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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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Growing plants in dry soils

Rain is not a problem here in the Welsh Marches, can’t stop the stuff from coming down. But this has not been the case with all the places I have gardened on or grown nursery stock.

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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 and movement, but lead to the demise of many plants.

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Perscaria

Persicaria (also known as Bistort or Knotweed) are handsome, carefree plants that can be divided into two - ones that are big, and ones that are small.

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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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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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A guide to choosing perennials

When considering what to put in a border perennial plants are a must. Easy to grow, many are long lived and there are hundreds of plant shapes and flower colours to choose from. This sheer choice can make selecting the right variety a daunting process especially for the less experienced gardener.

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Achillea (Yarrow)

Achilleas are stately plants with broad, flat heads of colourful, small, round, papery flowers that range from pale yellow, through orange to rich magenta-red. Some varieties have flowers that start one colour and gradually change to another as the centre of the flowers get bigger, giving the whole plant an attractive two-tone appearance.

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