All the plants described should be reliably hardy in this part of the country, unless otherwise indicated. Plants are...More
A really rather splendid specimen, forming a clump of divided palmate leaves and producing a late season display of stiff spikes covered in large hooded deep blue flowers over a long period. Sun or semi-shade. Most soils. 3 ft+ 2 litre pot.
A very fetching variety of this clump-forming perennial with striking black leaves (they start out green but colour as they develop). In late summer the plant is topped by arching spikes of pure white scented flowers. Likes some shade. Moist soil. To 3 ft. 2 litre pot.
READY SOON. Also known as Navy Blue, which rather gives away the intense colour of the large flowerheads which are held on erect stems over the strappy foliage in mid- to late summer. One of the very best and very hardy. Full sun. Moist but well drained soil. 36 in. 2 litre pot.
We like agastaches for their highly aromatic leaves and long flowering period. This bushy upright plant has spikes of deep pink flowers from midsummer to the frosts. Best in the sun. Any well drained soil. Quite compact at 2 ft. 1 litre pot.
READY SOON. A really beautiful plant with leaves scented like some long cool drink on a summer terrace and, through the summer, tall spikes of tiered whorls of reddish pinky-purple flowers. Also good in that it doesn’t spread too much - so you can always find a space for it! – and it can tolerate dry soils. Likes the sun. Any well drained soil. 3 to 4...
An excellent choice for low-growing ground cover: the evergreen foliage, silvery green flushed with deep wine-red, provides interest all year round, and the upright spikes of blue flowers provide a long-lasting display in late spring and early summer. Sun or semi-shade. Moist but well drained soil. 6 in. 1 litre pot.
Now you can have a hollyhock without the dreaded rust! This cross between Alcea and Althaea has creamy yellow dark-centred flowers arranged along tall stems from the height of summer until the depths of autumn. Great for that cottage garden feel. Full sun. Any soil. 4 ft. 2 litre pot.
READY SOON. Now you can have a hollyhock without the dreaded rust! This cross between Alcea and Althaea has semi-double deep pink flowers arranged along tall stems from the height of summer until the depths of autumn. Great for that cottage garden feel. Full sun. Any soil. 4 ft. 2 litre pot.
Another alchemilla from the Balkans, a bit bigger than A. Erythropoda, but not as big or aggressive as A. Mollis, so very adaptable. What you would expect in terms of leaves and flowers, scalloped and frothy respectively. All in all, a nice one. Sun or semi-shade. Any soil. 15 in. 1 litre pot.
Lady’s Mantle is a lovely plant, with its scalloped leaves and frothy yellow flowers in summer, but it can get a bit big for its boots. This variety solves this problem, being smaller in all its parts, but just as lovely. Sun or semi-shade. Moist fertile soil. 10 in. 1 litre pot.
READY EARLY SUMMER. A native of the United States and only rarely seen over here, this is a spectacular plant with tall stems clothed in needle-like leaves and, through the summer, clouds of starry blue flowers. It puts on a second star turn in the autumn when the foliage colours golden yellow. Sun or semi-shade. Moist but well drained soil. 3 ft. 2 litre...
The name makes this plant sound a sturdy and dependable fellow, and so it is - a solid base of elliptical dark green rather hairy leaves and branching flowering spikes bearing clusters of intense blue flowers, not especially large in themselves but creating quite an impact. Will happily stand to attention in your border. Sun or semi-shade. Moist but...
See it and fall in love. Yes, it’s that good. A sturdy plant with glossy, finely-cut, virtually black foliage that has real presence. Add to that sprays of fluffy pink flowers that emerge from purple buds and ... enough said. Amazing. Best in some shade. Moist fertile soil. 3 ft. 2 litre pot.
Aquilegia flowers come in all sorts of shapes, but this is one of the more unusual, looking like a ballerina’s dress made up of several blooms set one inside the other. All in a subtle shade of rose-pink set off by the bluish foliage. Sun or semi-shade. Any reasonable soil. 24 in. 1 litre pot.
A classic variety and deservedly popular with its deep ruby-red semi-double flowers held on stems that are themselves dark red. The bright yellow anthers in the centre provide a delightful contrast. Sun or semi-shade. Any reasonable soil. 2 feet. 2 litre pot.
Very very nice. In fact pretty irresistible, with its divided ferny foliage and maybe the most attractive flowers you will see on an aquilegia - coppery orange red around a yellow corolla. And if that's not enough already, it will carry on flowering after most of its kind have stopped, sometimes into autumn. Sun or semi-shade. Any reasonable soil. 2 feet...
A truly spectacular variety which puts on a long-lasting display of very large lemon yellow flowers characterised by their lengthy spurs. The delicately dissected bluish green foliage comes as an added bonus. Sun or semi-shade. Any reasonable soil. 2 feet + 2 litre pot.
Perhaps the most spectacular vegetable you can grow, this perennial will grow to some 6 feet and, from the second year on, bear large flowerheads, which can be eaten before the buds open, or you can just grow it as an architectural specimen plant. Sunny spot. Fertile well drained soil. To 6 feet. 1 litre pot.
Or goatsbeard, if you were wondering. This is a hard to find variety which is ideal for the smaller garden, as it is compact, but has the characteristic maidenhair-like foliage and creamy white plumes of flowers from early summer. Distinctive. Sun or semi-shade. Any reasonable soil. 2 to 3 feet. 2 litre pot.
There is a rather old-fashioned air about this Mediterranean plant, but it's none the worse for that. Grass-like silvery blue foliage provides the base from which rise tall spikes covered with star-shaped lemon-coloured flowers which are delightfully fragrant. A lovely mid-summer spectacle. Sun or semi-shade. Any well-drained soil. 3 feet. 2 litre pot.
Astelias are feature plants with their dramatic evergreen sword-like leaves; those of Westland have a striking silvery tinge and a hint of red. Astelias eventually form a spectacular clump. Sheltered sunny spot. Fertile well drained soil. 3 feet. 2 litre pot.
Avalanche sports glorious white plumes, which are thick and fluffy and are produced profusely from early summer. They contrast beautifully with the reddish tint of the feathery foliage. Sun or semi-shade. Moist soil. 2 feet. 2 litre pot.
Pink is somehow a shade that becomes astilbes rather well, and Erika is a fine specimen to prove it. The foliage emerges tinged red then matures dark green, all the better to contrast with the fluffy spikes of the aforesaid pink. Really rather nice. Sun or semi-shade. Moist soil. 30 in. 2 litre pot.
Rather more compact than some varieties is Red Baron, which will brighten up the garden for many weeks with its feathery red flower spikes and reddish-tinted divided foliage. Sun or semi-shade. Moist soil. 18 in. 2 litre pot.
READY SOON. Dried flower arrangers will like this one for its clusters of saucer shaped deep red blooms, actually umbels of tiny pinky white flowers surrounded by papery bracts, borne over a long period in summer. Sun or semi-shade. Most soils, not too dry. 18 in + 2 litre pot.
READY SOON. A real rarity and a spectacular one, at that: this is a large plant with glossy leaves rather like a yucca and, in summer, tall shocking pink stems which from which dangle red cylindrical bells tipped with green. Quite unlike anything else seen in your average garden! Likes the sun. Fertile well drained soil. 4-5 ft. in flower. 2 litre pot.
Now, that’s a nice name for starters, but the reality is even nicer. The heart-shaped leaves are barred with silver in such a way as to create a collar effect around the outside margins, with a lighter dusting of silver over the whole extent of the leaf. Usual blue flowers in spring, but who cares?Prefers some shade. Fertile, moist but well-drained soil....
As a change from the silvery leaved types, we do rather like this Brunnera, with its large mid-green leaves with their splendidly irregular creamy margins. Makes a splash, as they say. The usual forget-me-not flowers in spring add to its appeal, Prefers some shade. Fertile, moist but well-drained soil. 18 in. 2 litre pot.
Perhaps one the weirder plants, both in name and appearance, that you can have in your garden, but certainly a talking point. Usual vigorous basal rosette of slightly toothed leaves and, over a long period in summer, extraordinary rosy pink flowers which leave you in no doubt about the octopus bit of the name. Sun or semi-shade. Well drained soil. 18 in....
Try this if you want a campanula unlike most of those commonly available. It has bright green heart-shaped leaves and lovely arching summer sprays of large creamy bell-shaped flowers heavily spotted inside with maroon. Sun or semi-shade. Well drained soil. 2 ½ ft. 1 litre pot.
Campanula Persicifolia is one of the classic cottage garden plants, and this variety lives up to its name, being beautiful indeed. It forms an evergreen rosette of lance-shaped mid-green leaves, from which rise, in early to mid-summer, slender stems clothed in porcelain blue flared bell-shaped flowers. Likes the sun. Moist but well-drained soil. 2 to 3...
This variety has lilac blue petals around a central deep blue eye, which rise up on wiry stems above a rosette of toothed silvery grey leaves. The big silvery buds, which precede the flowers, are themselves very attractive. Likes sun and well drained soil. 2 to 3 feet. 1 litre pot.
READY SOON. This version of Cupid’s Dart has pure white ruffled petals around a central purplish eye, which rise up on wiry stems above a rosette of toothed silvery grey leaves. The big silvery buds, which precede the flowers, are themselves very attractive. Likes sun and well drained soil. 2-3 ft. 1 litre pot.
This plant, which is happiest in poor soil, seems to bloom all the time, with clusters of fragrant rich red flowers, which will attract butterflies. The leaves are fleshy and grey-green. The stuff of hot dusty summer days in the British countryside. Try it in the crevices of a wall. Full sun. Any soil. 2 ft. 1 litre pot.
The second part of the name rather gives it away – this is a big one…..a giant scabious, in fact, with lots of primrose or ivory coloured flowers on tall wiry stems above a basal rosette of suitably substantial toothed leaves. Not easily missed. Full sun. Moist but well drained soil. 6 ft. 2 litre pot.
READY SOON. Now this is a properly dwarf Coreopsis which will look equally good at the front of of a border or in a container, forming a small rounded plant smothered in large double golden yellow flowers. And it does this from early to late summer. Who needs bedding plants? Full sun. Any well drained soil. 6-8 in. 1 litre pot.
This is one of the first plants we grew when started out 10 years ago. The long serrated lance-shaped leaves form a sturdy bright green clump, above which, from May to October, dance delicately scented 2-inch yellow flowers with ragged edges. Full sun. Fertile well drained soil. 2 ft. 1 litre pot.
Another favourite variety that grows rather shorter than some, Emily McKenzie has large, slightly drooping flowers in dusky orange with a prominent interior marking of mahogany red. Sun or semi-shade. Moist but well drained soil. 18 in. + 1 litre pot.
Always very popular, this variety produces lovely arching flower stalks with an abundance of trumpet-shaped ‘zig-zag’ vivid lemon-yellow flowers. Sun or semi-shade. Moist but well drained soil. 2 feet + 1 litre pot.
COMING SOON. Crocosmias provide vibrant colour in summer and early autumn. Lucifer is particularly striking. With tall sword-like leaves and flame red flowers, it reminds us of a fire-breathing dragon. Sun or semi-shade. Moist but well drained soil. 3 feet + 2 litre pot.
READY EARLY SUMMER. Said to be the most popular dahlia of all, and for good reason, we suppose, as the combination of deep ruby purple foliage and vibrant red flowers borne profusely from June to autumn is hard to beat, Best in full sun. Fertile well drained soil. 2 ft + 2 litre or 3 litre pot.
This elegant plant is very different to the more commonly seen types of Dicentra. Compact, with mounds of blue-green finely-divided foliage and arching stems bearing delightful heart shaped deep rose-red flowers over a very long season from spring. Sun or semi-shade. Moist soil. 12 in. 2 litre pot.
This elegant plant forms a mound of fern-like deeply-divided foliage from which, in spring and early summer, emerge gracefully arching stems hung with heart-shaped flowers of deep rosy pink with protruding white inner petals. Sun or semi-shade. Moist soil. To 2 ft. 2 litre pot.
This elegant plant forms a mound of fern-like deeply-divided foliage from which, in spring and early summer, emerge gracefully arching stems hung with heart-shaped flowers of pure glistening white. Sun or semi-shade. Moist soil. To 2 feet. 2 litre pot.
With flowers in the most delicious shade of crushed strawberry pink borne on tall stems from June to summer’s end, this foxglove is hard to resist! Even the leaves are pretty, being long and felted. Sun or semi-shade. Any soil. 2 ½ ft. 2 litre pot.
COMING SOON. A lovely new variety of foxglove that will atttract admiring glances with its spires of golden flowers, which have a delicately waxy finish and are flushed with polished red on the top. A perennial type, so will give years of pleasure. Sun or semi-shade. Any soil. 3 feet. 2 litre pot.
We never quite got echinaceas really, what with their oddly downward drooping petals and often exaggerated central cones. Fatal Attraction changes all this, with defiantly non-drooping petals in a fiery vibrant pink, the flowers being held on stiff reddish black stems amind strong green foliage on a compact bushy plant. This one we like. Sun or...
READY SOON. Flower arrangers love this plant for its steely blue globular flower heads, which last well when dried. You will also love it for its dramatic architectural foliage. Prefers full sun. Any well drained soil. 2 ft + 1 litre pot.
An uncommon and unusual plant which has whorls of long lance-shaped dark green leaves and through the summer produces panicles of flowers in a stunning deep red hue. Full sun. Fertile well drained soil. 20 in. 2 litre pot.
Tall and, well, willowy is this rare and beautiful pure white form of rosebay willowherb. Lovely lime green leaves and long-lasting spires of virginal white through the summer. Needs space (5 ft x 3 ft) but so worth it. Sun or semi-shade. Moist but well drained soil. To 5 ft. 2 litre pot.
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