Plant advice articles

Bee-on-prunella-altenberg-rosa

Best perennials for bees

Bees and Bumblebees are essential to the life of a plant, but sadly in recent years their numbers are on the decline. A world without the busy bee would not only leave our gardens bereft of sound a...

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July-flowers

Perennials for cutting

Perennials have been grown as cut flowers for many years. Long before the Dutch flower markets became the main source for cut flowers, British nurseries, especially around London, grew perennials purely for cutting. Crates of flowers would be sent daily by train to Covent Garden. All were cut according to the season from the same perennials grown in gardens.

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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-taplow9

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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Acanthusmollis

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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Aster-september-ruby2

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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Aster-rosa-erfullung4

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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