2. PLANTS FOR SUN
2A. Shrubs –– dense weed suppressing
Santolina chamaecyparissus (incana) (Cotton lavender) A mound of intensely silver grey dissected and felty branches. The flowers are in lemon yellow pompoms in July. Keep it neat with an annual trim in spring. About 18 in (45cm) high and wide.
Osteospermum ecklonis Soft wooded plant with a profusion of white, slaty grey-backed flowers all summer and autumn. Not very hardy, so root a fewto keep on the window sill over winter.
Lavandula () Lovely blue grey foliage and spikes of lavender flowers in July and through the summer. Three compact varieties for the trouble free garden, 1-2ft (30-60cm) high and a little wider, are ‘Hidcote’, of typical colour; ‘Twickel Purple’, lavender blue; and ‘Munstead’, slightly more blue. They all need a trim over in spring to keep them shapely but don’t cut into old wood.
Cytisus kewensis (Broom) A low-growing broom with long, slender, weeping branches, small leaves and a profusion of yellow flowers in May. Very good for draping over a low wall. The green stems are effective in winter. Grows about afoot (30cm) high and spreads up to 4 ft (1.2m). Trim after flowering if necessary.
Hebe andersonii ‘Variegata’ A striking variegated evergreen with a broad creamy white margin to the leaves. Plumes of flowers from the leaf axils in August and September which are pale blue fading to white. Not very hardy but it is very easy toin summer.
Hebe albicans A hardy species with rather rounded grey-green leaves and small spikes of white flowers in June/July. A good foliage shrub when out of flower, with a 2 ft (60 cm) height and spread. A number of hebes are available from garden centres, so you can choose the foliage that appeals to you.
Hebe ‘Great Orme’ Amid the bewildering array of variety names, this one is distinctive with narrow leaves and pink flowers in long plumes. Fairly hardy.
Hebe pinguifolia ‘Pagei’ Small leaved and very hardy. A little greyer than albicans and with a sprawling habit, making it good on the edge of a bed.
Cistus ‘Silver Pink’ (Sun rose) One of the best Cistus with a neat habit, grey leaves and pink flowers in June and July. Grows about 2-3ft (60-90 cm) by 3ft (90 cm) and is one of the hardiest.
Ceanothus thyrsiflorus ‘Repens’ (Californian lilac) Shiny dark green leaves and a spreading habit up to 3 ft (90 cm) high and 8ft (2.5 m) wide make this a valuable foliage shrub. In May and June it is lit up with little powder puffs of blue flowers. It may be damaged in a cold winter; if so, cut out any dead wood in spring.
Phlomis fruticosa (Jerusalem Sage) This grows very thickly making it an excellent weed-suppressing plant. It has grey green felted leaves up to 4 in (Wan) long and yellow flowers in whorls above the foliage in early summer. A very reliable shrub up to 3ft (90 cm) high and 5 ft (1.5 m) wide but can be kept smaller if pruned after flowering.
Much hardier than usually supposed, this does very well at the foot of a south wall. 4 in (10 cm) long shiny dark green leaves and long clusters of large white flowers with golden anthers in July. Can be pruned hard if necessary to keep it below its natural 6-8ft (1.8-2.5m) height and width.
2B. Shrubs – evergreen – need underplanting
Escallonia ‘Apple Blossom’ This is one of several named varieties of this valuable summer flowering evergreen with shiny leaves. The attractive pink and white flowers of ‘Apple Blossom’ are borne all along the branches. It grows to about 3 ft (90cm) high and a little wider. ‘Crimson Spire’ is a tailored flowered variety (up to 6 ft / 1.8m) for a background.
Ceanothus ‘Autumnal Blue’ Some ceanothus, including this one, flower in autumn. The plentiful blue powder puffs are borne from late summer against a background of small dark green leaves. About 6 ft (1.8m) high with rather upright growth.
Magnolia grandiflora ‘Goliath’ Best on a wall, this magnolia has magnificent shiny mid-green leaves with a rusty felt underneath. Very large (up to 9 in/ 22.5cm across) flowers, in summer and autumn, with a tangy citrus scent. It can reach 20 ft (6 m) or so but is not very fast growing and can be pruned if necessary.
2C. Shrubs –– dense, weed suppressing.
Hypericum moserianum ‘Tricolor’ Green leaves with a white edge which have a red tinge make this a striking mound of foliage about 12- 18 in (30-45an) high with a wider spread. The bright yellow flowers from June to September clash a bit with this colouring.
Philadelphia ‘Manteau d’Hermine’ (Mock orange) This dwarf only reaches 2-3ft (60-90 cm) high and wide and has proportionately small leaves. The small doublehave a true orange scent with a slight overtone of pineapple.
Hydrangea ‘Lanarth White’ This hydrangea is a lace cap and needs sun to stay compact and flower well. It keeps up its display of white outer flowers and tiny blue fertile flowers in the centre from July to October. (It is easy to identify as ‘Lanarth’ lacks the brown spots on the young stems that all other hydrangeas have.) Usually about 3ft (90cm) high and wide.
Philadelphus ‘Beauclerk’ Can reach 8 ft (2.5m) high and 5-6ft (1.5-1.8 m) wide but is a dense growing shrub. Wide open milk white flowers in June and July. Prune after flowering.
Philadelphus ‘Sybille’ is smaller growing and compact and has more cup-shaped flowers with a purple stain at the base of the petals. Very attractive with a powerful fragrance.
2D. Shrubs – deciduous – need underplanting
Daphne X burkwoodii A very neat shrub which can grow to 3ft (90 cm) high with a 4 ft (1.2 m) spread in the open or become rather upright if enclosed by other plants. It has small light green leaves and terminal clusters of tiny light pink tubular flowers in May and June; the flowers have a very sweet fragrance that is carried by a light breeze. A few late flowers come in summer.
Fuchsia ‘Lady Thumb’ Most hardy fuchsias flower best in sun. This one is compact and its flowers have pink sepals and a violet skirt. ‘Mrs Popple’ is large flowered with red sepals and a purple skirt. ‘Rufus’ is all red and unusual. They grow to between 18 in and 4 ft (45cm- 1.2m) high depending on the. Cut them back to near the base each spring.
Acer palmatum dissectum ‘Atropurpureum’ Japanese maples need a neutral or acid soil and some extra humus. The long name disguises a small growing foliage shrub of great elegance. The finely divided leaves are a pleasing purple all summer. It slowly builds up to a lacy mound about 3 ft (90 cm) high and 5ft (1.5m) wide.
Rosa gallica ‘Versicolor’ (Rosa mundi) A really old rose that forms a solid clump and is topped by the palest blush pink flowers striped with a splash of crimson, l-’lowers in June and July. It can be pruned after flowering or in spring, when it can even be sheared over.
Rosa ‘Old Blush China’ A very old rose imported from China two hundred years ago but its history goes back a thousand years. It is a neat shrub with dainty mid-pink flowers that carry on from June until December in a mild autumn. Basy to grow from autumn cuttings and very compact grown on its own roots. Usually reaches 3 ft (90cm) in height and spread.
Rosa virginiana This wild rose from North America is bushy and has shiny foliage that changes to brilliant reds and oranges in autumn to go with the round red hips. The single pink flowers are borne from June to August. It reaches 5ft (1.5m) or so high and not quite so wide.
Rosa alba ‘Maiden’s Blush’ Another very old rose with lots of neatly placed and folded petals in a rather flat flower that is a very delicately blush pink, handsome until the petals drop. It reaches 5 ft (1.5m) in height and spread. Prune as for ‘Versicolor’ above.
olbia ‘Rosea’ A soft wooded shrub with softly furry maple-like leaves which contrast attractively with the long succession of mallow-like pink flowers through late summer and autumn. Cut it back hard in spring to keep it bushy. It will shoot up to 6ft (1.8 m) high and wide with ease.
Chaenomeles speciosa ‘Cardinalis’ (Floweringor japonica) An early flowering shrub that is best trained on a wall or fence so that it does not grow too vigorously at the expense of flowers. Crimson, saucer-shaped flowers with yellow stamens appear from January (in warm gardens) till April or May. It reaches 6ft (1.8m) and can spread to 6ft (1.8 m) on a wall. There are a number of other varieties to choose from.
Acer palmatum ‘Senkaki’ A quietly elegant plant, this is the coral bark Japanese maple which is so striking in winter. In spring the leaves open very pale green and slowly darken as they age, contrasting with the new growth. In autumn they turn clear yellow. Rather vase-shaped, it can grow slowly to 12ft (3.5m) with a 6ft (1.8m) spread. Needs a neutral or acid soil with extra humus.
Lilacs The common lilac, flowering in May, has many colour varieties. Choose the one to suit your planting scheme. Syringa vulgaris ‘Katherine Havemeyer’ is a little darker lilac in colour and double, which means that there are no seed pods forming after flowering. It is fairly bushy with a height of 8- 12ft (2.5-3.5m) and a spread of5-8ft (1.5-2.5m).’ Much more upright in habit is ‘Charles Joly’ with double deep red flowers. ‘This is probably the most useful in a narrow border. ‘Vestale’ is a very fine white but single so cut the seed pods off after flowering or there will not be so many flowers next year.
Syringa microphylla is quite different, much more bushy, growing to about 5ft (1.5m) by 4ft (1.2m). It has small leaves and more open clusters of pink flowers, just as fragrant. A few extra flowers form in late summer and autumn. Syringa persica gives the same effect as the common lilac but is much more dainty and restrained, with small leaves, twiggy growth and lilac flowers.
2E. Herbaceous– ground cover.
Stachys lanata (Lambs’ ears) Felted, almost deep-pile, leaves of silvery sheen. Similarly woolly spikes of small blue flowers in July. A very goodespecially in the form ‘Silver Carpet’ which does not flower and stays neater. The leaves only rise 6 in (15cm) or so and the plant spreads well.
Anthemis cupaniana A mat of finely dissected, aromatic, grey leaves and rather large white daisy flowers June to August. Needs a well drained spot and reaches 9 in (22.5cm) or so with a good spread.
Nepeta faassenii (mussinii) (Catmint) Small bluish grey leaves are topped by sprays of lavender coloured flowers from June to early autumn.love it and will roll in it. Mixes with almost anything and is an excellent border edging. About 18in (45cm) high and spreading. ‘Six Hills Giant’ is twice as big and more of a border plant.
mauritanicus A leafy mass of pointed leaves of a soft green and flowers in lavender blue. It does not behave like bindweed and can be killed in a cold winter. It reaches 1 ft (30 cm) in height and can spread 2 ft (60cm).
Diascia rigescens These Diascias have been recently introduced from South Africa but are fairly hardy. Rigescens has stiff but arching growth from a central crown with leaves all the way along the stem and terminal clusters of flowers of striking deep pink all summer.
Diascia vigilis is of softer, more bushy growth and has masses of pale pink flowers. Both grow to about 1 ft (30cm)’high and 2ft (60cm) wide.
Artemesia ‘Lambrook Silver’ (Wormwood) A silvery variety of our native wormwood with the same pungent smell when the leaves are crushed. It grows up to 3ft (90 cm) high and wide and is topped by small greyish flowers that tone gently in with the silver leaves. Slightly woody at the base and needs cutting back in spring to keep it bushy.
2F. Herbaceous– clump forming
Festuca glauca (Fescue grass) A little tufted grass with intense blue grey narrow foliage making it resemble a bristly hedgehog. Grassy flowers in June and July. Distinct inform and colour. Reaches 6 in (15cm) high.
Sedum X ‘Autumn Joy’ A fleshy leaved perennial like our native rose root Sedum roseum. Straight stems up to 2ft (60cm) with fleshy, jagged edged leaves and plates of hundreds of tiny pink flowers in early autumn. Sedum spectabile is very similar but a sharper, paler pink. Sedum maximum ‘Atropurpureum’ has intense maroon purple leaves and off-white and reddish flowers in the same flat heads. Butterflies love them.
‘Mrs Sinkins’ (Pink) An old-fashioned pink with double white flowers and a strong clove scent. Grey green narrow, evergreen leaves set them off. Countless other varieties in red, pink and white have been raised but this old one is special. Gets to be around a foot (30 cm) high and wide. Needs well drained soil.
frikartii (Michaelmas daisy) In fact, this branches freely and so is less stiff than the true Michaelmas daisy. It flowers from July to October if well looked after and has pale lavender-blue flowers with a pale orange yellow centre. Mixes with anything in the same way as catmint. Reaches 3ft (90 cm) high and about half as wide.
nemorosa ‘East Friesland’ A bushy perennial sage with spikes of purple flowers over a leafy clump from July to September. A compact plant, it grows about 2 ft (60cm) high and wide. Lubeca is similar and ‘Superba’ is taller.
germanica ‘Solid Mahogany’ (Bearded ) Broad blade-like evergreen greyish leaves. Deep red-brown mahogany flowers, which are scented, in May. There is a large range of different coloured forms of bearded growing about 2- 3ft (60— 90 cm) tall. ‘Mahogany’ was chosen for a special colour scheme in the paved garden.
aconitifolius A buttercup but a very refined one. It springs from a tuberous root and has mid-green divided leaves with delicate small white flowers well above the leaves in May and June. 2Ft (60cm) high and 1 ft (30cm) wide. Rather unusual.
Paeonia officinalis ‘Rosea-plena’ (Peony) This is one of the old doublepeonies that flower in May and June, with big globular flowers full of petals from a woody rootstock. This has fat buds on it which must be planted only just below the soil surface or the plant won’t flower. Nice divided leaves with rounded lobes offset other plants in later summer. The deep red form ‘Rubra-plena’ is more common and there is a very pale pink ‘Alba-plena’. Easily divided by carefully cutting the woody root stock with a knife in October before they die down completely.
Eryngium oliverianum (Sea holly) Something unusual is always arresting in a bed of plants. This sea holly has greyish spiky holly-like leaves in a rosette. From this, springs one or more stems topped by round blue thistle-like flower heads to 2 ft-2 ft 6 in (60-15 cm) in July and August with a ruff of leaves like the basal ones. The flowers dry well.
rosea (Hollyhock) This tall upright plant is fairly perennial but needs renewing now and then. Wide open flowers, with a cone of stamens in the middle, all the way up the stem in shades of pink and red from July to September. There are double ones too. Easy from seed.
Clematis ‘Nelly Moser’ One of the large flowered hybrid clematis, Nelly has pale pinky flowers with a purple-red stripe on each petal. Flowers from May to September if the roots are in the shade and the stems in the sun. With light pruning it will achieve 12 ft (3.5m). The well-known purple jackmanii flowers only on young wood so should be cut back hard each spring.
‘Abundance’ More subtle than the large flowered types the viticella varieties ramble happily over other shrubs or climbers. ‘Abundance’ has double deep red flowers in a pompom all summer. ‘Royal Velours’ has single flowers of a glowing deep red. C. viticella itself is mauve. These need light pruning only and can reach 10 ft (3m).
Clematis armandii An evergreen clematis with long shoots that do not branch much. It will seek out a shrub or tree to climb in rather than be trained on a wall. White flowers in spring are beautiful against the dark green leaves. ‘Snow Drift’ is a selected form and ‘Apple Blossom’ has a pink tint. Can in theory grow to 30 ft (9m) but rarely does so.
Rosa ‘Pink Perpetue’ An easy, reliable and repeat flowering rose with deep to light pink flowers July to September. Can reach 15ft (4.5m) and is bushy.
Rosa ‘Aloha’ Half way between a tall shrub and a short climber at 8- 10ft (2.5- 3 m). Good foliage. Shiny green and very full petalled flowers, rich pink and strongly perfumed.
Wisteria floribunda ‘Alba’ The white wisteria was chosen for the Georgian garden. They are vigorous climbers once established. The long hanging clusters of white scented flowers come in April and May. They may reach 25-30 ft (7.5-9m) but can be kept smaller by reducing the length of the shoots regularly. The usual mauve one is Wisteria sinensis. There are also named varieties.
Passiflora caerulea (Passion flower) A soft wooded climber that can cover a fence or wall, evergreen in mild winters or sheltered gardens. Shiny deeply divided leaves and extraordinary flowers with blue petals, a corona of blue threads and three stigmas sitting on the top. In a warm summer these mature to oval orange fruits. Can reach 20 ft (6 m) but usually less.
Trachelospermum jasminoides An evergreen with dark green leathery leaves and dense growth. The white flowers in July and August are very like jasmine but have wavy edges. The sweet perfume carries on the wind. The green and creamy white leaved ‘Variegata’ is a spectacularbut neither is reliably hardy in very cold areas. Slowly grows to 12ft (3.5m).