Colour – symphony or screech?

When my sisters said that they were going to come over to France for a couple of days, I jumped at the chance to show them what I had been up to in my rather rampageous Normandy garden.  In the event, they found out why this part of Europe is so green – the rainstorms verged on the biblical and the howling gales made Caroline feel she was back at home in Scotland.. In the four minutes or so that it wasn’t actually pelting, we wandered about discussing the fairly fundamental question of which plants look good together and...

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Veronicastrum virginicum ‘Erika’

One of the great pleasures towards the end of a holiday is to anticipate my first stroll around the garden upon our return. A week’s absence allows us to look at it all with fresh eyes, to enjoy the subtle changes, to notice the first flowers on an old favourite reappearing. This week Veronicastrum virginicum ‘Erika’ stands out for me; partly because much of the rest of the garden is in ‘green’ mode, waiting for the late summer flowers to start in earnest. But ‘Erika’ is more than just colour, it adds elegance and structure to the whole border,...

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