A floribunda variety, so it will bloom pretty much all the time from late spring through to autumn, given a bit of deadheading. This is a sport of the old favourite Iceberg, with a nice bushy form and well-shaped velvety double blooms in a rich dark plummy hue and with a pleasing scent. Full sun best. Moist but well drained soil. 36 in. 3 litre deep pot.
Each flower lasts only one day – hence the name Day Lily – but the large exotic looking flowers just keep on coming throughout the summer months. Should be compulsory for every garden to have at least one of these great plants. Whoopy has large wine-purple flowers with near-black centres and a green throat. Fabulously dark and brooding. Full sun. Moist...
Now most thalictrums are tall imposing plants, but this is a ground-hugging little cutie. The foliage is wonderful - irregular oval leaves start out rosy orange, maturing to purplish dark green with silvery grey lining - and the clusters of little fluffy pale pink flowers keep on coming right through the summer into autumn. Light shade is best. Moist but...
SORRY, SOLD OUT FOR THE SEASON. 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....
Now this is a nice primula. A very nice primula. The evergreen rosette of bronzy purple foliage looks good all year round, but when it is combined in the spring months with the rich red velvety flowers with their yellow centres, the effect is simply stunning. And a light fragrance just to top it all off. Light to full shade is best. Moist but well drained...
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....
Dragons are mythical beasts and there is something of that about this plant, as it doesn’t look quite like anything else. It forms a rather jagged clump with the deep maroon sharply pointed leaves with their pale-edged dark centres stealing the show. Sports clusters of white flowers in summer, too. Sun or semi-shade. Moist but well drained soil. 18 in. 2...
Since taking Chelsea by storm in 2012, this new cross between Digitalis and Isoplexis (from the Canary Islands) has been deservedly in demand. It has a compact and bushy habit with a semi-evergreen rosette of toothed lance-shaped leaves and spikes clothed with deep pink flowers with warm apricot throats. Very long flowering. Full sun or semi-shade. Moist...
New shoots emerge like pinkish red clawed hands in spring then develop into largish jaggedly fingered leaves. Floating over these are sprays of creamy yellow flowers from spring into summer and often later. Gently lovely. Partial to full shade. Moist but well drained soil. 24 in. 2 litre pot.
SORRY, SOLD OUT FOR 2014. 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.
A splendid specimen plant with something to offer all season: large crinkled fingered leaves à la horse chestnut are tinged with reddish bronze in spring and autumn, and in early to mid-summer there are tall plumes of soft cherry pink flowers on vivid red stems that will certainly demand attention. Quite fabulous in every respect. Sun or semi-shade....
A new and definitely rather special delphinium which doesn't get too tall and won't flop, Highlander Moonlight has the usual elegant spires of flower in mid-summer, but the flowers themselves are frilly doubles in lilac blue around apple green centres. Highly desirable. Nice name too, we think. Full sun. Moist but well drained soil. 3 feet. 2 litre pot.
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.
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.
READY LATER IN THE SEASON. The name pretty much says it all, as this plant is all about the long lasting display of small but soaring pinkish white flowering spikes that adorn it from late spring onwards. The boldly marked dissected leaves are pretty neat too. Likes some shade. Any soil, but not too dry. 12 in. 1 litre pot.
Phygelius hail from South Africa and are good value in the garden. Midas Touch makes a compact shrubby perennial with stunning golden yellow foliage and, from June to September, trusses of tubular flowers in a fetching shade of deep coral pink. Sun or semi-shade. Any well drained soil. 18 in. 2 litre pot.
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.
Each flower lasts only one day – hence the name Day Lily – but the large exotic looking flowers just keep on coming throughout the summer months. Should be compulsory for every garden to have at least one of these great plants. Cherry Valentine has large palest pink flowers with petals edged cherry pink with more cherry in the centre and a green throat....
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.
SORRY, SOLD OUT FOR 2014. 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.
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.
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.
Take your pick with this handsome exotic-looking evergreen shrub – it is equally happy in a conservatory or in the garden. Huge glossy leaves look good all year round and, in autumn, it has interesting ball-shaped clusters of white flowers. Sun or semi-shade. Moist but well drained soil. Will get to 10 feet + if you let it!
For late summer and autumn colour, Heleniums are hard to beat and the Helena Red series will certainly brighten things up at that often difficult time of year, sporting a multitude of red-petalled flowers fringed with yellow on tall branching stems. They will keep the show going till the frosts hit hard. Sun or semi-shade. Moist but well drained soil. To...
COMING SOON. 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 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.
SORRY, SOLD OUT, MORE COMING SOON. 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.
DWARF! Now most people (and butterflies) like buddleia, but it can get a bit too big for the average garden. Problem solved – this cheerful little chap only gets to around 18 inches, comes into flower earlier than traditional varieties and keeps going. Nice shade of magenta as billed. Really good in a pot. Sun or semi-shade. 18 in. Any well drained soil.
SORRY, SOLD OUT FOR THE SEASON. Very new indeed is this intergenetic cross between Rudbeckia and Echinacea which will flower right through the season, with each 3 inch rusty orange bloom lasting for weeks with no need to dead head. A really interesting introduction which we like a lot. Sun or semi-shade. Moist but well drained soil. 2 to 3 feet.
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. 2 litre pot.
A Japanese entry in the Volcano series, which boasts flowers in a mouthwatering shade of pink, with the white throats speckled and striped in darker reddish shades around the conspicuous yellow anthers. Nice and compact so keeps its shape well. Sun. Well drained soil. 18 in. 2 litre pot.
A cross between Chilopsis and Catalpa and rarely seen is this large shrub or small tree. The leaves are dark green and lance-shaped, but it is the large pink azalea-like flowers that will stop you in your tracks in late summer. Full sun needed to flower well. Any reasonable soil.To 15 feet.
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.
This lovely shrub came to us from its native China in the early 20th century but is still seen in gardens less frequently than it deserves to be. The toothed foliage is bronzy in spring and deep red in autumn, but the chief attraction in late spring and early summer is the profuse racemes of coral pink flowers which decorate this rounded bushy shrub. Sun...
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...
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.
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.
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.
SORRY, SOLD OUT FOR 2014. Yes, it is fully hardy. Yet the saucer shaped and sized (10 to 12 inch) ruffled white flowers with dark crimson centres that keep coming from mid-summer to autumn, accentuated by the coppery orange foliage might suggest otherwise. Does best in warm summers. Sun or semi-shade. Moist but well drained soil. 3 feet + 2 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....
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.
Eupatorium is normally a tall plant for the back of the border, but this more compact variety is suitable for the smaller garden or even a container. Baby Joe forms a bushy clump of coarse dark green leaves which is topped in late summer into autumn by clouds of fluffy magenta pink flowers enjoyed by bees and butterflies. Sun or semi-shade. Moist but well...
A plant that just wants to have fun! Basically a baby bulrush with evergreen grassy foliage, the tips of which are decorated through the summer with tiny white flowers just like fibre optic lights. Striking and unusual. Sun or semi-shade. Moist soil. 6-12 in. 1 litre pot.
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.
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 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.
Play your part, before it’s too late, in resisting the invasion of the unscented Spanish bluebell sold in garden centres and plant this, the genuine article – the scented British bluebell which has carpeted our ancient forests since time immemorial! Semi-shade is best. Moist but well drained soil. 8-12 in. 1 litre pot. Pot contains several plants.
One of the Pensham series developed in Worcestershire by Edward Wilson, Laura has a good strong and upright habit with very striking tubular flowers which are purest white edged in what can only be described as shocking pink. Not a lady who is easily overlooked. Sun or semi-shade. Any well drained soil. 2 ½ feet. 2 litre pot.
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 litre pot.
Better, we think, than Mystica or, indeed, the famous Husker's Red, the semi-evergreen leaves of this newer variety have a reliable dark reddish purple colouring which attractively sets off the sprays of pale pinky lavender tubular flowers through the summer. And we love the evocative name. Sun or semi-shade. Any decent well drained soil. 36 in. 2 litre pot.
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