Erigeron karvinskianus AGM – Mexican fleabane

Everyone loves a daisy, but for me, this is the sweetest of them all. This has been such a wet week for most of us, and a few of the taller daisies in our garden (leucanthemum, rudbeckia, asters etc) are looking a little bedraggled, whereas the Mexican fleabane always looks cheerful! Apologies to those who know it well, (however you will understand why I have chosen it) but I am constantly amazed by friends and visitors to our garden who have never come across this erigeron. I first saw it at Great Dixter many years ago, swiftly obtained our...

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Succisa pratensis – Devil’s Bit Scabious

Wikipedia’s answer to the question ‘What is a wildflower?’, is as follows: ‘A wildflower is a flower that grows in the wild, meaning it was not intentionally seeded or planted’. So, by that definition, mine are not wild as I grew some from seed and planted them in our garden. However, they are native to the British Isles, and are found more commonly in the damper regions of the UK, that is in the west and north. That said, our clay soil which can get very dry in the summer months seems to suit them well, and while they...

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Pileostegia viburnoides

If you happen to be looking for a hardy, evergreen, self-clinging climber for a north wall, then look no further. This impressive relative of the hydrangea fits my description to a T; and every year as the summer draws to a close, my gardening spirits never fail to be lifted by this beautiful, exotic, yet rarely seen plant. The handsome, glossy, dark green foliage is the perfect background for the masses of panicles of tiny, star-shaped, creamy white flowers. These are hugely attractive to bees and a myriad of other insects; so much so that very often the happy...

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Crocosmia x crocosmiiflora ‘Coleton Fishacre’

Late summer in our garden – and predominant in the beds are shades of purple, lavender, blue and pink; the hot colours of the autumn garden have yet to get into their stride. So, my subject today is the perfect antidote to fit into this misty mix. Neither yellow, nor rust, nor ochre, it is unapologetically orange, and this is quite an unusual colour at any time of the year. Bright but not shouty, it fits in anywhere. Formerly called ‘Gerbe d’Or (and it is not immediately apparent when and why the name was changed), it was raised by...

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