An unlikely aster

Even before the botanists started splitting clumps out of the aster family, aster linosyris seemed an unlikely member. Known as the Goldilocks Aster, this rare British native (which also grows in much of Europe as well as Asia Minor) has small, bright yellow flowers on stems anything up to a couple of feet tall. But […]

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Big and Blue

Blue is not a common colour in the world of flowers, especially in late summer and early autumn. Most shrubs have flowered by now as well, so to find a large blue-flowered shrub at this time of year must be considered a bonus. Welcome to vitex agnus-castus. According to Wikipedia, it is also known as the […]

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Mind the gap

Not all plants (and I am talking about bulbs and perennials) die back at the same time. Spring flowering bulbs have generally died back by early June, leaving a space for burgeoning summer growth to fill. Allium foliage has a tendency to start decaying just as the bulbs come into bloom – I find that […]

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On and on and on and on

I planted clematis ‘Kaiu’ five years ago. It has small white bells with a pink tinge on the newly opened flowers. Several websites agreed it would grow to around two metres, perfect for training into the purple-leaved shrub physocarpus opulifolius ‘Diabolo.’ After a couple of years to get established, it took quite a shine to its […]

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When is a hedge not a hedge?

“Garden rooms” are in the “in” thing with garden designers. Big plot? Make it seem bigger by dividing it into garden rooms. Long thin plot? Disguise the length by dividing it into garden rooms. These garden rooms are all very well, but what about their “walls”? You could put up a fence or trellis and […]

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