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...

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Gardening Heroes – it takes all types

Can you remember the exact moment when you realised gardening wasn’t boring? I ask the question as I have watched young adults recently realise that politics isn’t boring when their country’s parliament is apparently an asylum run by lunatics. Nor is gardening – for me it was a comment in an obscure book that the world would be a better place if every Weigela bush was piled high on a bonfire and burnt that made me sit up. Now I personally have nothing against Weigelas and actually grow a good one in my garden now called ‘Bristol Ruby’ but it...

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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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Keep calm and allium on!

Strong and stable: for the many not the few; politicians seem to have drawn on alliums for a number of national campaigns. There aren’t many gardens which don’t have these wonderfully architectural plants dominating their beds in June. It’s a funny thing about alliums – we use the Latin name for all the decorative ones, and common names – onion, garlic, chives etc – for the edible ones.  The pretty ones are the kings of the June garden. I love Allium christophii with its hundreds of violet metallic stars. The seedheads of this one will keep their shape all winter...

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