Hemerocallis citrina x ochroleuca

What plant shall I choose today? In the last 24 hours I have changed my mind at least three or four times, such is the amazing wealth of flowers in the garden in June. Amidst the tumbling profusion of roses, clematis, philadelphus, geraniums and all the rest, the cool poise of Hemerocallis citrina x ochroleuca won the day; not least because it stands straight and tall at over one metre and does not need staking! It bears fragrant, pale lemon yellow flowers and these are held well above the foliage. Unlike many of the genus, the balance between flowers and...

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Keep calm and allium on!

Strong and stable: for the many not the few; politicians seem to have drawn on alliums for a number of national campaigns. There aren’t many gardens which don’t have these wonderfully architectural plants dominating their beds in June. It’s a funny thing about alliums – we use the Latin name for all the decorative ones, and common names – onion, garlic, chives etc – for the edible ones.  The pretty ones are the kings of the June garden. I love Allium christophii with its hundreds of violet metallic stars. The seedheads of this one will keep their shape all winter...

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Clematis ‘Belle of Woking’

I bought this clematis three years ago, a strong little plant in a 9cm pot and it has never looked back. I mention the size of the pot because I find that these young plants, although by their size are vulnerable and need a bit of extra protection initially, soon romp away and establish well. A bit like planting whips instead of more mature trees. Also, being in such small pots, they are much easier to fit into an already overcrowded bed! So ….. big hole, lots of organic matter and food, a large drink, and a slab on...

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The Growbags award their own Chelsea Golds

If Chelsea Flower Show didn’t exist, we would have to invent it – otherwise we wouldn’t have a ceiling for our artistic gardening ambition to hurl itself against.  Much of what you see there is near-impossible to re-create, misguided or just barking-mad – but witnessing the misguided or the barking-mad is actually quite exciting, like watching Diane Abbott calculate the Treasury Budget. You will already have had it ‘up to here’ about good and bad Chelsea gardens (in a nutshell, garden plants didn’t get big medals this year – I’m sure they will have a resurgence in the future), so...

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