An early morning wander through the woodland garden at Genus HQ is joy at this time of year. No sooner are the spring bulbs dying back than the shrubs - Choisya ‘Aztec Pearl’ , Cotinus, and Physocarpus ‘Diabolo’- are reaching the peak of health with golden leaved Physocarpus ‘Dart’s Gold’ a glowing beacon in the dappled shade. Beneath a large cotoneaster is a clump of Solomon’s seal, its green tipped, white buds just about to break. As a contrast a nearby mass of Geranium phaeum (pictured), nicknamed the mourning widow due to their dark near black colouring, is in full flower and is our current favourite in this part of the garden. G eranium phaeum is a large group within the Geranium genus with over 80 different cultivars to choose from ranging from pure white through dusky grey, to lavender-pink, and black. Variegated leaves, dwarf varieties, and varieties with reflexed petals are also available making this an interesting plant to utilise in shaded spots where early colour and interest are needed. The clumps are easily split and we plan on doing just that when flowering is over and adding some of these enchanting flowers to the shrub border that runs parallel to our ivy clad garage.