Highlights of the Herbaceous Border

> Highlights of the Herbaceous Border

Thankfully, the squirrel has forgotten about our luscious tree fern and the drama of its unfurling has been allowed to continue unmolested. The tulips have now been lifted and it is time to re-plant the herbaceous perennials. This year, there is much more new planting in the garden as we have raised many new plants from either seed or cuttings. We have put in bolder planting drifts of Coreopsis verticillata, Antirrhinum ‘Sonnet Crimson’, Cosmos sulphureus ‘Redcrest’, Rudbeckia ‘Goldstrum’, Dahlia ‘Fascination’ and Bishops of York, Llandaff and Oxford to name but a few. There are highlights from plants such as Salvia confertiflora, Impatiens aurocoma x bicaudata, Aeonium arboreum ‘Zwartkop’ and Musschia wollastonii. This last is a spectacular short-lived perennial from Madeira which resembles a giant Cos Lettuce until it puts out a tall flower spike with black and white, lily-like flowers. It sets seeds and dies, but there should be plenty of seedlings to transplant.

In the Rose border plants such as Onopordum acanthium, the mildly fragrant Lupinus arboreus (Blue Form), Eucalyptus globulus seedlings, Salvia patens, Salvia concolor and from cuttings, Adenanthos sericeus and Calothamnus quadriformis, a Wooly Bush and a One-sided Bottlebrush, both from SW Australia. The Iris are lovely now, but look somewhat ratty as the summer progresses. They were lifted and divided last August and so their rhizomes and roots have not yet filled the space. We have inter-planted them with Columbines, Aquilegia alpina ‘Hortensia’, which will produce their blue flowers with the Iris and make the patch slightly more interesting by their lovely foliage.

The species peonies are wonderful this year and Glenarm has two very different red flowered types in the Hot Border: Paeonia delavayi and Paeonia peregrina, the former is from Sichuan, Yunnan and Tibet and the latter from SE Europe and Turkey. Both are powerful reds for the hot border and easily earn their place as early ‘hot spots’. It is important to stop them running to seed as this wastes their energy and helps to make a fuller show next year.

 

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by Neil Porteous

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