Algerian iris

November is not a great time of year. The weather closes in, the days are getting shorter, and we are bombarded with Christmas adverts (the first one I saw this year was in June!!). So anything that ventures into flower just now is extremely welcome. Iris unguicularis (formely known as I. stylosa) hails from Algeria […]

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Fountain Grass

Grasses are ‘in’. With the current fashion for naturalistic planting, grasses play an increasing role, coming into their own as the days shorten. From large miscanthus cultivars to the diminuitive stipa tenuissima, there is something suitable for every plot. Many have very fine seedheads, but finding one with bulkier ones on a smaller plant is […]

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Autumn blues

Blue flowers are not common at the best of times, but by autumn you could be forgiven for thinking this colour has disappeared from nature’s pallete. Even those nursery descriptions of “violet-blue” asters often turn out to be a wishy-washy mauve. But there are still a few plants carrying this most un-antumnal of colours. By […]

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Pile them high

Does your garden run out of steam by the time August comes around? Or does it hang on until the schools start in early September? While foliage colour can be spectacular at this time of year, there is no reason why flower power should wane. Asters are the stalwarts of the autumn garden, but don’t […]

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A New Star

You may remember from my last posting (Wild Senna) how I replanted a border for our Open Garden in mid August. For October, I am going to feature another perennial I added this spring. Not only was it carrying a few flowers six weeks ago, but it’s been getting better and better since then. If […]

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Wild Senna

My garden has been open under The National Garden Scheme for several years, raising money for charities. We have opened early in the season a couple of times, but never had a late opening. This year we decided to rectify that and picked a date in mid August – we could have picked a better […]

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An uncommonly good grass

Here in the UK, we have had the hottest summer for over forty years. In June and July, temperatures hit 32C (anything over 25C is considered “hot”) and no rain for nine weeks. How did gardens fare? Well that depends on the garden – and the gardener. My garden ethos has always been “right plant, […]

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