Sanguisorba ‘Pink Brushes’

Like an eccentric but glamorous great aunt, my plant this week is a wonderful example of how to age gracefully! Going grey yes, but losing any other attributes, no! A bit like going to a big family party, I walk into the garden and there she is, you can’t miss her – tall, willowy and colourful; I am thrilled with this new(ish) addition to my autumn border. When I first started gardening I distinctly remember growing salad burnet (Sanguisorba minor) in my herb garden. Little did I realise what a large, varied and interesting genus it was, but back then...

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Echeveria rosea

Almost all echeveria will succumb to winter wet and cold in the UK, but not this one … not unless we have a particularly extreme season. It is easily the most able to cope with whatever weather is thrown at it. So I was very excited to come across this stunning succulent (bought from Bob Brown at Cotswold Garden Flowers) which positively gives of its best, the colder it gets. From now until late winter the whole plant will gradually turn an eye-catching red, at which point the flower buds will start to form. The flowers are yellow/coral red....

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Malus hupehensis AGM

I have a confession. The tree in the photo above is not actually in our garden. About 25 years ago, our neighbour, who grew it from seed, planted it on the verge in our lane, so I watch its progress through the seasons from the kitchen window. This tree gives us pleasure on so many fronts. The show starts in April/May when the delicate pink buds open to a profusion of white flowers which have a subtle musky scent; it makes a simply stunning display, and passing walkers often stop by to ask its name. Ernest Wilson discovered it...

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Panicum virgatum ‘Northwind’

It all depends on the sun, the wind, the rain, and the frost … and on the order in which they come and go throughout the year. Therefore each autumn brings subtly different colour schemes and it is why some plants excel one year where before they were more muted. Today it’s the turn of an American switch grass, and it has been grabbing my attention for the last few weeks until I could no longer ignore it! Panicum virgatum ‘Northwind’ is the most narrowly upright form of the genus and is therefore perfect for the smaller border where...

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