Chrysanthemum pacificum

Chrysanthemum pacifica (or Ajania pacifica)

Silver and gold chrysanthemum It’s an irony that just when your summer pots are looking their very best – in other words now – along comes the first frost and that’s the end of their fine display; either that or you really need the pots to plant your spring bulbs. However, my plant today turns out to be hardier than I expected and made it through last winter – which admittedly was not a hard one here in West Sussex. This beautiful foliage plant was first recognised in Japan in 1928 and it’s (Latin) naming has since taken many...

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Miscanthus sinensis ‘China’

Miscanthus sinensis ‘China’ AGM – eulalia ‘China’

There are so many beautiful grasses to choose from and we can’t grow them all; but we can visit gardens and specialist nurseries all over the UK, talk to the growers, look long and hard at what’s on offer and then decide which is the best for us There are around 150 named cultivars of Miscanthus sinensis so it helps to narrow our choices by deciding what feature is important: height, habit of growth, size of plumes etc, but I chose ‘China’ for its foliage colour which starts off olive green with a light mid-rib, and turns to glowing autumnal hues as the season progresses.  This hardy, deciduous grass is clump forming and grows to...

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Rudbeckia triloba

Rudbeckia triloba AGM – brown-eyed Susan

‘Nothing flimsy about them’ – so wrote Christopher Lloyd about rudbeckias. Of course, he hit the nail right on the head, and it reminded me that it is this very dense quality that I often find a little overpowering in the genus. So, a couple of years ago I was delighted to be introduced to R triloba with its open habit and well-spaced wiry stems; in this respect it’s rather different from other rudbeckias. It is a short-lived hardy perennial, some even call it a biennial, however it’s well worth growing because it flowers so generously and for such a long period. It may start flowering in August and will then continue on through September and October: it will battle on to the very...

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Indigothera amblyantha

Indigofera amblyantha – pink-flowered indigo

When it comes to late summer and autumn flowering shrubs, there are not so very many to choose from, and the pink-flowered indigo is less often seen than it deserves; but this delicate shrub has great charm and I really look forward to its quiet but effective contribution to our garden at this time of the year. I. amblyantha is native to south central China and is noted for its long flowering period; with its attractive fresh green, pinnate leaves, the effect is elegant and airy. Best grown in full sun and preferably with the protection of a wall or fence, the upright racemes of soft pink pea-like flowers will more than earn their place in a choice position. It looks particularly good with...

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