Spring has been long-anticipated this year, which makes its arrival all the sweeter. And it is not just in our gardens that green shoots are stirring, on the other side of the fence life is returning too.

Across the country early wild flowers are beginning to emerge and over the coming season they will be joined by more, brightening field margins, moors and hedgerows.

Nobody know more about wild flowers than Fiona Guest of Scotia Seeds, the Brechin-based seed merchants which grows and sells wild species.

From spring onwards the fields around Scotia’s Mavisbank Farm come alive with flowers and with the insects that thrive on nectar and pollen of these native blooms.

The list of flowers grown at Mavisbank includes cornflower, sneezeweed, marsh woundwort and the Scottish primrose, a rare burgundy-coloured primrose that, in the wild, grows only along cliff tops in Caithness.

Now, says Fiona, the demand for seeds of these and other wild species is increasing as gardeners increasingly see their gardens as a place to cultivate wildflowers. And it turns out that the lawn, once only considered perfect if stripped of moss and mown into stripes, is the ideal place to grow many different species, from low-growing self-heal and daisies, which are small enough to escape the blades of the mower, to the cowslips that will grow through long grass.

Yarrow will colonise freely and kidney vetch, which is an important food source for many insects, including Small Blue butterflies, will live happy in well-drained grass.

“If you are concerned about your lawn looking untidy then mow a path through it or cut around the edge,” says Fiona.

Shady gardens make a good home for foxgloves, giant bellflowers and ragged robin.

“And if you have damp areas in the garden then fill them with purple loosestrife, sneezewort or water avens.”

Devil’s bit scabious is another plant for areas that don’t dry out in summer and there are wild orchids too that like moisture around their roots.

“It is a case of matching the right plant to the right place, but the good news is that there are different kinds of wild flowers that will grow everywhere from pond edges to dry terraces in full sun so you can always find something that will thrive in your garden.”

Follow our guide to identifying some of these spring arrivals.

Wood anemone (Anemone nemorosa)
Look for these members of the buttercup family from March onwards in deciduous woodland. The flowers are white but some are tinged with pink

Scottish Gardener: Wood Anemone (Anemone nemorosa)Wood Anemone (Anemone nemorosa)

Cuckoo flower (Cardamine pratensis)
The lilac rosettes of the Cuckoo flower are a familiar sight in damp places, where they flower throughout spring.

Scottish Gardener: Cuckoo Flower (Cardamine Pratensis)Cuckoo Flower (Cardamine Pratensis)

Greater stitchwort (Stellaria holostea)
You can identify Greater stitchwort by its straggly, square stems. Find it in woods and along hedgerows where the soil remains dry and doesn’t get soggy.

Scottish Gardener: Greater Stitchwort (Stellaria Holostea)Greater Stitchwort (Stellaria Holostea)

Ramsons (Allium ursinum)
If you are in any doubt that the white umbels that cover the ground beneath trees are Ramsons, or wild garlic as they are often known, then just sniff the air for that tell-tale pungent smell. ‘Few-flowered garlic’ (Allium paradoxum), which often grows amongst them, is an arrival from Asia.

Scottish Gardener: Ramsons (Allium Ursinum)Ramsons (Allium Ursinum)

Primrose (Primula vulgaris)
Low-growing primulas spangle the ground with their lemon and sometimes pink flowers from early spring. They pop up in woods, in scrubland, on grassy banks and on mountainsides, where a few flowers can quickly grow into a substantial clump.

Scottish Gardener: Primrose (Primula Vulgaris)Primrose (Primula Vulgaris)

Lungwort (Pulmonaria Officinalis)
The soft, downy leaves of Lungwort are marked with silver spots, while every flower is a a mix of both blue and pink. They like a shady spot, so seek them out amongst long grass and under hedgerows.

Scottish Gardener: Lungwort (Pulmonaria Officinalis)Lungwort (Pulmonaria Officinalis)

Bluebell (Hyacinthoides non-scripta)
There’s nothing to compare with the sight of a woodland floor transformed by a lake of bluebells, while their air is perfumed by their hyacinth scent. They need some light to thrive, so beech woods are conifers but can grow successfully amongst gorse on moorland sites.

Scottish Gardener: Bluebell (Hyacinthoides Non-Scripta)Bluebell (Hyacinthoides Non-Scripta)

Lesser Celandine (Ranunculus Ficaria)
The heart-shaped leaves and yellow flowers of Lesser celandine appear in damp hedgerows, woodland  and on open ground, unfussy about whether they are in sun or shade.

Scottish Gardener: Lesser Celandine (Ranunculus Ficaria)Lesser Celandine (Ranunculus Ficaria)

Cowslip (Primula Veris)
These meadow favourites grow best on alkaline soil, so they are more often found on the east coast of Scotland where they can thrive in great numbers.

Scottish Gardener: Cowslip (Primula Veris)Cowslip (Primula Veris)