Perennials

Through the years

An article by our feature writer Christine Walkden

What a real delight it is to spend the summer viewing gardens and enjoying all the colour, form and texture of a really good border full of flowers and grasses

This does not just happen and to make a good border there are a few points that need to be considered such as placing plants with a varied distribution of heights through the border.

The old saying that tall plants in the back, medium heights in the middle and small plants at the front in many ways is true but if you are not careful you can end up with a very stepped effect and I feel the border looks far better if you mix some of the taller plants into the middle and take some of the shorter plants towards the back.

We offer such a good range of plants that it should be possible for anyone to create the border of their dreams. The Phlox collection provides lots of colour from July through to the autumn. They have the additional advantage of having a scent and will attract bees, butterflies and birds into the garden. Contrast their large flower head made up of a small collection of flowers with the bold and amazing heads of the first red flowering Gaillardias and you are into something very exciting.  Red Gaillardias have not been around very long so why not surprise your friends and fellow gardeners by including them in your new border?

Lupins add so much to a garden and may be used in the border to provide vertical lines of shape against the softness of the phlox. Growing only to 50cm tall our Gallery dwarf mix will look great placed in front of the phlox.

I love the rich, deep golden yellow of the Coreopsis.  These look great in the border but why not try them in patio containers as well.They look particularly good when planted in a dark coloured pot.  I have seen them looking fantastic in both dark blue and dark red glazed containers.

Grasses work so well in the border contrasting with the heavier and bolder foliage of the other perennials. Our coloured grass mix will provide you with plants that are red, blue, bronze and green and work well when distributed throughout the flower border.  With heights ranging from 40 to 60cm they provide a selection of plants which add movement and grace to the border.

Red hot pokers also look good flowering among other plants, their spikes of flowers last a long time and make excellent cut flowers.  The reds and oranges of our Red Hot Poker Flamenco should add heat and excitement to any combination of border design and styles.

If it’s the first time you are looking at developing a border and are not at all sure which plants to select why not have a look at our Perennial Mixed collection. 

The plants are put together so that you can mix them up and distribute the heights and shapes easily to give you a great border without the worry of which plants will look good together.

Penstemons have become widely used these days as they will look good in the border or in containers.  Flowering from June through to September, their large tubular flowers are very attractive. Our Penstemon collection will give you pink and white, red and dark plum coloured flowering plants to distribute through the border, or have growing in containers or even in the cottage garden.

For excellent results ensure the ground is well prepared by digging over first and mixing in plenty of organic matter,well rotted manure, old compost or leaf mould will improve the soil structure and help increase moisture retention.  If you intend to plant the perennials in containers I would use John Innes No.2 compost and ensure you give them a good layer of drainage so they do not get too wet over winter.

 

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