10 Summer Stalwarts

It’s that time of the year when you need to rely on a core backbone of plants to burst onto the scene and provide volume and colour through the hottest months. Here in the south east where each summer seems to be warmer and drier than the last (sorry Caroline but it was your choice to live in Scotland….) we canny gardeners have had evolve our midsummer plant choices to include some newer drought tolerant introductions. 1. Veronicastrum. If you have an open airy spot you really can’t beat these North American prairie plants that build systematically through early summer and...

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Who needs rain when you’ve got soapwort?

As in ‘Life’,  amongst garden plants there are winners and there are losers. And then there are those  who diligently graft away in the background until circumstances collude to give them that moment to shine – their Gareth Southgate moment, their Diving Rescue Team moment. So it has been this summer in my garden. There was a moment at the end of May when the living was easy. Warm and wet, the garden bounced back from the grip of the beast and everything seemed almost preternaturally luxuriant, more like a digitally enhanced garden theme park. But global climate change...

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The Growbags grass each other up

The end of August and all of a sudden, you notice the grasses which have been slowly developing among the flamboyant late summer flowers.  They were made incredibly trendy a few years ago by the groovy horticultural guru Piet Oudolf and steadily even small back gardens were filling up with wafting groups of Miscanthus and Calamagrostis.  Now, I am happy to shock people on occasions (only yesterday, I appalled our judgemental children by binging on three consecutive episodes of Poldark and a whole box of Milk Tray), and, candidly, I get tremendously bored with ranks of swaying grass, which looked completely alien...

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