This is the time of year when so many of the gorgeous flowering perennials really come into their own.
When planted in a border together with a framework of grasses their sometimes strong and vivid, or sometimes soft and subtle, flowers are beloved by gardeners and insects alike. Walking in our growing field this morning I was able to take these pictures which are all of our sales plants. If they look this good when simply growing together in 2 litre pots it doesnt take too much effort to imagine how effective they can be when established in the garden.
Perennials such as the Helenium Sahins Early Flowerer (above) might not look too special when not in flower but when the flowers open they literally cover the plant to give some really eye catching wow factor appeal.
The coneflowers, such as the Echinacea Ruby Giant (below), dont provide quite the same mass of flower but more than make up for this with their uniquely stunning individual flowers.
There are so many cultivars, with some lasting better in the garden than others so we prefer to offer some of the more proven forms such as our favourite Echinacea Augustkonigen (below).
Very different in shape and form, but with the same soft colourings as the coneflowers are the stachys. Rather underused still in gardens I am realising just how beautiful these can be and again so popular with so many insects. Stachys macrantha (above) is the soft pink species while a selection from the renowned garden designer Piet Oudolf is Stachys Hummelo (below) which has much darker purplish flowers and is a quite fabulous plant. I have just used in my new perennial meadow we planted last week.
Achillea Paprika I love for its freely produced flat heads of warm red flowers and I was especially taken with the rather wonderful ‘faded effect’ colouration it is achieving at the moment (below).
At the other end of the scale from the achilleas in terms of height shape and colour are the veronicastrums. Light and airy in effect, such as Veronicastrum Alba (below) there delicate looking spikes of flower contrast beautifully and effortlessly with the taller grasses such as Paniums and Miscanthus.
Whatever I as a gardener may think about a plants wow factor it is really great to see that our friendly bumble bees are enjoying the ‘flower fest’ on offer in our field and in our garden!