Allium ‘Spider’

There are alliums, and then there is Allium ‘Spider’; and I fell for mine on a damp, grey October day as I was looking through a row of boxes of bulbs hoping to find a little treat to lift the spirits as November loomed! To be fair, it was the photograph above the box that did it for me, and immediately gave me that ‘I must have some of those’ feeling. The price did seem a little eye-watering at the time, but I have not for a moment regretted my purchase of three, which set me back the cost...

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Rosa ‘Souvenir du Docteur Jamain’ Climbing

There are so many beautiful roses out right now, so how on earth do I choose just one? No rose is perfect, and my favourite today shares certain less attractive traits with many others. Let’s face it, few roses look their best after a downpour and this one is no exception, it really sulks after rain; and then there is the dying process which can be untidy at best or downright unsightly. But in so many other respects, ‘Souvenir du Docteur Jamain’ is a winner. First off, it is one of the best for a north facing wall: its...

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Geranium sylvaticum ‘Album’ AGM. White, wood cranesbill

There are well over 400 species in the genus geranium, and so when it comes to choosing one for that precious spot in your garden, it pays to do a little research, and above all, be selective. It is oh so easy to be seduced by the one that happens to be in flower as you pass it in your local nursery or garden centre, but a random purchase can be a cause for regret later. It might turn out to be too tall, too floppy, too thuggish, too sparing in its flowers …. The Latin ‘sylvaticum’ means ‘of...

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Thermopsis lanceolata

On bank holiday Monday a neighbour asked me to take a look at a plant in her garden that wasn’t thriving (a seven year old Euphorbia characias… time to take it out!), and while I was there, she pointed out her Thermopsis montana and exclaimed how much she loved it but in the same breath, what an absolute thug it was, even invading her lawn! I had to agree with her, although it is by no means number one on the nuisance list. I was therefore very happy indeed to be able to introduce her to its close relative and...

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