Cool foliage and egg shells

  There is no doubt that on a hot July day, it is extraordinarily restful to the eye to come across a swath of large leaves amidst all the visual bustle and vibrancy of flowers and smaller leaves. We almost require them, in order to make it all work: they act as an anchor, a backdrop and a foil, and it is easy to overlook this when planning a border. There are so many choices for foliage, but the bergenia in my photograph (B ciliata) has already given me much pleasure in March, when its beautiful little pink flowers were

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Geranium pratense ‘Southease Celestial’

After I bought this geranium (from the marvellous Marchants Hardy Plants), and watched it transform into a celestial cloud of powder blue the following year, I felt I needed to visit it’s place of origin, so this took me to the tiny village of Southease lying due south of Lewes in East Sussex, tucked away in a beautiful corner of the South Downs National Park. Southease holds an annual plant fair on the green, and also hosts an open gardens day. So despite its size (population approx.50), it has many attractions not least a beautiful 12th century church with a

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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 foliage

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