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Dark and brooding things here – Heuchera Binoche (bottom right, near matt purple-black leaves, blackcurrant liquorish), Ceanothus Blue Sapphire (top, eventually forming a mound just 2′ tall, with bright blue flowers) and my favourite, Primula Kennedy Innisfree – fabulous dark, velvety red flowers displayed against bronze-purple foliage…

I’ve used Heuchera Binoche in large container display paired with Erigeron karvinskianus (fleabane) and Ajuga Black Scallop, for a sunny spot and I thought this was very effective. In the same garden I planted a wide shallow bowl simply with the fleabane and used the Heuchera with Geraneum Rozanne, with its large dark blue flowers, giving some coherence to the summer displays.

The ceanothus Blue Sapphire is new to me and I am thinking it can be used in the Mediterranean project I’m planning in Kew. Clipped after flowering, I think it can be one of the organic topiary forms I am hoping to develop – using various hebes, bays, conifers and pines, brachyglottis and buxus – echoed with the addition of Indian Sandstone and terracotta balls. The planting list is developing!

Innisfree, the dark-leaved and ruby-flowered Primula has won me over and I shall be keeping them both!

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