Very Nearly Scarlet

Lonicera x brownii 'Dropmore Scarlet' Bright the flowers of this honeysuckle may be, and unusual for all that too, but not scarlet. In common with many of these orange-red honeysuckles, there is very little scent but the eye catching display, from July through to September, makes up for being invisible, olfactory-wise. While it is not,…

The Bold and the Beautiful – Tulipmania

I'm reprising three earlier posts, now that bulbs are arriving in garden centres and nurseries - tulips and narcissus, hyacinth, crocus and all manner of buried treasure. Tulips won't mind being planted later in this year, even into November, though the choice will become more limited as stocks go down. Buy now and keep them…

The Nation’s Favourite Rose

Gertrude Jekyll, one of the most scented David Austin roses. If nothing else in your garden is fragrant, Gertie is more than up to the job. A proper Old Rose fragrance, so no surprises, but always winning praise for the strength and depth of the perfume. Comte de Chambord is one parent, a little more…

Tiger Tiger

Alstroemeria Indian Summer For more than a touch of the exotic, this hardy Alstroemeria hits all the right notes. Vibrant colours, strong markings, dark foliage. Magnificent. Alstroemerias with more than just flowers seem to be demanding more attention these days. There were a number in the recent RHS trial and two variegated varieties, ‘Phoenix’ and…

Crocosmias

Writing in the Telegraph (not me, not yet!) Autumn plants: crocosmia, agastache and euphorbia The partnership of crocosmia, agastache and euphorbia is a smouldering late-season show-stopper, says Val Bourne. The blue-black spires of Agastache 'Blackadder' lend a dramatic flourish to autumn gardens. By Val Bourne 18 Sep 2012 Autumn tends to major in burnished golds,…

Cheeky Chaps

Garden Centres and nurseries are beginning to fill up with violas and pansies and with a little TLC, they can be flowering right through until spring next year. Violas are, despite their diminutive size and dainty appearance, tough little cookies, more so than the larger flowered pansies, and can stand pretty much anything the British…

Yellow (not purple)

Echinacea Sombrero Sandy YellowThe plant breeders are all over Echinacea purpurea and plenty of new forms are coming out to wonder and marvel at. Some, like Tomato Soup (with petals almost exactly the shade of Heinz Tomato Soup, watered down a little maybe, perhaps with a splash of milk) cross the line of being a…