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Bergenia

Mention to a gardener that you like Bergenias (Elephant ears) and you get a long, confused stare as though to say ‘what those boring things!’ But I really do like and respect these robustly formed, immensely useful plants.

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Early Flowering Perennials

Spring is a wonderful time of the year. There is so much to look forward to, including all those lovely early blooming perennials. In the wild spring flowering plants grow beneath deciduous trees and shrubs where the ground is relatively warm and sheltered, and where in the coming months an upper canopy of leaves extends to shade the ground below.

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Foiling Rabbits

Rabbits might be cute and cuddly, but for gardeners who live close to a rabbit population the sight of just one of these small creatures anywhere near our precious patch can send us into fits of rage. These, as we all know, are rapid reproducers, which means there are lots of mouths to feed. Rabbits are fearless munchers, nibbling leaves, flower stems and digging around the base of plants to get at young tender roots.

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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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Epimediums

It’s difficult to say why, but I always feel a touch of joy when I spot an epimedium. These delightful spring flowering plants with delicate flowers and handsome leaves are neither glamorous nor showy.

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