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...

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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...

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Clematis ‘Belle of Woking’

I bought this clematis three years ago, a strong little plant in a 9cm pot and it has never looked back. I mention the size of the pot because I find that these young plants, although by their size are vulnerable and need a bit of extra protection initially, soon romp away and establish well. A bit like planting whips instead of more mature trees. Also, being in such small pots, they are much easier to fit into an already overcrowded bed! So ….. big hole, lots of organic matter and food, a large drink, and a slab on...

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Heuchera ‘Brown Finch’

I am going for ‘subtle’ this week. If you want flamboyance, there is Chelsea! At this time of the year, almost every time I walk round the garden, something new is starting into flower, and naturally my attention is caught by the colour and exuberance of it all: roses, clematis, euphorbia, iris, paeonies … the list is endless. My subject today is not so noticeable, but it has a quiet, dependable presence, and our garden would be the poorer without it. Walk into most garden centres (not nurseries!) and you will be regaled with rows of different heucheras. All those...

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