Plant advice articles

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Helenium (Sneezeweed)

Heleniums are also known as Sneezeweed, a name that refers to the unfounded ability to cause hay fever. They seem to have been largely unknown as a garden plant before the end of the 19th century, today they are steadfast favourites of the late summer border.

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Echinops (Globe thistle)

Echinops, or Globe Thistles, are one of those plants that you either know or you don’t. Popular with gardeners who have space and big, deep herbaceous borders, they tend to be ignored by those who have smaller gardens. This is because most Echinops can be big. If this is a problem for you try Echinops ritro ‘Veitch’s Blue’ as it is ideal for smaller gardens.

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Campanula (Bellflower)

There are lots of types of Campanulas, all of which provide the border with a flowery, cottage feel. The other name for this variable bunch is Bellflower for the obvious reason as the flowers are bell-shaped.

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Geum (Avens)

Geums are colourful, cheerful and easy-to-grow. The flowers remind me of the strawberry plant; pretty and simply shaped, some produce dangling cup-shaped bells while others raise their heads revealing perfect rosettes.

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Acanthus (Bear's Breeches)

Acanthus are also known as Bear’s breeches, a name that was adopted centuries ago, the origin of which has long been lost. Originating from the Mediterranean their beauty was appreciated during Greek and Roman times, where the leaf form can be seen carved around the top of tall colonnades.

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Late Flowering Perennials

As summer drifts into autumn the garden starts to put itself to sleep preparing for the seemingly endless winter months. In the meantime this process is slow enough to allow us to appreciate the autumn garden. By late October my borders have become a wonderful tapestry of colours

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Asters

Asters are a must for the autumn border. Shaped like a daisy, the flowers can be as small as a 5 pence piece or bigger than a 50 pence piece. The colours tend to be in the blue/lilac or purple bracket, with a good choice of pink tones and white, but no yellow or true reds.

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Foliage First

Think of plants with lovely leaves and most gardeners imagine trees, shrubs and fabulous autumn colour. Perennials are rarely considered yet many have beautiful leaves and this very important attribute should certainly be given some thought when choosing what to grow especially for winter colour.

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Pulmonaria-leopard

Pulmonarias

Hardy and easy to grow, Pulmonarias have been grown in gardens for centuries and as a result have many common names. The most familiar is ‘Lungwort’ which refers to an old assumption that it was a cure for lung diseases.

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Oriental Poppies

Big, blousy, glamorous, fleeting, whatever you feel about Oriental poppies they are hard to ignore. Wonderful for mixing in borders, they produce large, often brightly coloured flowers that bloom from mid May into June.

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