Calamagrostis brachytricha AGM – Korean feather reed grass

It’s time for another grass! This year, despite having had our first frost a couple of weeks ago, October is brimming with subtle colour; in the early morning the plants are lightly shrouded in dew, often covered in cobwebs, and the grasses stand effortlessly among them all, unifying the picture. Although they have been on the gardening scene for a long time now, grasses are still quite a daunting prospect when it comes to making the right choice and it’s well worth doing your homework. Some, once they get their toes stuck in, are quite a battle to remove...

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Erigeron karvinskianus AGM – Mexican fleabane

Everyone loves a daisy, but for me, this is the sweetest of them all. This has been such a wet week for most of us, and a few of the taller daisies in our garden (leucanthemum, rudbeckia, asters etc) are looking a little bedraggled, whereas the Mexican fleabane always looks cheerful! Apologies to those who know it well, (however you will understand why I have chosen it) but I am constantly amazed by friends and visitors to our garden who have never come across this erigeron. I first saw it at Great Dixter many years ago, swiftly obtained our...

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Succisa pratensis – Devil’s Bit Scabious

Wikipedia’s answer to the question ‘What is a wildflower?’, is as follows: ‘A wildflower is a flower that grows in the wild, meaning it was not intentionally seeded or planted’. So, by that definition, mine are not wild as I grew some from seed and planted them in our garden. However, they are native to the British Isles, and are found more commonly in the damper regions of the UK, that is in the west and north. That said, our clay soil which can get very dry in the summer months seems to suit them well, and while they...

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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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