spike about 12cm tall at the most. The flower stems are a lovely zingy apple green, and the foliage rich green. Unlike some of the more rampant azureum types, Muscari aucheri, including White Magic, is extremely well behaved, so if you use it as a neat, low border to other taller spring bulbs, at the front of flower beds, it won't end up flopping and spreading into lawns and pathways, for example. The scent is lovely too – the hyacinth part of the name hinting at its spritely allure. It really is an essential for the spring garden. If you're after a classic cobalt blue, or a pale sky blue variety of grape hyacinth, have a browse through the rest of our muscari collection – there are plenty to suit all tastes.
To create a little magic all of your own, combine this lovely white muscari well and you'll be away. It's a truly fabulous contender for pots and planters, compact, versatile and full of spring joy. A window box of White Magic planted with other spring bulbs is a bewitching thing: make sure there are plenty for impact, and mingle with rich Delft Blue hyacinths and pale blue grape hyacinths. Another pretty combination is with dwarf daffodil Hawera, its pale yellow a lovely foil to White Magic's charms. Or keep to a fresh white and green colour palette by combining it in pots with white Carnegie hyacinths and perennial variegated thyme – pretty and useful.
In borders, create a drift of newly fallen snow with White Magic, alongside a river of Blueberry Ripple tulips, perhaps - both flower April to May, and it's a combination that will stop you in your tracks, the white muscari picking up the pretty pale edge of the rich pink tulips. Another great partner here would be fresh white and yellow Budlight tulips – creating a spring froth of white, yellow and green. Planted under deciduous trees and shrubs, they're natural winners, just as long as the ground isn't too soggy – and do go for quantity for impact, popping them in in generous drifts. Or naturalise them in clumps in the lawn for a pretty snow-fall effect. Although they may look delicate, they're not in the least fussy, and they'll soon settle in to come back year after year without any bother.
Grape hyacinths are some of the best spring bulbs for 'forcing', or growing for early indoor flowering. First of all, chill the bulbs for about 10-12 weeks (the fridge will work, in a paper bag, as long as they don't freeze). Then plant them in pots of multipurpose compost mixed with horticultural grit and leave somewhere cool like an unheated garage or shed for a couple of weeks to sprout. Once you can see the shoots peeking through, bring them indoors to flower in a cool room with good light. Magic.