Pontederia cordata

Pontederia cordata AGM – pickerel weed

In our garden, our beautiful pool was designed and built by Rob, my husband, so fair enough, he now has jurisdiction over its planting (although I still do the weeding around it!). I therefore look and admire, and when something really catches my eye, I ask for its name and find out more. This pontederia is a very showy perennial plant from North America: a marginal aquatic that is hardy and best grown in full sun. Its habit is upright and tidy, and it sits well with most other water plants. Its leaves seem to range from spear to heart shape and they are bright green and glossy – very fresh looking. The dense spikes...

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Salvia verticillata ‘Hannays Blue’

Salvia verticillata ‘Hannay’s Blue’

There was a time when the only sage I grew in my garden was the culinary herb, Salvia officinalis; but today I ask myself, where would we be without the rest of them? It is a huge genus and they are very varied in colour and habit, many are hardy and very long flowering, others less hardy but all are huge favourites in our gardens today. The salvia that I’ve chosen this week is very similar to the better known ‘Purple Rain’ but its colouring is closer to blue and the whole plant is rather more subtle. It forms a soft hummock of felty, heart-shaped leaves which provide a welcome and calming contrast...

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Rosa ‘Dortmund’

Rosa ‘Dortmund’ AGM

I make no apology for choosing another rose this week, we are in June after all, and this amazing climber is such a winner, I just couldn’t ignore it.  Many years ago, we first saw ‘Dortmund’ growing on a wall of ‘The Garden House’ in Devon and as I remember it was the only rose on sale in the nursery at the time. This, in itself, was a recommendation and it immediately went into the trolley! The foliage of this vigorous rose is glossy and dark green, it always looks healthy: no nasty black spot, no mildew and no aphids! The abundant clusters of single, pillar-box red flowers have white centres with yellow anthers and when they are lit from...

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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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