“Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May”
STAR OF THE MONTH
When I was a child, we used to have a tin of boiled sweets in the car glove box: they were dusted with icing sugar › I am pretty sure that many of you will know exactly what I am talking about. These were dished out at moments of extreme boredom or imminent car sickness. I am mentioning them here because the Óâ›Ì«››e›ýÓòâ›››æþ››í››ÓÌ›››³í›°››››››Ì›æò›Â›››ªÓâ› ›››³í››þ›æ››a››íÅA›í°³æ››ÓÅÓòâ›››í°³æ›eÓþ›â››ý›Ì›°›æ› a dusting of white to remind us of the sugar. A bright, cheery orange that will light up a shady corner.
Best on edge of a pond or stream under deciduous shrubs. Sterile, so divide in autumn. HxS 80cm x 40cm
››ª››òÅÓòæ›ßÅ›ÌíϚ›þ° â ›í° ›ĕÓþ âæ››òâæí› from a papery pod and dangle like the Queen of Sheba’s earrings. Then, come late summer, they return to the upright position and make a crisply handsome silhouette for winter. A few years ago, this used to be an allium but the name was changed Ї although it still smells quite oniony, so best left in the border rather than being brought inside.
More flowers than its better-known cousin N. siculum. Will grow from seed but best as a bulb planted in autumn. Looks good in long grass. H x S 1.2m x 10cm
WILD BLUE YONDER
Sometimes, if I am lucky, I happen upon
››Ĕ Å››Óª›ĕ›ă›þ°³Å ›íÓÓíÅ³Ì«››âÓòÌ››í° › countryside and I always pull onto the
ý â« ›íÓ› Ì¿ÓĄ›í° ›æ ››Óª›ß›Å Є›Åò ›ĕÓþ âæ› nodding in a gentle wind. You, too, can have the same thing in your garden with, or without, tall spikes of echium.
Perennial flax. Best with lots of sunshine and excellent drainage. Propagate from seed or cuttings H x S 60cm x 30cm
Also known as the ‘Tower of Jewels’. A spectacular biennial plant, flowering in the second year. Protect from frost. H x S1.5m x 60cm
BALLS AND SPIKES
When combining plants, you need to look not just at colours and cultivation, but also
ĕÓþ â›æ°›ß ››c°³æ›³æ›››«ÓÓ›› ă›ËßÅ ›Óª›þ°›í›
I like to call a balls and spikes combination,
þ°³›°››Åþ›Ąæ›þÓâÂæ›þ ÅÅ››c° ›Å³Ë Є«â Ì›ĕòªª› that ties them all together in this particular photograph is a euphorbia
Allium ‘Mount Everest‘
Good in flower and as a seedhead. Propagate by dividing bulb offsets. Removing foliage as it gets tatty does no harm. H x S 1.2m x 30cm
Very popular mid-height perennial. Cutting back after flowering promotes a second flush later in the summer. H x S 50cm x 30cm
EXCLUSIVE MEMBERS ONLY
.ª›ĄÓò›°›ßß Ì›íÓ›æíòË›Å ›››âÓææ›í°³æ›ßÅ›Ìí› ĄÓò›þ³ÅÅ›ª›ÅÅ›³Ì›ÅÓý ››zÓò›þ³ÅÅ›æ ›í°›í›ĕÓþ â› ›æ››Åò ››æ›››þ³Ìí â›æÂĄ››Ì››ĄÓò›þ³ÅÅ››Óý í›³í› ›òíϚ›òÌªÓâíòÌ›í ÅĄϚ›í°³æ›ßÅ›Ìí›³æ›í Ëßíâ ææ›› ]° ›þ³ÅÅ›››ßí³ý›í ›ĄÓò››òí›ÌÓí›ý âĄ›Ë›ÌĄ› Óª›òæ››â ›Åò›ÂĄ› ÌÓò«°›íÓ›°›ý ›í° ›â³«°í› ›ÓÌ›³í³ÓÌæ›³Ì›Óòâ›«›â› Ìæ›››°›ÅÂĄ›æÓ³ÅϠ›%Óâ« í› ³í››+Óí››âĄ››ÓâÌ âϠ››zÓòЕâ ›°›ý³ÌЕ›››Å›ò«°› Ë›í ››c°³æ›³æ›››ßÅ›Ìí›ªÓâ›í° ››°Óæ Ì›ª þ›
Needs slightly acidic soil, cool, damp summers (Scotland is good), moist soil and shelter – you see what I mean? H x S 80cm x 30cm
IN THE GREEN
When we think of tulips, we usually picture fanfares of rich colour in pots, borders and, of course, vases. With that thought in mind then, a green tulip may seem like a weirdly pointless invention. Rest assured that it isn’t
Ї it is, instead, a valuable curiosity that goes well with other tulips and the fresh foliage
Óª›æßâ³Ì«›››Ì››³í›ĕÓþ âæ›ªÓâ››« æ›Ї right into June if you are lucky.
Plant bulbs in November once temperatures have dropped enough to deter tulip diseases. H x S 60cm x 10cm
VELVET AND LACE
I was taught that red and white together
þ›æ›òÌÅò›ÂĄ›Ђ››Åí°Óò«°›ĔÌ ›ªÓâ›í° ›]þ³ææ› ĕ›«›Ђ›.›í°³ÌÂ›³í›þ›æ›íÓ››Ó›þ³í°››ÅÓÓ›››Ì›› tears. However, with these two plants I will make an exception. The only thing missing is a sashay of Stipa tenuissima to give a bit of movement.
Really long-flowering annual. Sow seed in autumn for beefy plants – if you have a cold frame. H x S 60cm x 60cm
Geum ‘Mrs J. Bradshaw’
Avoid very wet soil, Sow seed in a cold frame or divide plants in either spring or autumn. H x S 60cm x 60cm
PHOTOS: PAUL DEBOIS; JASON INGRAM. PHOTOS: ALAMY/MARTIN HUGHES-JONES; JASON INGRAM ■