A Year of Plants 2018

A Year of Plants

A Year of Plants 2018 is a beautiful and useful guide to the best trees, shrubs, bulbs and perennial plants to grow. Completely updated from the 2013 edition, this new book contains 230 plants chosen by leading nurserymen, plantsmen, designers and head gardeners. Each plant is fully delineated with beautiful photography throughout and plants are divided into key growing seasons: spring, early summer, late summer and autumn into winter. Also included is an extensive sourcebook of nurseries and suppliers, all recommended by Gardens Illustrated, the world's leading gardens magazine. Contributors include Dan Pearson, Fergus Garett, Marina Christopher, Bob Brown, Derry Watkins and Mat Reese, giving you a comprehensive guide to the plants they could not garden without.

United Kingdom
Immediate Media Company London Limited



Welcome to A Year of Plants, the Gardens Illustrated guide to the most beautiful plants to grow now. From established, good garden growers to the newest cultivars of less familiar plants, the plants we’ve included are those our favourite nurserypeople, plantsmen, garden designers and head gardeners told us they would not garden without. The guide includes trees, shrubs, bulbs, perennials and annuals. There are some new discoveries; Silphium mohrii is a large lemon-yellow composite flower that keeps going until frosts, and tried-and-tested favourites, such as the hart’s tongue fern that is hard to beat in a shaded spot. The plants are all recommended by people who have grown them and know them best. Look out for Fergus Garrett’s superlative lily, Hans Kramer’s recommendation for a delicate and graceful delphinium that will stop…

contributing plantsmen

BOB BROWN Bob owns Cotswold Garden Flowers, a magnet for experienced plant lovers, which stocks a huge range of rare and beautiful plants, from good old-fashioned varieties to newly introduced cultivars that are bred not only for their colour and form but also for their vigour, as well as plants newly introduced from the wild. cgf.net DAN PEARSON Dan is a plantsman and designer, and principal of London-based Dan Pearson Studio. Trained at RHS Wisley and the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, Dan was an early practitioner of naturalistic perennial planting in the UK. He travels widely to consult and design, and is a contributing editor for Gardens Illustrated. danpearsonstudio.com FERGUS GARRETT Fergus is head gardener at Great Dixter in East Sussex, having worked alongside Christopher Lloyd for 15 years. He also lectures, writes and…


TULIPA ‘GAVOTA’ The flowers of Tulipa ‘Gavota’ have a lovely shape – square at the base and slightly flared at the mouth with pointed tips. The distinctly medieval colour combination of burgundy with golden yellow margins is quite striking, although difficult to blend with other tulips or flowers. I use it against a solid foil of fresh, green foliage, such as lupins or sweet williams, which will go on to engulf the old flower stems after the tulips have finished and continue the show. ‘Gavota’ can be perennial if it likes your soil, but I replant each year to ensure a good display. AGM. Height 45cm. Origin Garden origin. Conditions Any good soil. Hardiness RHS H6, USDA 3a-8b. Season April. MR…

the petals have exquisite bluish-purple stippling around a yellow beard

CORYLUS AVELLANA From leafless twigs, long, yellow, male hazel catkins emerge in late winter to remind me that the growing season has started. Closer inspection reveals tiny, red, female flowers adhering tight to the stem. The catkins are always my signal of spring and I look forward to their emergence. Hazel coppices with honeysuckle are favoured by dormice and hazel twigs are invaluable for supporting plants in herbaceous borders. In autumn I compete with squirrels to harvest young hazelnuts when the flesh is milky and sweet. Height 6m. Origin Europe, western Asia and northern Africa. Conditions Sun or part shade. Hardiness RHS H4, USDA 4a-8b. Season Catkins February to March. MC CROCUS ‘RUBY GIANT’ A sterile hybrid of C. tommasinianus but with wider petals in a deeper shade of purple. Flowering in late February, it provides a valuable…

pendulous flowering racemes, like earrings, adorn mahogany stems

HELLEBORUS FOETIDUS WALTER FISK GROUP Although this is the shortest-living hellebore – it rarely lives longer than three to four years – I couldn’t do without it. It is a good, all-round plant, starting with attractive, deeply divided leaves that are a dark green. Some cultivars, such as ‘Sopron’, can have a silvery sheen to the leaf, while this has striking beetrootcoloured stems that contrast well with the pale-green flowers. These begin as rosettes that start to elongate as the weather gets cooler, then form light-green buds that gradually open over winter. AGM. Height 50-70cm. Origin Western and southern Europe, western Asia. Conditions Good drainage. Hardiness RHS H6, USDA 5a-8b. Season Flowers February to April, with evergreen foliage. HK CHIONOCHLOA RUBRA My favourite grass every month of the year, but I notice it more early in the year…

ascending branches are draped in lax needles that shimmer in the wind

GALANTHUS NIVALIS SCHARLOCKII GROUP This old form of Galanthus nivalis is instantly recognisable for its spathe (a green, narrow, leaf-like structure behind the flower), which is split right along the centre. Although you can’t quite see it in this image, the spathe stands upright, like a comical pair of elongated ears that are responsible for its common name of donkey’s ears – in the Netherlands it’s also called rabbit’s ears. There is some debate on its true origin but it was first discovered in 1868 on a tributary of the River Rhine. Given some extra compost, it does well on our sandy soil. Height 15cm. Origin Germany. Conditions Semi-shade; fertile soil. Hardiness RHS H7, USDA 3a-9b. Season January and February. HK RUBUS COCKBURNIANUS ‘GOLDENVALE’ This cultivar features attractive foliage and vivid stem colour, and is less vigorous than…