Pileostegia viburnoides

If you happen to be looking for a hardy, evergreen, self-clinging climber for a north wall, then look no further. This impressive relative of the hydrangea fits my description to a T; and every year as the summer draws to a close, my gardening spirits never fail to be lifted by this beautiful, exotic, yet rarely seen plant. The handsome, glossy, dark green foliage is the perfect background for the masses of panicles of tiny, star-shaped, creamy white flowers. These are hugely attractive to bees and a myriad of other insects; so much so that very often the happy...

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Thinking ahead – Grow How Tips for Late August

Once we’re into late August, it’s hard for a gardener not to start thinking about next summer! So some of my tips this week have something of a forward-planning theme – planting bulbs, trimming lavender, improving the compost-heap….. BULBS FOR THE FUTURE If you’ve been wowed by a stand of lilies this summer either your own or someone else’s, then start to investigate buying and planting more, anytime from now until the end of September.  Planting such bulbs as Lilium regale now rather than in spring, gives them a chance to really establish before the winter sets in. These were...

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10 plants to set light to August borders.

August can be a tricky month in the garden – a real injection is usually needed between the prettiness of June and July flowers, and the mellow quality of September asters and fawn grasses. What we need is HOT COLOUR and spadefuls of it to cheer us up as another summer starts to slip away. Let’s ditch subtlety (easy for me or indeed Caroline; Laura not so much …) and go for right-between-the-eyes zing to brighten the borders. Here are four of my favourites for doing just that: 1. Anthemis tinctoria – This wonderful daisy grows happily even in poor...

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Crocosmia x crocosmiiflora ‘Coleton Fishacre’

Late summer in our garden – and predominant in the beds are shades of purple, lavender, blue and pink; the hot colours of the autumn garden have yet to get into their stride. So, my subject today is the perfect antidote to fit into this misty mix. Neither yellow, nor rust, nor ochre, it is unapologetically orange, and this is quite an unusual colour at any time of the year. Bright but not shouty, it fits in anywhere. Formerly called ‘Gerbe d’Or (and it is not immediately apparent when and why the name was changed), it was raised by...

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