The Pelargonium-flowered storksbill, native to the Pyrenees and belonging to the Geraniaceae family.
Perennial, although a bit on the tender side. Looks like a geranium and is a lovely thing; its white flowers have maroon markings. Lax habit. Likes sun, but not wet, and prefers a neutral / alkaline soil. Good for pollinators. Self-seeds gently or can be propagated by basal cuttings from April – September. Add it to your list.
Epimedium x versicolor ‘Sulphureum’ AGM
Bishop’s Hat or Barrenwort. Belongs to the Berberidaceae (Barberry) family. Native to Europe and Asia.
A vigorous, rhizomatous perennial which has bright yellow flowers held upright in an open spray. They are more easily seen if the leaves are removed in late winter. The leaves are the plant’s best feature – beautifully shaped and opening light green with red tints. Really tough, good ground cover and will tolerate dry shade. Propagate by division after flowering or in the autumn.
Athyrium pictum ‘Silver Falls’
The Painted Lady Fern, native to eastern Asia, belonging to the Cliff Fern family (Woodsiaceae). A deciduous fern with creeping rhizomes. Grey-green fronds have purple-red midribs, and are heavily overlaid with silver and a central, purplish flush that develops. More silvery than Athyrium pictum (the Japanese Painted Fern) and keeps its colour for longer. Likes a shady sheltered site. Propagate by division in spring
Aka, the Crimson, Red or Western Columbine is a form of Granny’s Bonnet. Part of the Ranunculaceae family and native to North America. The name ‘formosa’ means beautiful and this lovely plant is certainly that. Best raised from seed, its red and yellow flowers give a pop of colour in the border, and have a light, airy quality. A short-lived perennial. Likes sun or part shade.
Thalictrum delavayi album
Another great plant from the Ranunculaceae family, Chinese Meadow Rue is a favourite in this garden.
Not in flower yet, but its foliage is attractive, with deeply divided pale green leaves. Beautiful, airy white flowers create a frothy haze in the summer border. Can reach up to 2 metres in height, so needs support. Likes a rich, fertile soil in part or full shade and not too dry. Seed heads look good and it also makes a striking cut flower. Herbaceous, so dies down in the winter. Can divide in the spring or autumn if required.
Persicaria microcephala ‘Red Dragon’
Related to the edible buckwheat, Persicaria is from the Polygonaceae family. A dramatic and vigorous plant (estate agent’s jargon for “it’s a thug”) which grows to the owner’s height in her garden, but is kept in check. Exotic purple-crimson foliage is the main attraction as the white flowers are nondescript. Cut back in late autumn when the plant dies back. Grow anywhere, but good in light shade; propagate by cuttings or division.
Saxifraga x urbium AGM
Known from the 17th century as London Pride, this is part of the Saxifragaceae family. Bishop Walsham How (1823–1897) wrote a poem to the flower rebuking it for having the sin of pride. When told the flower had the name because Londoners were proud of it he wrote another poem apologising to it! A song by Noël Coward, celebrated London Pride and the plant became very popular in World War II. Much loved in this garden, it forms a mat which provides great ground cover, with a mass of small pale pink rosette flowers. A beautiful cut flower. Grows anywhere, even deep shade. Easy to propagate by offsets.
When you plant them out, fill a module tray full pf compost and strike off the excess. Ensure that you plant each seedling deeply. Coil the long root and stem all into the planting hole in a single cell. This is better than having an unstable long-stemmed seedling. Charles Dowding, the No-Dig guru, has some good You-Tube videos on this subject.