Hydrangeas and the Art of Dying Gracefully

Hydrangeas can offer us hard pressed gardeners a garden plant with a very long period of interest. The bold leaves can be quite architectural and many offer up a few fiery tints come autumn-time. The flowers are long-lasting and very importantly, can die well, gently decaying over the course of a long autumn and into…

Crocosmia George Davison – pure gold and still my favourite (for the moment, at least)

This is my favourite Crocosmia, surpassing the ubiquitous Lucifer by a country mile. More compact and vigorous but not thuggish, the mid-green strappy leaves are a great foil to the golden egg yolk flowers. Height and spread 60cm. George Davison' is named after the head gardener at Westwick Hall, an early crocosmia enthusiast who bred…

Bring me Sunshine (reprise) with Sunflowers from the Cutting Garden

These sunflowers have come on a-pace in the last few weeks, and have put on height and a grand floral display that will continue until the frosts - and beyond - the blackening seedheads will be a structural element to the cutting garden as well as a wildlife food resource as the seeds ripen. Bright…

Amongst the rose beds, some shining examples at Kew Gardens (or rather, the old ones are sometimes the best!)

Pat Austin (the orange) and Princess Anne (above, in shades of pinky-purple) - both from David Austin and looking, in every bed, very happy and healthy. Cerise Bouquet, below The white hydrangea-like heads of shrub rose, Sally Holmes Reine des Violettes (above and below) Morning Mist, from David Austin roses, always impossibly healthy. A big…