Plant of the month

May – Hesperis matronalis

May – Hesperis matronalis
This popular “Chelsea plant” has pink flowers on un-branching stems up to 1m tall and the delicious scent of the flowers is released most prominently during the evening so is a perfect plant for a Moon Garden. As a biennial, it produces a rosette of foliage in its first year and flowers in its second year before setting seed and dying. It ca

April – Viburnum burkwoodii Anne Russell

April – Viburnum burkwoodii Anne Russell
A must have to bring scent into the garden. During March the buds of this stunning plant swell with a soft-pink blush, but it is in April when the warmer spring days encourage the petals to unfurl that this shrub really comes into its own. Masses of dome shaped flowers release their exquisite fragrance through the garden and you cannot help but be taken aback. What’s more, in a sheltered spo

March – Pulmonaria Blue Ensign

March – Pulmonaria Blue Ensign
One of the earliest flowering perennials, to brighten up the front of a partly shaded garden border, is Pulmonaria or as more commonly known, Lungwort. So called, because it was once used in the treatment of lung diseases. Blue Ensign has rich blue flowers that appear in March, above dark green leaves. When the foliage starts to look tired in late spring, it should be cut down to ground leve

February – Daphne odora ‘Aureomarginata’

February – Daphne odora  ‘Aureomarginata’
With glossy evergreen foliage, edged with gold, and beautiful, intensely fragrant flowers, Daphnes odora 'Aureomarginata' has something to offer all year round. However, it is in spring that it will bring the most joy to your garden. Deep purple buds open to clusters of pink-white flowers. Blooming usually begins in winter and continues throughout spring. The magnificent, sweet and heady scent wi

January – Galanthus elwesii

January – Galanthus elwesii
There is nothing better for showing that Spring is not far away than the sight of a carpet of snowdrops. The giant snowdrop has larger flowers and broader leaves however still grows to the same size as its common sibling Galanthus nivalis. Planting snowdrops ‘in the green’ is the best way to ensure quick establishment occurs, when buying plants ‘in the green’ the bulbs are at a more ma

December – Helleborus niger

December – Helleborus niger
Hellebores have always been a cottage garden favourite and modern hybrids offer a range of colours across the spectrum. Nevertheless, Helleborus niger or the Christmas Rose still ranks high in the popularity stakes if for no greater reason than its traditional association with the Yuletide season. The dark green, leathery leaves emphasise the white, sometimes flushed pink, flowers that bloom fr

November – Cornus sanguineum ‘Midwinter Fire’

November – Cornus sanguineum ‘Midwinter Fire’
Through the summer months this variety of our native dogwood probably wouldn’t attract much attention. But when the leaves fall, the coloured stems create a vivid tracery in shades of red and orange in the winter sun. The early evening light will offer the best effects and against a backdrop of snow the ‘fire’ burns even brighter. This shrub will easily reach 2 metres but hard pruning in s

October – Ceratostigma plumbagiodes

October – Ceratostigma plumbagiodes
Although this is an unassuming mound of green foliage through spring and early summer, it is through late summer and autumn that this low growing perennial shines. Sparkling gentian blue flowers appear on mass from late summer persisting through to autumn when the foliage takes on rich red tones. This is a fantastic option as an unusual spreading ground cover for sun or partial shade. Good for

September – Anemone Honorine Jobert

September – Anemone Honorine Jobert
This beautiful tall Japanese Anemone adds some much needed late summer and autumn flower. The yellow stamens stand out against the pure white petals and look magnificent both close up and from a distance. It is sure to brighten any semi-shaded border in the late summer. Don’t worry if your Anemone doesn’t perform too well in the first season or two as they can be a little fussy about movin

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