Outlandish, drooping, fringed petals in an array of colours, white, pink, purple and red on 30cm tall stems. ‘Dancing Geisha’ needs some extra irrigation during dry spells and is best grown in a sunny spot.
Dianthus superbus ‘Primadonna’ is a selected strain of this widespread plant which grows in the wild from Europe to Sakhalin. The ragged robin like flowers in a range of pinks from light to dark are carried on 40cm tall branching stems.
Echinops is a favourite genus of ours and we grow quite a lot of varieties in the garden. During late spring and summer ‘Star Frost’ has silvery white balls of flowers which are held well above the foliage mound. Echinops are tough plants if their few wants are catered for.
This is one of the best groundcovers for dry shade where it will make suckering 40 cm tall evergreen stems clothed in handsome blue-green foliage. During spring the whole is covered by heads of lime green flowers.
This is the best dwarf Forsythia which only grows 120cm tall by as much across. During early spring it produces a mass of lemon-yellow open bells so abundantly that you can barely see the stem for flowers. During autumn the foliage turns burgundy chocolate.
There are few shrubs which brighten the late winter landscape better than Forsythias. F. ‘Lynwood Gold’ covers all its branches with very large deep canary yellow flowers. A tough shrub wanting a sunny position and needing very little supplementary water.
This vigorous growing shade lover makes a 60cm wide 30cm tall mound of frilly deep purple leaves with a silvery bloom. Spires of small white bells are held above the foliage mounds during mid to late spring.
This vigorous growing shade lover makes a 50cm wide 25cm tall mound of frilly lime green leaves. Spires of small white bells are held above the foliage mounds during mid to late spring. A little summer watering is well-rewarded.
‘Annabelle’ is the finest of all of the Hydrangea arborescens forms. It has a long season producing enormous heads of flowers which are green in bud, changing to white as the season progresses and ageing to green during autumn.
Bred in the magical city of Kyoto ‘Forever’ has magical double flowers, soft pink or soft blue depending on soil acidity. ‘Forever’ will flower from mid-spring until late summer. It is dwarf in growth habit making it suitable for small gardens and pots. Best in light shade.
‘Kyushu’ is a tall vigorous variety which quite early in the season produces large white panicles which remain white for the whole season. We grow all Hydrangea paniculata cultivars in sunny spots protected from hot winds.
Another variety from Kyoto, ‘Romance’ has deep mauve blue or deep pink flowers depending on soil acidity. ‘Romance’ will flower from mid-spring until late summer. It is dwarf in growth habit making it suitable for small gardens and pots. Best in light shade.
This native grass selection is a rampant, weed suppressor for soil erosion work, roadside plantings, slopes and median strips. It is far too vigorous for ordinary garden use as it will overwhelm any other plant.
The Echo in its name refers to this plant’s repeat flowering habit. 90cm tall stems carry deep coral-red buds opening to softer coral with flower scapes measuring nearly 20cm. If dead headed regularly it will flower from late spring until mid-autumn.
The flowers of 'Green Jade' are green in bud and open to cream giving a distinctive cool bicolour effect. The 150cm tall flower stems are produced from late spring until well into summer. Foliage mound 60cm tall and 90cm wide.
This diminutive very cool red hot poker was raised by Beth Chatto at her famous nursery in Essex more than thirty years ago. I’ve grown it off and on for 25 years. Ivory white flowers cover the top half of its 50cm tall freely produces stems.
This new red hot poker produces rich coral-red flowers on strong 80cm tall stems for most of the warmer months. The narrow foliage is dark green and makes arching clumps. Tough and drought tolerant when once established.
One of the delights of spring when this deciduous shrub becomes a billowing mass of bright clear pink, lemon throated flowers. Long lived and soundly frost hardy it needs very little if any supplementary water once established.
This most beautiful of all the feather grasses is a hybrid between Miscanthus sinensis and M. transmorrisonensis. From early in the new year until winter arching feathers on slightly arching leafy stems gives ‘Fallingwater’ elegance, movement and form.
This is the catmint featured in the English coffee table gardening books. Sadly a second rate plant is still being sold as this in Australia. We grow it in front of a stone wall in a bed that is never watered.