Spring Colour: Aubrietia, Candytuft and Basket-of-Gold

Dying to know the name of that vibrant spring flower? Let us give you a hand

What’s that purple, yellow and white stuff? It’s aubrietia, basket-of-gold and candytuft

Identify those mysterious and colourful spring flowers

Each spring, as sheets of colour cascade over retaining walls, a frequent question heard at garden centres is: “What’s the purple stuff, the white stuff and the yellow stuff?”

In fact, it’s such a common query that while manager of the perennial department at GardenWorks years ago, I worked with staff to make up a large illustrated poster explaining just what the purple, yellow and white “stuff” were!

The purple stuff is aubrietia (Aubrieta, zone 5), the white stuff is candytuft (Iberis sempervirens, zone 5), and the yellow stuff is basket-of-gold (Aurinia saxatilis, zone 4). All three perennials love good drainage, full sun, and handfuls of dolomite lime in spring or fall. Candytuft has the added bonus of being evergreen, with neat, dark-green, needle-like leaves that look attractive all winter.