A few things that caught my eye – lots and lots of Acers and a kaleidoscopic ‘A to V’ (not quite Z) of both herbaceous and shrubbery loveliness …

Some rather gorgeous Acers here, just plumping up for the season ahead with much colour and fine forms to admire. A collection that absolutely caught my eye along with the next little selection ... an Anchusa to Viburnum alphabet of nearly-summer beauties -

A swan? Me a swan? Ah, go on!

Anemone Wild Swan In flower from May to November, growing knee-high, and with refined foliage (more Anemone sylvestris than Anemone x hybrida), the standout feature of this relatively new introduction is the reverse of the otherwise pure white bloom - a three painted flashes of liac-purple. With flowers held above the foliage on wiry stems,…

Dark Towers

Penstemon Dark Towers A change from the usual Penstemon, not so much on account of the flowers though they are delightful, but for the dark tints to the leaves and the branching habit of the stems. A wholly beautiful combination. Not as dark, perhaps, as the sticky toffee pudding I've just had, but just as…

Dark chocolate and blackberry

Dark leaved Heucheras, very useful 'evergreen' perennials Now I love a Heuchera and every season, there are more and more to delight. These three are in the darker spectrum, Mahogany (rich, chocolately), Black Beauty (glossy, deep blackcurrant) and Binoche (unusually, a matt near-black). Typically growing to between 40-80cm, a leafy crown of ruffled leaves, topped…

A detailed exposition on the theory and use of the colour wheel in garden design with particular reference to late-summer planting combinations

Japanese Anemone Queen Charlotte against bi-coloured Kniphofia Pink, orange, purple, green, yellow and blue. Works for me!

Fantasy Pocahontas, I kid you not….

A new one on me (and I think pretty new to the market), this diminutive Anemone goes by the unlikely name of Fantasy Pocahontas. Why I know not, but it is growing on me. At first sight the small flowers (about the size of a ten pence piece) are just a mite too fussy but there is…

Peonies – which to choose & how to look after them…

Crocus, the online plant retailer, builder and planter of many  Chelsea show gardens etc., have just sent out their June Plant Care newsletter featuring peonies. I've included it in full here as I think it covers a lot of ground. Admittedly dense text, without their pictures, sorry. Do persevere... Long-lived and beautiful at every stage,…