Not a bigger plant than the standard Bridal Wreath, as Francoa is called, but bigger flowers. Evergreen crinkled leaves form the base from which the branching flowering stems with two tone pink blooms rise up. Sun or semi-shade in a sheltered spot. Well drained soil. 30 in. 1 litre pot.
Sometimes called ‘false spiraea’ because of the similar shape of leaf, this shrub really does ring the changes in colouration through the seasons, with its pinnate leaves going through shades of pink, red, bronze and fresh green. White summer flowers, too, just as a bonus. Sem is a little gem. Sun or semi-shade. Moist but well drained soil. Around 4 feet....
A delightful plant with a long proper name and a slightly shocking common one (look it up!). Its selling points are two-fold: the mound of slightly downy scented foliage (honey or lemon, take your pick) and above it, in spring and early summer, orchid-like flowers in white with striking purple lips. Sun or semi-shade. Moist but well drained soil. 12-18...
The leaves are paired along their stems like the rungs of a ladder, hence the common name Jacob’s Ladder. This is a particularly pretty little plant, a dwarf version that remains quite compact and has eye-catching apricot flowers tinged pink over a long period. Sun or semi-shade. Any reasonable soil. 15 in. 1 litre pot.
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.
Geums really make an impact throughout the summer with branched clusters of brightly coloured semi-double cup-shaped flowers on long stems above attractive rather woolly serrated leaves. Mrs J Bradshaw has brick-red flowers and is a cottage garden classic. Sun or semi-shade. Any reasonable soil. 2 ft. 1 litre pot.
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. SORRY - SOLD OUT FOR THIS SEASON.
A real stunner of a grass that will make a statement without getting too big for its boots. It is of compact, arching habit, forming a mound of golden yellow leaves that remain semi-evergreen, and producing reddish brown flower spikes in early autumn. Top drawer. Sun or semi-shade. Moist but well drained soil. 15 in. 1 litre pot.
SORRY, SOLD OUT FOR THE SEASON. 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.
A recent introduction, Jenny sports pink flowers variously described as wispy, fluffy or ragged (take your pick - they're nice however described!) on stiff stems over a rosette of evergreen lance-shaped foliage. She does this from late spring into summer, and then again if cut back. Sun or semi-shade. Any well drained soil. 24 in. 2 litre pot.
Ah. Angels’ Fishing Rods. The archetypal elegant cottage garden plant. They come in all sizes and shades – this species is fairly compact with airy evergreen foliage and, in summer, white pendulous flowers suffused with gentlest pink. Full sun. Well drained but not dry soil. 36 in. 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...
If you are looking for evergreen ground cover with the added benefit of flowers throughout the season, look no further than this fully hardy African daisy. The narrow dark green leaves do the ground cover bit, wiry stems holding large open multi-petalled flowerheads of white flushed lavender pink take care of the rest. Full sun. Any well drained soil. 15...
A splendidly architectural shrub with leathery deep green 2-foot leaves composed of pairs of serrated leaflets. Glorious in winter when erect sprays of fragrant yellow flowers appear over a long period. Prefers some shade. Rich moist but well drained soil. Up to 10 feet ultimately. 2 litre pot.
There are lots of plants with daisy-like flowers, but this one stands out from the crowd courtesy of its prolific semi-double blooms in early to mid-summer whose bright pink colouring will brighten up your day when you catch sight of it. Forms a clump of fresh lance-shaped leaves. Sun or semi-shade. Moist but well drained soil. 24 in. 1 litre pot.
A fine plant that clings to clifftops in Chile, forming an evergreen rosette of lobed and rather lush-looking leaves. In mid to late summer it throws up spikes of flowers in palest pink with darker pink markings. Now that’s rather nice of it. Sun or semi-shade in a sheltered spot. Well drained soil. 30 in. 1 litre pot.
We are probably as much in the dark about this one as you are, as it is new to us! Essentially A. Dealbata, but not getting so tall, which might help in sheltering it from those winter winds that acacias dislike. From the state of Victoria in Australia, where it grows in large stands on poor soil. Sun or semi-shade. Most soils, including fairly dry ones....
A fabulous strikingly variegated cordyline with burgundy leaves edged in cerise pink and the advantages of being quick to establish and having proved very winter hardy for such a fancy variety. That said, we would keep it in a big pot in its early years at least or give it a nice sheltered position. Sun or semi-shade. Any reasonable soil. To 8 feet. 1...
Ferns don’t half have long unpronounceable names! This is the mossy soft shield fern: it is evergreen, with attractive feathery, finely dissected fronds, and the ability to take quite a lot of sun.. Best in light to full shade. 18 in. 2 litre pot. SOLD OUT - MORE GROWING ON.
Named after a famous ornithologist and plant collector, this is a delightful little plant, forming a mat of evergreen lance-shaped foliage, above which dangle from spring into early summer loose clusters of intense blue flowers. Likes a shady spot. Moist but well drained soil. 6-8 in. 2 litre pot.
A truly wonderful winter-flowering shrub, often producing its clusters of sweetly scented blush pink flowers from mid-autumn right through to spring. Every garden needs one, and that’s a fact. Sun or semi-shade. Moist but well drained soil. To 8 feet. 2 litre pot.
And some really fabulous plants to end this section! Passion Fruit, as you might presume, has flowers, or spathes as they are called, in a predictably passionate shade of orange, offset by cool green leaves spotted with white. Warm spot, prefers rich moist soil. 18 in.
A very handsome evergreen statement plant which sports a rosette of strappy toothed leaves, rather yucca-like in appearance, but its crowning glory is the array of tall branching stems covered in greenish white marble-sized flowers that starts to arise in early summer. A stunner. Sunny spot. Moist but well drained soil. To 5 ft. 2 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.
Similar in style to Eucomis Autumnalis, but perhaps even more exotic on account of the deep burgundy colour of the strappy leaves and stem, especially when young. The flowers are a pinkish shade with the customary pineapple top. Give it some sun. Fertile well drained soil. 18 in. 2 litre pot.
Flowers up to 5 inches wide with splashy red and gold petals provide a fiery display through summer and into autumn. Looks great towards the front of a border. Loves the sun. Any well drained soil. 10 in. 1 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....
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.
We saw this a few years ago and though wow! Now we are growing it and still think wow! Think Fatsia Japonica with heavy splashing and marbling of creamy white to the glossy fingered leaves ands you've got it. The variegation is variable but that makes it all the more interesting, we think. Likes some shade. Moist but well drained soil. To 6 feet. 2 litre...
A very special Jacob's Ladder, this one. A compact plant, forming a neat mound of the usual ferny fingered foliage, above which float, from late spring into summer, clear blue flowers which are unique within the genus in being fragrant. Very, very nice indeed. Semi-shade preferred. Moist but well drained soil. 15 in. 2 litre pot. MORE COMING SOON.
A striking architectural evergreen with jagged-edged deep green leaves marbled with white and, in summer, branched clusters of silvery-blue flowerheads. Prefers full sun. Tolerates dry soils, but not too dry! 18 in. 2 litre pot.
A really arresting sight when you see an established clump in full bloom, this is a beautiful and very tough sub-shrub boasting silvery grey foliage and masses of foot-long purplish blue flowering spikes through the summer. It’s hard not to like it. Prefers a sunny spot. Any well drained soil. To 4 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...
Verbena Bonariensis is popular for its open airy habit and long bloom time for its clusters of pinky purple flowers but it can be too big for some gardens. This dwarf variety solves that as it won’t get too big for its boots. Likes a sunny spot. Any well drained soil. 18 to 24 in. 1 litre pot.
We think this is one of the very best blue grasses. Forms a dense compact tuft of fine evergreen greyish blue leaves and has flower spikes of a similar colour. Very attractive. Sun or semi-shade. Any soil. 12 in. 1 litre pot.
A lovely evening primrose with a rosette of narrow leaves and tallish stems bearing a succession of very large open flowers which open lemon yellow, then age to a shade of apricot. Their delicate perfume is at its best in the, you guessed it, evening. Best in sun. Well drained soil. 24 in. 1 litre pot. SORRY, SOLD OUT FOR THE SEASON.
A rarely-seen gem from the Andes, this little plant forms an evergreen clump of bluish green iris-like leaves. So far, so good. But then, in mid-summer, stalks emerge bearing what are best described as miniature bird of paradise flowerheads, except that these are made up of a profusion of bright golden star-like blooms. Full sun. Most soils. 18 in. 1...
That slightly worrying name just means ‘red fox’. This is a splendid low-growing Veronica which pokes up its candlestick spires of striking deep reddish pink from early summer onwards and stays cheerfully in bloom for the rest of the season. Likes the sun. Moist but well drained soil.12 in. 2 litre pot.
A major improvement on the species, this compact, bushy variety boasts purple-flushed green leaves and red-flushed stems bearing prolific clusters of large, deep pink flowers in summer and autumn. Dense and upright and won't flop like some. Sun or semi-shade. Moist but well drained soil. 18 in. ex 9 cm pot.
A splendid relatively new variety which boasts a rosette of dark green crinkly leaves from which rise sturdy spikes bearing saucer-shaped flowers of a deep carmine pink which certainly stand out on a dull summer’s day. Full sun. Any reasonable soil. 24 in. 2 litre pot.
There are now so many varieties of heuchera available, but this is certainly one of the most attractive, with curly deep reddish-purple evergreen foliage and tiny luminous white flowers on slender stems during the summer. Sun or semi-shade. Moist but well drained soil. 18 in. 1 litre pot.
READY SPRING 2014. We like this one, which sports twisting dark green leaves with lighter centres, giving the effect of a twist of lime. The flowers are violet. All in all, rather special. Best in light to full shade. Moist but well drained soil. 12-18 in. 2 litre pot.
A fairly recent introduction, one of a series named after cocktail drinks, Mai Tai has the usual clump of slightly hairy serrated leaves and wiry burgundy red stems bearing semi-double flowers, all ruffles and frills, in a lovely shade of apricot with hints of pink. Amazing. Sun or semi-shade. Moist but well drained soil. 18 in. 1 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.
Unusual talon-like flowers in a vivid shade of blue are a feature of this plant in summer into autumn. It has a neat upright branching habit and is usually hardy in the south despite its rather exotic looks. Sun or semi-shade, a sheltered spot is best. Also good in a pot. Moist but well drained soil. To 2 feet.
Now plum jerkum is apparently a cider type drink made from plums in central England, after which this lovely penstemon is named. A good sturdy plant with tubular flowers of deepest plummy purple with striped white throats. Delicious. Sun or semi-shade. Any well drained soil. 2 ½ feet. 2 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.
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.
You might expect something rather artistic with a name like that, and you will not be disappointed buy the creamy spathes flushed heavily with a very distinctive purple. This is a highly unusual colour combination for a calla lily. We love it. Warm spot, prefers rich moist soil. 18 in. 2 litre pot.
Everyone needs a bright and breezy Geum, and better, we think, than Borisii is this fairly recent introduction. It remains compact and rounded in form and from late spring onwards it continually produces brilliant orange flowers on straight stems. Sun or semi-shade. Any well drained soil. 12 in. 1 litre pot.