A garden for all seasons

The Sir Harold Hillier Gardens, Hampshire An extraordinary garden containing probably the finest Winter Garden in the UK and not looking too shabby late summer either. Few gardens offer as rich pickings as these, growing over 11,000 different types of plant, in over 40,000 plants and holding 13 National Plant Collections, set in a complementary…

Bringing the tropics to TW11

Hibiscus Hamabo A medium-sized deciduous shrub, bearing these striking mallow flowers from late summer into autumn. Position in full sun, in a sheltered site and it will grow up to 1.5m tall and through. Holding a prized Award of Garden Merit from the RHS - The Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit (AGM) helps…

Summer Cocktail

Echinacea Summer Cocktail I'm really rather looking forward to the changes in colour this new, short-ish coneflower promises - this very attractive, sunny yellow, taking on salmon-rose colours as they mature.... Position: full sun Soil: most soils, except very dry or boggy Rate of growth: average Flowering period: June to September Hardiness: fully hardy A…

Rich orange flowers and dark foliage – but not Lady Emma Hamilton?!

Dahlia David Howard I'm really taken with this dahlia, though this will probably be of little surprise, being as it is orange, but with these neat blooms sitting a top such dark foliage, it really is a winning combination. Small enough for the front of the border, or a container, but big on impact. Position:…

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,…

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…