All the plants described should be reliably hardy in this part of the country, unless otherwise indicated. Plants are...More
Not shy or retiring, Walther makes a bold statement with his silvery feathery foliage topped, from early to late summer, by flat flowerheads made up of multitudinous brick red or burnt orange florets with yellow centres. These fade to an interesting terracotta sort of shade. Walther will quickly establish a strong clump. Nice chap. Full sun. Any well...
READY SOON. Aconitum offers great value as a strong bloomer in that difficult late summer period: this is a shorter variety with two aces up its sleeve - larger than normal deep but clear blue flowers and leaves that come up a fetching shade of red in spring before maturing to glossy green. Sun or semi-shade. Moist but well drained soil. To 3 feet. 2...
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. Great name, too. Likes some shade. Moist soil. To 3 ft. 2 litre pot.
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, a recent introduction, has spikes of deep raspberry pink flowers from midsummer to the frosts. Best in the sun. Any well drained soil. Quite compact at 2 ft. 1 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.
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 feet. 1 litre pot.
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.
READY LATER IN THE SEASON. 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.
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...
Late-flowering Japanese anemones bring fresh colour to late summer and autumn with their delicate cup-shaped flowers. Andrea Atkinson forms a strong bushy plant and sports a profusion of beautiful single pure white blooms. Sun or semi-shade. Moist fertile soil. 2 ½ - 3 ft. 2 litre pot.
Late-flowering Japanese anemones bring fresh colour to late summer and autumn with their delicate cup-shaped flowers. Andrea Atkinson forms a strong bushy plant and sports a profusion of beautiful single pure white blooms. Sun or semi-shade. Moist fertile soil. 2 ½ - 3 ft. 1 litre pot.
READY LATER IN THE SEASON. Late-flowering Japanese anemones bring fresh colour to late summer and autumn with their delicate cup-shaped flowers. Rotkäppchen (or Red Riding Hood, as you may know her) has semi-double dark rosy pink flowers, probably the deepest of any anemone. Sun or semi-shade. Moist fertile soil. 18 in. 2 litre pot.
SORRY, SOLD OUT FOR 2014. 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.
As the name suggests, this is the Canadian columbine, though it also grows in the United States. It is an elegant and airy plant with divided ferny foliage and, in late spring and early summer, nodding flowers with yellow petals surrounded by crimson sepals with upward facing spurs. Sun or semi-shade. Most soils. 18 in. 1 litre pot.
A distinctive and rather different form of columbine, as the characteristic spurs are absent on the flowers which are more open and semi or fully double, hence the comparison with clematis. The flowers are usually pink, though coloration may vary, which makes it all the more exciting. Sun or semi-shade. Any well drained soil. 18-24 in. 1 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.
SORRY, SOLD OUT FOR THE SEASON. 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.
Astelias are feature plants with their dramatic evergreen sword-like leaves; those of Silver Shadow have a striking silvery tinge - in fact, it's the best silver form yet and a good vigorous one, to boot, so will eventually form a spectacular clump. Stylish in a patio pot. 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.
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 LATER IN THE SEASON. This rather splendid plant forms a substantial bushy mound of grey-green palmate foliage with airy spikes of smoky violet purple flowers held on charcoal black stems from early to mid summer. Butterflies seem to like it, which will add to its attractions in your garden. Full sun. Well drained soil. 36 in. 2 litre pot.
The varietal name translates as Winter Glow on account of the fact that the glossy leathery evergreen leaves take on reddish bronzy hues during the autumn and winter months before, in spring, clusters of reddish pink flowers appear, held on sturdy stems above the foliage. Answers to the name of Elephant Ears, but only to its friends. Sun or semi-shade....
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 stem 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.
READY SOON. 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...
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.
It’s the leaves that catch your eye, large and heart-shaped, their silvery surface almost mirror-like. That will do for starters, indeed for most of the year, but in early summer you also sprays of bright blue flowers in the style of forget-me-nots. What a terrific plant! Prefers some shade. Fertile, moist but well-drained soil. 18 in. 2 litre pot.
Named after the house where John Ruskin lived, this is a sturdy and striking perennial forming a basal clump of mid green toothed leaves from which rise upright stems clothed with rather smaller leaves and clusters of large tubular bell-shaped flowers (pace Mike Oldfield!) in an intense shade of purplish blue. A nice one. Sun or semi-shade. Moist but well...
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....
COMING SOON. 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.
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.
Now this one is rather special, a relatively new introduction with strong upright habit which produces its showy, rather swirly flowers in a bold pink pretty much throughout the summer. Bee-friendly, so the eco credentials are catered for as well. Who could ask for more? Sun or semi-shade. Any reasonable soil. To 2 feet. 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.
COMING SOON IN 2L POTS. Another black beauty which will stop those who see it in their tracks. The difference between this one and the more usually seen Black Magic is in the fact that the leaves have a crinkled effect and are beautifully glossy - so shiny, indeed, that we have seen them described as like an oil slick! Overwinter indoors. Sun or shade,...
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.
The problem with corydalis, lovely as they are, is that they tend to die down in mid summer. Not so this great new variety which keeps on producing its tubular flowers in the shade you might imagine over bluey green ferny foliage from May to September. Lovely stuff. Sun or semi-shade. Moist but well drained soil. 12 in. 1 litre pot.
SORRY, SOLD OUT FOR THIS SEASON. 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.
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.
A little stunner, with the emphasis not just on the little, though this is a low growing fleshy leaved plant that will carpet a dry spot and brighten it up all summer with its vibrant garnet red flowers that shade inwards through pink to white with a yellow centre. And yes, it is hardy. Sunny spot. Well drained soil. 4 in. 1 litre pot.
A little stunner, with the emphasis not just on the little, though this is a low growing fleshy leaved plant that will carpet a dry spot and brighten it up all summer with its vibrant sunshine yellow flowers that shade inwards to white with yellow anthers. And yes, it is hardy. Sunny spot. Well drained soil. 4 in. 1 litre pot.
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