Artemisia lactiflora ‘Elfenbein’

I say the word ‘artemisia’, and immediately springs to my mind the many silver-leaved forms that I already have in our garden. These are abrotanum, ludoviciana, absinthium, and pontica to name but a few, and the family also includes A dracunculus (French tarragon). Often aromatic, and with finely divided, decorative foliage, they are a useful family to know. A few years ago I came across A lactiflora Ghizou Group and it looked startlingly different with its purple flushed, dark green foliage and striking, tall, creamy white flowers in midsummer. More recently I added today’s special plant, A lactiflora ‘Elfenbein’ which

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Solanum laxum ‘Creche du Pape’

I love the potato family (Solanaceae), and while two of them are already great favourites, this one is relatively new to me and it’s very exciting to see it in flower in its first year. If you search for it online you will immediately spot discrepancies in the name, (and why on earth would the pope need a crèche?!) but I’m going to stick with the most commonly used. As a family they are a generous lot, their growth is exuberant and they don’t stint on flowers. S. crispum ‘Glasnevin’ AGM, known as the Chilean potato tree, is more of

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Veronicastrum virginicum ‘Erika’

One of the great pleasures towards the end of a holiday is to anticipate my first stroll around the garden upon our return. A week’s absence allows us to look at it all with fresh eyes, to enjoy the subtle changes, to notice the first flowers on an old favourite reappearing. This week Veronicastrum virginicum ‘Erika’ stands out for me; partly because much of the rest of the garden is in ‘green’ mode, waiting for the late summer flowers to start in earnest. But ‘Erika’ is more than just colour, it adds elegance and structure to the whole border, and

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