Hardy herbaceous perennials A to Z

Hardy herbaceous perennials A to Z

Hardy herbaceous perennials are semi-permanent occupants of the garden but few of them will remain in one place for anything like so long as trees or shrubs. Many of them spread quite quickly, forming clumps of ever increasing size, and in doing so they tend to starve themselves out. To counteract this they must be lifted and replanted every few years and each time this is done the clumps are split up into numerous pieces, the older parts in the centre of the clump being discarded, the younger outside portions being replanted or given away to friends. This periodic replanting gives the opportunity for rearrangement or even complete remodelling of those parts of the garden mainly or entirely devoted to hardy herbaceous perennials.

Since they grow quickly, most will make their maximum effect in the second year after planting and many will give a very good account of themselves the first year. They are. Therefore, much quicker in making a display than trees and shrubs.

Partly for this reason, and partly for economy of space in the rather small gardens which are common today, hardy herbaceous perennials are often combined with shrubs. The latter providing a more permanent background to the changing pattern of the herbaceous plants in front or between. For even further variety and to maintain continuity of colour, annuals and bedding plants may be introduced as well.

The traditional way of using herbaceous perennials is in a border confined to them and therefore called an herbaceous border. In this the plants are grouped, several of a kind together, to produce a bold patchwork of colour, irregular yet balanced. For the best effect a fairly wide border is needed, 8ft (25m) at least and preferably 10 or 12 ft (3 or 4 m). In narrower borders many of the larger plants must be planted singly and the effect will almost inevitably be more confused.

An alternative to the herbaceous border is the island bed or beds. These beds may be of any shape and size, separated, as a rule, by areas of mown grass and planted so that they can be viewed from any side. Well planned, with the taller plants in the centre and good groups of shorter plants around, such beds can be most effective but they require at least as much space as a conventional herbaceous border.

Methods of propagation

Many herbaceous perennials can be readily raised from seed sown in February or March under glass, or in April or May outdoors. As a rule the seedlings will not bloom until their second year, and in the case of some kinds, such as delphiniums, lupins and phlox, which have been highly developed in gardens, the seedlings may vary considerably, especially in flower colour, from their parents.

For this reason selected varieties are usually increased by division of the roots at planting time, or by cuttings. Either way, every characteristic of the parent will be preserved. As a rule divisions will flower in their first year but cuttings may take longer.

Planting and Aftercare

With care herbaceous plants may be trans-planted at almost any time of the year but the safest period is early spring and the next best is early autumn and so these are the two seasons when nurserymen do most of their despatching. Bearded or flag irises, however, may be despatched in mid-summer as they are then making roots and transplant well.

The taller herbaceous plants usually need some support as they grow. Canes and encircling ties can be used, or special plant supports, but one simple, cheap and effective method is to use twiggy branches, such as those sold for pea supports. Cut these to the required length, a few inches below the full height of the plant, and push two or three of them into the ground around each plant in spring while growth is still short. Then, as growth continues, the shoots will find their own support between the twigs, at the same time screening them from view.

Hardy herbaceous plants suffer from few pests and diseases and require a minimum of care. For the sake of tidiness, faded flowers or flower spikes should be cut off and in the autumn all growth, except of evergreen plants such as kniphofias and irises, can be cut off an inch or so above ground level, leaving the border clear for a thorough cleaning, best done by pricking the surface lightly with a fork.

Many herbaceous plants are so sturdy that they will grow in any reasonable soil without feeding, but for best results some feeding is desirable. Rotted animal manure, garden compost or peat can be spread thinly between the plants in early spring and then, a few weeks later, the soil can be dusted with any good general garden fertilizer. Further topdressings of fertilizer can be given to special plants at intervals of a few weeks during the spring and summer.

Recommended Herbaceous Perennials

Acanthus (Bear’s breeches)Handsome plants with big thistle-like leaves and stiff spikes of dull purple and white flowers in late summer. They are very easy to grow in almost any soil and a sunny or partially shady place. Roots spread outwards throwing up new shoots as they go. So that it is the easiest thing in the world to increase these plants simply by digging up any outlying piece with roots attached. It may, in any case, be necessary to do this to prevent the plants from spreading too far.

The two best kinds are Acanthus mollis. With broadly-lobed leaves, and A. spinosus, with more deeply and sharply divided leaves. Both are about 4 ft (1-25111) tall.

Achillea (Yarrow, milfoil) One of the com-monest milfoils is a troublesome lawn weed but it has produced better varieties with carmine instead of while flowers. One of the best is Achillea millefolium Cerise Queen which has ferny leaves, bright carmine flowers in early summer and grows 18 in (45cm) high.

Quite different in appearance is A. ptar-mica which grows 3ft (im) high and has white flowers in small clusters all summer. A very good variety of this, named The Pearl, has double instead of single flowers. The most handsome kind is A. filipendulina which has flat heads of yellow flowers on 4-ft (1-25-111) stems from mid-summer. An especially good form of this is named Gold Plate. Two other kinds, A. clypeolata and A. taygetea, resemble the last but on a smaller scale and with the added attraction of silvery foliage. There are also hybrids with flat heads of flowers. Coronation Gold is yellow. 2 ft (75 cm) high and flowers nonstop all summer; Moonshine is sulphur yellow in early summer and has grey leaves.

Most of these achilleas are very hardy and almost indestructible plants for any soil and place, but the grey-leaved kinds are a little more fussy and prefer a well-drained soil and sunny place. All can be increased by division in spring or autumn.

Aconitum (Monkshood) The popular name monkshood was given to aconitum because the flowers look a little like the hoods or cowls worn by monks. These flowers are borne in long narrow spikes and are mostly blue or purple but one species, Aconitum lycoctonum, is pale yellow. One of the best kinds for the garden is A. napellus Spark’s Variety with deep purple flowers on 3-ft (1 m) stems in mid-summer; another is A. bicolor, of similar height and with blue and white flowers. Bressingham Spire has particularly well-filled flower spikes, violet-blue in colour. A.Jischeri flowers in autumn. Is light blue and 3 ft (1 m) high.

All will grow well in any reasonably good soil and sunny or partially shaded position. All can be divided in spring or autumn.

African lily, see Agapanthus

Agapanthus (African lily) These showy plants are not really lilies nor do they make bulbs like true lilies, but they do make mats of fleshy white roots which dig deeply into the soil and enable the plants to survive even in quite dry places. But to see African lilies at their best they should be grown in good, fertile, well-drained soil and a warm sunny place; then they will produce fine clumps of their rather fleshy, strap-shaped leaves and good heads of blue, mauve or white flowers in summer. The largest heads on 3-ft (1 m) stems are produced by Agapanthusafricanus, but it is not very hardy and in many places is best grown in pots or tubs and removed to a greenhouse or sun room in winter. A. campanula/us and the Headbourne Hybrids derived from it are much hardier and are available, in height. From I to 3 ft (30cm to 1 m) and in colour from white and light blue to deep violet blue. All can be increased by seed or division in spring but plants should not be disturbed frequently.

Ajuga (Bugle) These are mat-forming plants which can be used in beds and borders, to carpet the ground beneath shrubs, or in the rock garden, though there they must be placed with care, lest by their rapid spread they smother less vigorous plants. The kind commonly grown is Ajuga rep tans which is quite prostrate and, in late spring, carries 6-in (15-cm) spikes of blue flowers. In the common form the leaves are green, but in the variety multicolor they are bronze, yellow and red, and in variegata green and cream.

All will grow readily in almost any soil and place and can be easily increased by division at practically any time of year.

Alchemilla (Lady’s mantle) Alchemilla mollis

is a foot-high plant grown primarily for its soft grey-green leaves which make a pleasant foil for the bright colours of more showy plants. The small yellow flowers are produced in loose sprays in early summer.

It will grow in any reasonable soil and open or partially shaded place, and is readily increased by division in spring.

Alkanet, see Anchusa

Alstroemeria (Peruvian lily) These plants are not true lilies, nor do they form bulbs. Like lilies, but make mats of rather fleshy roots. These need to be planted about 5 in (13 cm) deep in good, well-drained soils and warm, sunny places. They may not produce a great deal of growth the first year but once established can spread rapidly. The easiest and hardiest is Alstroemeria aurantiaca with loose heads of bright orange flowers on slender 3-ft (1 m) stems in midsummer. The Ligtu Hybrids have a much wider colour range, including many delicate shades of pink, salmon and apricot as well as flame.

All can be grown from roots planted in spring and also from seed sown in a green-house or frame in spring but it is sometimes difficult to transplant seedlings of the Ligtu Hybrids safely. The best method is to sow two or three seeds in a 3-in (8-cm) pot and allow the seedlings to remain in this for a year, then plant the whole potful undisturbed.

Anaphalis (Pearly everlasting) Attractive grey-leaved plants for the front of the border. One, Anaphalis margaritacea, is called pearly everlasting because of its clusters of small, silvery flowers which can be dried for winter use. The plant grows a foot (30cm) or slightly more in height. A. triplinervis has larger leaves and makes a low, spreading plant about Sin (20cm) high. Both like sunny places and well-drained soils and can be increased by careful division in spring.

Anchusa (Alkanet) Imagine a forget-me-not 4 ft (1-25111) high with flowers to scale and you have some idea of what Anchusa italica, the best kind, looks like. There are several garden varieties of it but all have blue flowers and they differ principally in the precise shade of blue. All flower in early summer. The plant commonly called A. caespitosa is really A. angustissima; it resembles A. italica on a much smaller scale, being only about 15 in (38 cm) high, and it flowers from late spring to mid-summer. Both plants like well-drained soils and open, sunny positions and neither is very long lived. They can be raised from seed, but selected forms of A. italica are usually grown from root cuttings inserted in sandy soil, in winter or early spring and started into growth in a frame or greenhouse.

Anemone (Windflower) There are a great number of anemones but the only one that is commonly grown as an herbaceous plant is the Japanese anemone. Anemone japonica of catalogues though more accurately it should be called A. hupehensis. This is a fine plant with white, pink or rose flowers on 3-to 4-ft (1- to 125-m) stems in autumn. It is very hardy and capable of growing in most soils and sunny or shady places but it is often a slow starter and so it is one of the few herbaceous plants which should be left undisturbed for as long as possible. Give it plenty of room and it will gradually creep about, forming an ever-enlarging carpet of its three-parted leaves from which the thin but stiff (lower stems are thrown up in late summer. It is increased by division in spring or autumn.

Anthemis (Golden marguerite) There are several different kinds of anthemis but the most popular and best for the garden is A. tinctoria, a very bushy plant with grey ferny leaves and yellow daisy flowers. It grows 2 or 3 ft (60cm to 1 m) high and flowers most of the summer. There are several varieties differing in size and shade. E. C. Buxton’s Variety is the palest, a sulphur yellow: Beauty of Grallagh, the biggest and deepest yellow, and the most popular and probably best garden variety is Grallagh Gold, which is bright yellow. Very different from these is A. cupaniana, a sprawling plant with finely divided grey leaves and white daisy-type flowers, like-marguerites, which are freely produced in late spring and early summer.

All like sunny places and well-drained soils and can be increased by cuttings in early summer.

Anthcrieum (St Bernard’s lily) The full name of this plant is Anthericum liliago. It is not really a lily nor does it look much like one for it makes tufts of grassy leaves among which grow, in early summer, slender, foot-high stems bearing starry white flowers. It is not fussy about soil but it likes an open, sunny situation. It is easily increased by division in spring or summer.

Aquilegia (Columbine) Exquisitely graceful flowers, often with long, nectar-filled spurs which add to their charm. Aquilegias are hardy perennials but not, as a rule, long lived, though they usually leave plenty of self-sown seedlings around as replacement. Colours are varied and usually delicate. Though there are also quite strong blues and reds. As a rule mixed colour strains are sold, two of the best being Mrs Scott-Elliott’s Hybrids and McKana Hybrids. Both are about 2lft (75cm) high but there are also shorter kinds. They flower in late spring and early summer.

All will grow in any reasonably well-drained soil and sunny or partially shady position. They are readily raised from seed sown outdoors in spring or as soon as ripe in summer.

Armeria (Thrift) Most of the thrifts are plants for the rock garden but the variety known as Bees’ Ruby is a useful plant for the front of an herbaceous border. It makes a tuft of narrow leaves and the almost globular heads of carmine flowers are carried on 18-in (45-cm) stems in late spring and early summer. It likes well-drained

soils and sunny places and is increased by division in spring or autumn.

Artemisia There are a great many artemisias and their names are rather confused. Many are not very attractive but the best are very beautiful foliage plants. Many have grey or silver leaves and in some kinds the leaves are divided into lace-like patterns. One of the finest of these is Artemisia schmidtiana. A 2-ft (60-cm) high plant with silver leaves. A. ludoviciana has undivided silver leaves and grows 2 to 3 ft (60cm to 1 m) high. It spreads rapidly and is one of the most reliable silver-leaved plants for the border.

Very different from these, and much taller, is A. lactiflora which produces large and elegant sprays of small creamy-white flowers in late summer, has green divided leaves and grows 5 ft (1-501) tall.

Most artemisias like open sunny places and the grey- or silver-leaved kinds prefer light, well-drained soils. A. lactiflora will grow happily in almost any soil and in semi-shade. Most can be increased by division.

Aruncus (Goat’s beard) Aruiicus Sylvester is a vigorous plant with great plumes of tiny creamy-white flowers, like those of an astilbc, in early summer. It grows to 6 ft (2 m) tall and will thrive in almost any soil in sun or shade. It is a particularly good plant for damp places. Increase is by seed. Which is often self sown, or by division in spring or autumn.

Aster (Michaelmas daisy) The China aster is an annual plant, correctly known as Callistephus chinensis, but there are many other kinds of true asters which are hardy herbaceous perennials. Most familiar of these are the Michaelmas daisies, which are varieties of either Aster novi-belgii, which has smooth shiny leaves, or A. novae-angliae, which has downy leaves. There are a great number of garden varieties of the first of these species, varying in height from under a foot (30cm) to as much as 6 ft (2 m). and in colour all the way from white, pale lavender and silvery-pink to deep violet and crimson. Some have single flowers, some more or less double flowers and all bloom in autumn.

Then there are the numerous varieties of A. amellus, all about 2 ft (60cm) high and very bushy, with larger, single flowers in late summer. A. frikartii is of this type, though it is not a simple variety of A. amellus but a hybrid between it and A. thomsonii. It makes a 3 ft (im) bush producing light blue flowers with great profusion in late summer.

All these perennial asters are easily grown in almost any soil and fairly open situation but the varieties of A. amellus do not transplant quite so easily as other kinds and are best moved in spring. The very vigorous Michaelmas daisies should be lifted and divided annually for best results as they spread so rapidly that they tend to starve themselves out. Division is the best method of increasing all kinds.

Varieties of Aster novi-belgii are sometimes severely attacked by a mite which cripples growth and deforms the flowers. It can be killed by spraying occasionally in late spring and summer with dicofol.

Astilbe These graceful plants are sometimes called spiraea, a name which correctly belongs to related shrubby plants. The astilbes, by contrast, are all true herbaceous perennials, dying down to ground level each winter and throwing up a fresh lot of ferny leaves in spring, followed in summer by the leathery plumes of white, pink or crimson flowers. Most are 2 to 3ft (60cm to 1 m) high, but the white or pink flowered Astilbe simplicifolia is no more than 1 ft (30cm). It is also a little later in flowering.

Astilbes like damp soil and are often grown at the waterside though they can also be planted in ordinary beds or borders provided these are not too dry. They can be increased by division in spring or autumn.

Balloon flower, see Platycodon

Barrenwort, see Epimcdium

Bear’s breeches, see Acanthus

Bcllflower, see Campanula

Bergenia (Large-leaved saxifrage) Sometimes these handsome plants are called saxifraga, sometimes megasea, but bergenia is correct. They are grown for their large. Fleshy, semi-evergreen leaves and clusters of pink, rose or crimson flowers produced in early spring on short stout stems. In some kinds, such as Bergenia pwpurascens or Ballawley, the leaves turn crimson in the autumn.

They are excellent front-line plants which will grow in almost any soil and sunny or shady place. They can be increased by division in spring or autumn.

Bistort, see Polygonum

Bleeding heart, see Dicentra

Bocconia, see Macleaya

Bugle, see Ajuga

Buphthalmum Easily grown and very hardy plants with yellow daisy flowers in summer. One of the best. Bupluhalmum saliei-folium, is particularly useful because it is only 18 in (45 cm) high, needs no staking, and flowers all the summer. It will grow in any reasonable soil, in sun or partial shade, and is readily increased by division in spring or autumn.

Burning bush, see Dictamnus

Campanula (Bellflower) There are a great many kinds of campanula, some being rock plants, some biennials for bedding, some greenhouse plants and some hardy herbaceous plants. Of these last, the three best are Campanula persieifolia, C. laetiflora and C. glomerata.

Campanula persieifolia carries its broadly bell-shaped flowers up long slender stems in early summer. There are single- and double-flowered forms and white and blue varieties of each. The average height is I ft (75 cm).

Campanula laet[flora is taller. 4 to 5 ft (1-25 to 1-501), with smaller flowers in loose sprays all summer. Normally light blue, there is also a lilac-pink variety named Lod-don Anna and one named Pouffe, which is quite different in habit, making a compact mound about 9 in (23 cm) high covered with light blue flowers.

Campanula glomerata carries its purple flowers in a close cluster at the tops of 18-in (45-cm) stems in early summer. A fine, deep-coloured variety of this is named dahuriea.

All are very easily grown in any reasonable soil and sunny or partially shady position and all can be increased by division in spring or autumn.

Cape fuchsia, sec Phygelius

Cape gooseberry, see Physalis

Catananche (Cupid’s dart) Catananehe eaerulea is a pretty little blue-flowered plant rather like a dwarf cornflower. It is quite hardy and can be grown in any sunny place provided the soil is reasonably well drained. The flowers, on 2-ft (60-cm) stems, are produced most of the summer. The best variety is major and there is also one named Perry’s White, with white flowers. Increase is by division in spring.

Catmint, see Nepeta

Centaurea (Cornflower) The common blue cornflower is a centaurea but is an annual and so is described****************** under that heading. Other kinds of centaurea are hardy perennials, one of the commonest in gardens being Centaurea montana with grey leaves and blue cornflowers on 18-in (45-cm) steins in late spring. C. dealbata has silvery leaves and pink flowers on 2-ft (60-cm) stems all summer; C. maeroeephala has yellow flowers in early summer and is 4 ft (1 -25 m) high, as is C. ruthenica, a more slender plant with lemon flowers also in early summer. All are easily grown in almost any soil and sunny place; indeed C. montana often spreads so quickly as to become rather a nuisance. They can all be increased by division in spring or autumn.

Centranthus (Red valerian) Although Cen~ trantkus ruber can be found growing wild on cliffs and walls in many parts of the country it is well worth cultivating in the garden for the beauty of its clusters of small red, pink or white flowers, freely produced on 2-ft (6o-cm) stems in early summer, even in the hottest, driest places. It makes an excellent companion for the blue catmint (Nepela faassenii) and thrives in similar sunny places and well-drained soils. It produces seed freely and usually self-sown seedlings appear in great number but may vary in the colour of their flowers. Especially good varieties are therefore best increased by careful division in the spring or by cuttings in spring or early summer.

Chinese lantern, sec Physalis

Christmas rose, see Helleborus

Chrysanthemum (Shasta daisy, moon daisy) The plants that are commonly thought of as chrysanthemums are not, on the whole, very hardy, and many varieties are exclusively grown for flowering under glass. However, there are also varieties which are more suitable for growing outdoors, either because they flower in summer or early autumn, before there is risk of serious frost to damage their flowers, or because they are tougher and more frost resistant. This last group includes the Korean chrysanthemums and varieties bred from Chrysanthemum rithellum. These flower from midsummer to mid-autumn, have a wide colour range from white, lemon and pale pink to copper,’ orange and crimson, and spread rapidly into bushy plants 2 to 3 ft (60cm to 1 m) high. Some have single flowers, some double, and all grow freely in any reasonably good and well-drained soil and a sunny position. They are often grown, like other chrysanthemums, from cuttings taken in late winter or early spring and rooted in a greenhouse or frame, but they are even more easily increased by splitting up the roots in spring, like those of any other herbaceous plant.

This can also be done with the larger-flowered varieties of early-flowering chrysanthemum, which resemble the green-house chrysanthemums in almost everything but their time of flowering; but it is not so successful. Better plants, producing flowers of superior quality, are obtained by taking cuttings which are treated just like those of the greenhouse chrysanthemums, except that the plants are hardened off for planting outdoors in mid- to late spring in good soil and a sunny place. Usually the growing tips of the plants are pinched out a week or so after planting to encourage early

branching: and later on, if large flowers are desired, only one flower bud is retained on each stem, all others being removed at an early stage of development. Flowering is in late summer and early autumn.

In mild places and well-drained soils the early-flowering chrysanthemums will survive the winter outdoors, but in colder districts they are lifted in autumn, the top growth cut off and the roots placed close together in boxes with a little soil, to be over-wintered in a frame or greenhouse. It is from these ‘stools’, as they are called, that cuttings are taken in the spring.

In addition to these florist’s chrysanthe-mums, there are several other kinds of chrysanthemum which are genuinely hardy herbaceous perennials to be grown along with other plants of this class. Most important of these are the varieties of C. maximum, the Shasta daisy. These are the big white daisies, also called moon daisies, that bloom in midsummer and are so useful for cutting as well as for garden display. Some have single flowers, some semi-double or fully double flowers, and although all are hardy, some of the double-flowered varieties, such as Esther Read and Horace Read, are not so robust as the singles and do not relish a cold, wet soil in winter. The singles, by contrast, will grow practically anywhere and seem almost indestructible. All like sunny places, though they will survive in shade, and all can be increased by division in spring, the single-flowered kinds also by seed though seedlings may vary in quality.

Clary, see Salvia

Clematis In addition to the well-known climbing clematis there are a few, far less familiar, hardy herbaceous kinds, so very different in appearance from the climbers that the gardener might well wonder where the connection lay. One of the best is Clematis heracleifolia, 3 ft (im) high with clusters of little, pale blue, tubular flowers in late summer and autumn. A variety of this named davidiana has sweetly scented flowers and so has the taller, white-flowered C. recta.

All will grow in any reasonable soil and open position and can be increased by division or cuttings in spring.

Columbine, see Aquilegia

Coneflower, see Rudbeckia

Convallaria (Lily of the valley) These sweetly scented spring flowers are grown from fleshy rhizomes or crowns which are best .planted in autumn. Space them about 4in (10cm) apart and just cover them with soil, preferably in a shady or semi-shady place, though lily of the valley will grow in full sunshine provided the soil is moist.

It does best in fairly rich soil with plenty of leaf mould or peat. In addition to the familiar white kind there is a variety with rather washy pink bells. Lily of the valley is increased by division in spring.

Coral bells, see Heuchera

Coreopsis Some kinds of coreopsis are annuals but there are also a few perennials of which one of the hardiest is Coreopsis verticillata. This has very narrow leaves on thin, branching stems, grows about 2 ft (60cm) high and covers itself with small yellow flowers throughout the summer. It is a very pretty plant for the front of a bed or border. C. grandiflora has much larger flowers, also yellow, produced continuously all summer and in early autumn, but it is apt to flower itself to exhaustion and is seldom a long-lived plant. There are superior varieties of it with even larger flowers and one, named Sunburst, which produces some double flowers. C. auriculata is similar to C. grandiflora but there is a deep crimson blotch at the base of each petal.

All like sunny places and well-drained soils. They can be increased by division in spring.

Cornflower, see Centaurea

Cortaderia (Pampas grass) This is one of the most handsome of all grasses, up to 8 ft (25m) tall in some varieties, though there are also shorter kinds. Cortaderia argentea is the best for general planting and its silvery plumes are a familiar sight in late summer or early autumn. It is quite hardy in all well-drained soils but thrives best in warm, sunny places. It should only be transplanted in spring when it can be divided.

Cranesbill, see Geranium

Crocosmia Crocosmia nta.sonorum is a very showy plant, much like a large montbretia. It grows 3 ft (im) high, has sword-shaped leaves and arching sprays of orange-red flowers in late summer. It is not very hardy. Needs a warm, sunny, sheltered place and well-drained soil. In cold districts it can be lifted in autumn and over-wintered in a frame. Increase is by division in spring.

Cupid’s dart, see Catananche

Day lily, see Hemerocallis

Dead nettle, see Lamium

Delphinium There are two main types of delphinium for the herbaceous border or bed, those that produce their flowers in long spikes, known as the elatum varieties, and those that have branching sprays of flowers, known as the belladonna varieties. The former make the boldest display and have been most highly developed by plant breeders. They make magnificent plants for the middle or back of the border. Belladonna delphiniums are shorter and more graceful and may be used to break up the heavier masses of bloom in the garden and for cutting.

The elatum varieties range in height from 3 to 7ft (1 to 225m) and in colour from white and palest mauve through all shades of blue to intense purple. There are also varieties with pink or lilac flowers. Most of the popular kinds have semi-double flowers but there are also single delphiniums and a few that are fully double.

The colour range in the belladonna type is similar but there are not nearly so many varieties and most have single flowers, though there are also some semi-doubles.

All these delphiniums flower in early summer and sometimes give a second display in late summer or early autumn. They like fairly rich but well-drained soils and open sunny positions and are seldom long lived. Every two or three years they should be renewed from seed or cuttings. Seed is best sown as soon as it is ripe in late summer, in a frame or greenhouse, but alternatively it can be sown in spring. The seedlings are pricked off into boxes and later potted singly to be grown on into sturdy plants which can go outside in spring or early summer. Seedlings usually flower late the first summer and often differ considerably in colour, flower shape and height from their parents.

Cuttings are prepared from young shoots in spring, severed low down where they are firm and solid (larger shoots tend to be hollow) and are inserted in sandy soil in a frame. By early summer they should be well rooted and ready for planting out. Plants grown from cuttings will resemble their parents in every respect.

Another way of increasing delphiniums is by splitting up the old plants in spring, but plants grown in this way are seldom so healthy and vigorous as those grown from seed or cuttings.

Diantluis (Pink) Many kinds of dianthus are such small creeping or tufted plants that their proper place is the rock garden, but the garden pinks or varieties of Diantluis

plumarius, and their near allies, the numerous varieties of D. aliwoodii, are plants for the front of a bed or border or for any other place where free-flowering plants up to 18 in (45 cm) high are appropriate. The old-fashioned pinks, such as the popular white-flowered Mrs Sinkins and pink Inchmery. Both deliciously fragrant, flower in early summer but some modern pinks and all the varieties of D. aliwoodii have a longer flowering season extending throughout the summer and even into the autumn.

All like open, sunny places and the true pinks are not at all fussy about soil, though they do particularly well on chalk or limestone. Some varieties of D. allwoodii are less tolerant and must have really well-drained soils if they are to prove reasonably permanent. All are increased by cuttings taken around mid-summer and some varieties can be carefully divided in spring, but with others it is difficult to get divisions with roots attached.

Dicentra (Bleeding heart) These are very elegant plants with fern-like leaves and erect or arching sprays of pendant flowers in early summer. Dicentra spectabilis grows 2 to 3 ft (60 cm to 1 m) high and has pink and white heart-shaped flowers. D. eximia is shorter, about 18 in (45 cm) high, with smaller pink flowers. Yet another kind, D. formosa, is 15 in (38 cm) high and has rose-pink flowers. All flower in spring and early summer. They will thrive in sun or partial shade in any reasonably well-drained soil and can be increased by division in spring or autumn.

Dictamnus (Burning bush) Dictamnus albus is an unusual and handsome plant about 3 ft (I m) high with spikes of purple or white flowers in early summer. It gets its popular name from the fact that it produces, in warm weather, small quantities of an inflammable gas that will sometimes burn briefly with a blue flame if a match is held to the plant.

It will grow in sun or partial shade in almost any soil and can be increased either by seed sown in spring or by division in spring or autumn.

Dierama (Wand flower) Although Dierama pulcherrimum makes corms it is usually treated as an herbaceous perennial, growing plants being transplanted in spring. It is a very graceful plant with grassy leaves and long, slender, arching stems bearing pendant pink, rose, purple or white flowers in late summer. It likes good, well-drained soils and warm, sunny places, and can be raised from seed sown in spring or by careful division also in spring, but it does not really like being disturbed.

Doronicum (Leopard’s bane) These are among the earliest flowering of hardy herbaceous plants producing their big yellow daisies in spring. Doronicum plantagi-neum excelsum is 3 ft (im) high, D. caucasicum, 1 to I^ft (30 to 45 cm) and D. cordatum, 6 in (15 cm). There is a double-flowered variety of D. caucasicum called Spring Beauty.

All are easy to grow in almost any soil and in sun or partial shade. They can be increased by division after flowering or in the autumn.

Dropwort, see Filipendula

Echinacea (Purple coneflower) Handsome plants with large, reddish-purple daisy flowers each with a dark, almost black central disc which adds to their striking appearance. The only kind grown is Echinacea purpurea, but it has several garden varieties, one not often seen, with white flowers, another, named The King, with extra large flowers of a particularly fine shade of purple. All are about 4 ft (125 m) high and flower in late summer.

They will grow in almost any reasonably well-drained soil and fairly open, sunny place and can be increased by division in spring or autumn.

Echinops (Globe thistle) Striking and easily grown plants with small blue or white flowers crowded into spherical heads. The seed heads are also globular and have a spiky appearance which makes them almost as attractive as the flowers. Good kinds are Echinops humilis, 4 ft (125 m) high with good blue flowers; E. humilis nivalis, white, and E. sphaerocephalus (often listed as E. ritro) blue, 4 ft (125 m). All flower from mid-summer for several weeks.

Echinops like well-drained soils and sunny places but can be grown almost anywhere as they are very robust plants. They are readily raised from seed sown in spring, from root cuttings in winter or early spring, or by careful division of the roots in spring or autumn.

Epimedium (Barrenwort) These low-growing plants are valued as much for their foliage, which becomes coppery in autumn, as for their loose sprays of white, pale yellow or reddish flowers in spring. Ep1 medium sulphureum is light yellow; E. alpinum is red and yellow; E. grandiflorum niveum is white. All are 9 to 12 in (23 to 30 cm) high and spread considerably, forming a dense, weed-smothering ground cover. Their appearance is much improved if they are cut with shears to within an inch or so of the ground in early spring. They thrive in shady places but will also grow in the sun. They are not fussy about soil and are increased by division in spring or autumn.

Eremurus (Fox-tail lily) These remarkable and very handsome plants have strap-shaped leaves and long stiff spikes of flowers in early summer. The tallest kind, Eremurus robustus, may reach 7 to 10 ft (225 to 3 m) and is pale pink. By contrast, E. himalaicus has white flowers and is 3 to 5 ft (1 to 15 m) high, and E. bungei is maize yellow and 2 to 3ft (60cm to im) high. There are also garden hybrids, 3 to 5 ft (1 to 15 m) high, in various shades of pink, maize, apricot and orange. All have fleshy roots radiating like spokes from a central crown.

They like good, well-drained soil and a sunny place and should be planted in early autumn, 4 m (10 cm) deep with their roots spread out fully. Once established they should be left to grow undisturbed for as long as possible. As they are just a little tender, it is wise, in cold places, to cover the roots with bracken or sand in winter, removing this in the spring.

Seed sown in the spring may germinate rather slowly and seedlings are unlikely to flower for several years. Alternatively, plants can be carefully divided in early autumn.

Erigeron (Fleabane) Easily grown plants with blue, pink or soft orange daisy flowers very like those of Michaelmas daisies but coming earlier in summer. Plants are usually about 2 ft (60cm) high but there are shorter varieties, especially in the orange shades of which the aurantiaca hybrids, about 1 ft (30cm) high, are typical. Other good kinds are Charity, pink; Dignity, mauve; Quakeress, lavender; Darkest of All, violet-blue, and Foerster’s Liebling, cerise.

Most are very easily grown in almost any soil and reasonably open position but the orange shades are more difficult and are often short lived. They should be given particularly well-drained, sunny positions. Most can be increased by division in spring or autumn, but the orange shades are best divided in spring only.

Eryngium (Sea holly) Very distinctive plants with stiff, spiny, blue-grey leaves and teasellike heads, usually blue or violet, though in one kind, Eryngium giganteum, they are bone-white. This last, however, is not a good perennial and must be renewed from seed annually, the seedlings flowering in their second year and usually dying thereafter. One of the easiest to grow is E. planum, with thimble-size heads of blue flowers in large branching sprays about 4 ft (125 m) high. E. tripartitum is similar. E. alpinum has large blue heads surrounded by steel-blue, finely divided bracts which are very decorative. It is 3 ft (1 m) high. All flower around mid-summer and remain decorative for many weeks; in fact the flowers can be cut and dried for winter use. They like light, well-drained soils and sunny places and can be increased by seed in spring or by root cuttings in winter or spring.

Euphorbia (Spurge) Most of the spurges have greenish-yellow flowers and so they are not particularly showy, but they make a pleasant foil to the brighter colours of other plants. One of the best is Euphorbia polychroma, also known as E. epithymoides, an easily grown plant 18 in (45 cm) high with heads of lemon-yellow flowers in spring. E. griffithii is brighter than most with reddish-orange flowers on leafy 2-ft (60-cm) stems in summer. E. wulfenii is almost a shrub, 4 ft (125 m) high and as much or more in diameter, with big heads of yellowish-green flowers in spring. All like sunny places, but are not fussy about soil. Division is possible in spring.

Evening primrose, see Oenothera

Everlasting pea, see Lathyrus

False dragonhead, see Physostegia

Filipendula (Dropwort) These plants used to be called spiraea and still are in many catalogues. Most of them are moisture lovers like the closely allied astilbes which they resemble, but one, Filipendula vulgaris (or Spiraea hexapetala), the Dropwort, grows well in dry places. It makes large rosettes of narrow ferny leaves and has clusters of small creamy white flowers in summer which are converted into tiny balls in the variety flore pleno, the best form to plant. Other kinds are, however. Considerably more beautiful, especially F. purpurea (or Spiraea palnuita) with plumy sprays of crimson flowers on 4-ft (1-25-111) stems in summer, and F. rubra magnified (or Spiraea magnified) with pale pink flowers on 6-ft (2-m) stems.

These are plants for the waterside or for very moist places in sun or light shade. All can be increased by division in spring.

Flcabane. See Erigeron

Fox-tail lily, see Eremurus

Gaillardia Plants with large, very showy flowers of the daisy type, usually scarlet and yellow but in some varieties all yellow, all red, or tangerine. They are 2 to 3 ft (60cm to 1 m) high but the stems are rather thin and inclined to be weighed down by the large flowers so that some extra support is desirable. This can be given by pushing short twiggy branches into the soil around the plants in spring and letting them grow up through these. They are excellent flowers for cutting.

All like sunny places and well-drained soils. They can be raised from seed sown in a frame or greenhouse in spring but seedlings may show considerable colour variations, so selected garden varieties are usually increased either by careful division in the spring or by root cuttings in winter or early spring.

Galega (Goat’s rue) Rather rampant plants worth growing for the freedom with which they flower most of the summer. All make big bushy plants 4 or 5 ft (1-25 to 1-5111) high and produce little clusters of pea-type flowers which are mauve in Galega offici-nali.s, pale blue in its variety hartlandii, and pinkish-lilac in Lady Wilson.

All will grow in almost any soil and place. And can be very easily increased by division in spring or autumn.

Geranium (Cranesbill) These plants are quite different from the brilliant scarlet or pink ‘geraniums* which are used for display-outdoors and are removed to a greenhouse in winter. These bedding geraniums are not, in fact, true geraniums at all, but pelargoniums, a related genus. The true geraniums are hardy plants mostly with blue, purple or crimson flowers. Geranium John-son’s Blue with blue flowers is one of the best for the border. It grows 18 in (45 cm) high and flowers in summer. So does G. pratense which has a very attractive variety named fiore plena, with double lavender-blue flowers. G. endressii, 18 in (45cm) high. Has pink flowers all summer. G. phaeuni, 2 ft (60cm) high, is called mourning widow because of its almost black flowers; G. armenum, similar in height, is vivid magenta, and G. macrorrhizuni makes wide, low mounds of scented leaves which make excellent ground cover, and has small pink flowers in late spring. There are numerous other kinds. All grow readily in any reasonable soil and like an open, sunny place. G. pratense is particularly good on chalk. All can be increased by division in spring or autumn.

German catchfly. See Lychnis

Gcum Easily grown plants with an excep-tionally long flowering season. The border geums are mostly varieties of Geum chilo-en.se which has bright scarlet flowers on 2-ft (60-cm) stems all summer. Garden varieties of this differ in having larger, semi-double flowers, scarlet in Mrs Bradshaw, yellow in Lady Stralheden, and coppery orange in Fire Opal. G. borisii is a smaller hybrid, 1 ft (30cm) high with single orange-red flowers. All like well-drained soils and warm. Sunny positions. They can be raised from seed sown in a frame or greenhouse in spring and some strains of seed give remark-ably uniform seedlings. Nevertheless, to keep selected garden varieties absolutely true to type they must be increased by division, best done in spring.

Globe flower, see Trollius

Globe thistle, see Echinops

Goat’s beard, see Aruncus

Goat’s rue, see Galega

Golden drops, see Oenothera

Golden marguerite, see Anthemis

Golden rod, see Solidago

Gypsophila Some kinds of gypsophila are annuals or rock plants, but one, Gypsophila paniculata, is a hardy herbaceous perennial which makes a big dome-shaped plant 3 ft (im) high, with slender but stiff stems, narrow grey-green leaves and clouds of tiny white flowers from mid to late summer. Some varieties have little double flowers, one of the best being Bristol Fairy. There are also pale pink varieties such as Rosy Veil, single, and Flamingo, double, but these are weaker and more sprawling in habit. All have long tap roots and should be disturbed as little as possible.

They will grow in any reasonably well-drained soil and sunny place but prefer chalky soils. The single-flowered kinds can be raised from seeds though there may be some colour variation in seedlings. Doubles are usually grafted on to roots of single-flowered seedlings though they can also be grown from summer cuttings in a frame or propagator.

Helenium These are easily grown plants with clusters of broad-petalled, daisy-type flowers very freely produced from midsummer to early autumn. The colour range is from yellow to wallflower red, often with one colour splashed on the other. Good varieties of Helenium autumnale are pumilum magni-ficum, yellow, 3 ft (1 m); Madame Canivet. Yellow and bronze, 3ft (im); Moerheim Beauty, wallflower red, 4ft (1-251×1), and Riverton Gem, yellow splashed bronze-red, 5 ft (1-5111). All will grow in almost any soil and reasonably open place and can be increased by division in spring or autumn.

Helianthus (Sunflower) There are annual as well as perennial sunflowers and the latter are excellent plants for the middle or back of the border. Among the best are Loddon Gold. 5 ft (1-5 m) high with large, double, golden-yellow flowers in mid to late summer; maximus, 4ft (1-25111) high with single yellow flowers in late summer, and Monarch. 7 ft (2-25 m) high with large, deep yellow. Black-centred flowers in early autumn. With the exception of Monarch, which needs well-drained soil and a warm, sunny position, all are very easy to grow in almost any soil and place. They can be increased by division in spring or autumn.

Heliopsis These vigorous plants closely resemble sunflowers and have similar showy yellow flowers from mid to late summer. Heliopsis scabra has provided some of the best varieties such as Loddon Plume and incomparabiliSyboth’with deep yellow double flowers on 3- to 4-ft stems. There are several more of similar appearance.

All are easily grown in practically any soil and an open, fairly sunny place and are increased by division in spring or autumn.

Hellebore, see Helleborus

Helleborus (Christmas rose, Lenten rose, hellebore) All the hellebores are early-flowering plants, some varieties of the Christmas rose, Helleborus niger, opening their white- or red-spotted, saucer-shaped flowers in winter, and the latest of the family, the Lenten rose, /-/. orienialis, starting a month or so later and continuing in bloom right through the spring. There are many varieties of the Lenten rose, with flowers varying from white and pale pink to deep maroon, and they are a little longer stemmed than those of the Christmas rose, about 18in (45cm) against the 12-in (30-cm) average of H. niger. Even larger is the Corsican hellebore, H. corsicus, 3 ft (im) high with handsome, deeply divided leaves and large clusters of pale green flowers in late winter.

All like good soil and cool, shady places. They can be raised from seed sown in spring but it may be several years before the seedlings flower. Plants can be carefully divided after flowering but hellebores do not like disturbance and it may be a year or so before they settle down again into free and regular flowering.

Hemerocallis (Day lily) These are very easily

grown plants with lily-like flowers which individually last only one day but are produced freely in succession from mid-summer for several weeks. The flowers are produced in clusters on stems 2 to 3 ft (60cm to 1 m) long and the colour range is from lemon yellow, through orange to deep mahogany crimson.

All will grow in practically any soil and sunny or partly shaded position, and can be increased by division in spring or autumn or by seed in sp1 ing, though seedlings are likely to vary in colour.

Heuehera (Coral bells) These plants, mainly derived from Heuchera sanguined, make low mounds of rounded leaves from which the loose sprays of small white, pink or red flowers grow on slender stems from midsummer onwards for several weeks. There are numerous garden varieties such as Bressingham Hybrids in mixed colours; Pluie de Feu, coral red, and Scintillation, pink, all about 2 ft (60cm) high. Heuchera tiarelloides, white, is only 1 ft (30cm) high and llowers in early summer.

All will grow in any reasonable soil and in sun or partial shade, and all can be increased by division in spring or autumn.

Himalayan poppy, see Meconopsis

Hosta (Plantain lily) These plants are grown primarily for their large and very handsome leaves, though in some kinds the spikes of tubular flowers are quite attractive. Hosta sieboldkma has broad blue-grey leaves and white flowers. II. Imdulata has wavy leaves, which are light green splashed with white. H. lancifolia has narrower leaves, and deep lilac flowers. planiaginea, with broad yellowish-green leaves and white llowers on 2-l-ft (75-cm) stems is the most showy in bloom. H. fort unci has blue-green leaves and blue-mauve (lowers and has several good varieties including one oddly named albo picta with leaves that are pale green edged with deep green.

All will thrive in sun or shade in practically any soil, but are seen at their best in fairly rich, slightly moist soils. They can be increased by division in spring or autumn.

Incarvillea Remarkable plants with showy trumpet flowers similar in shape to those of the greenhouse gloxinias. They are quite hardy and the tuberous roots should be planted in a sunny place in rather rich, but well-drained soil. Incarvillea delavayi has rosy-red flowers and is 2ft (60cm) high; /. grandij/ora is deeper in colour and shorter, and Bees Pink is shell pink. Ail flower in early summer and can be increased by careful division in the spring.

Inula Plants with large, yellow daisy flowers produced for long periods in summer. Inula ensifolia makes a bushy little plant no more than 9in (23cm) high: /. orientalis, also known as /. glandulosa, is 2 ft (60cm) high, as is the orange-yellow /. royleana, and /. helenium as much as 5 ft (1-5111).

All are hardy and easily grown in any reasonable soil and an open position. Increase is by division in spring or autumn.

Iris The popular bearded, or German irises, have fleshy, root-like stems known as rhizomes, which lie flat on the surface of the ground. From these grow the sword-shaped leaves and, in late spring or early summer, the flower stems, which vary in height from 2 to 5 ft (60cm to 25 m). The flowers have a wide colour range including many shades of blue, yellow, orange, copper bronze, and purple. These fine irises will grow in almost any soil but they particularly like chalky soils which have been well cultivated. They will survive in shade but are seen at their best in full sun. All can be increased by division in spring or autumn or, belter still, immediately after flowering about mid-summer.

The Siberian iris, Irissibirica, also flowers in early summer but is a more elegant plant which makes clumps of long narrow leaves and carries its flowers on slender stems 3 to 4ft (1 to 1 -25 m) high. These flowers, individually smaller than those of the German iris, may be white, lavender blue, or violet purple. This iris will grow almost anywhere but is particularly happy near water. It can be divided in spring or autumn. There are also dwarf spring-flowering irises which can be planted at the front of a border. They are known as Crimean irises and are varieties of /. chamaeiris. They are about I ft (30cm) in height and colours range from white, lemon and lavender to deep yellow and purple. They like similar conditions to the German iris and can be divided in spring or autumn.

Jacob’s ladder, see Polemonium

Jerusalem cross, see Lychnis

Kaffir lily, see Schizostylis

Kniphofia (Red-hot poker, torch lily) Many kinds of kniphofia really do produce flower spikes that justify the popular name, red-hot poker. In K. uvaria, the commonest kind, they are scarlet and yellow, carried on stout bare stems 4ft (1-25111) high. They are at their best from mid- to late summer. Others, while having the typical poker shape, are not red. In K. galpinii they are orange and carried on quite slender stems only about 2ft(6ocm)high. In Maid of Orleans they are creamy white on 3-ft (1 m) stems, and this fine variety continues to flower from midsummer to autumn. There are tall varieties of kniphofia, up to 7 ft (2-25111) high, and one very popular variety, named Royal Standard, which has red and yellow flower spikes on 5-ft (1-5-111) stems, blooms about a month earlier than those of K. uvaria.

All like fairly rich soils, well drained in winter, but not dry while the flower spikes are forming in summer. They should be given a sunny place. All can be increased by division in spring or autumn.

Knotweed, see Polygonum

Lady’s mantle, see Alchemilla

Lamium (Dead nettle) The common dead nettle is a pretty but troublesome weed but Lamium maculatum is a useful carpeting plant for the front of a bed or border or for covering rough banks or the ground between shrubs. It is only about 9 in (23 cm) high but spreads indefinitely, and it has little reddish-purple flowers produced most of the year, and dark green, nettle-shaped leaves, each with a broad creamy-white stripe down the middle. It will grow anywhere and can be increased by division at practically any time. A yellow-leaved variety named aureum is attractive but less vigorous.

Large-leaved saxifrage, see Bergenia

Lathyrus (Everlasting pea) Lathyrus lati-folius is a climber, allied to the sweet pea, which dies down each autumn but shoots up again in the spring from fleshy roots. The flowers are produced from mid-summer onwards and are smaller than those of the sweet pea and not scented. They may be white, pink or rosy red.

It is very easily grown in almost any soil and sunny position and can be increased by seed sown in spring outdoors or in a frame. But seedlings may differ somewhat in colour or quality of flower, so specially selected forms are increased by careful division in spring.

Lenten rose, see Hcllcborus

Leopard’s bane, see Doronicum

Liatris The reddish-purple flowers of these plants are borne in mid- and late summer in stilT, narrow spikes, a peculiarity being that they start to open from the top downwards. There are several kinds, such as Liatris spicata, L. callilepis, and L. pycnostachya, but they do not difler greatly in appearance. A particularly attractive garden variety named Cobald has deeper purple flowers.

All are 2 to 3 ft (60cm to 1 in) high and thrive in sunny places and soils containing enough humus to ensure that they do not dry out rapidly in hot weather. The tuberous roots should be planted in spring so that they are just covered with soil. Plants can be increased by careful division in spring.

Ligularia These sturdy plants with yellow daisy flowers in summer were at one time called senecio and are still listed under that name in some nursery catalogues. Ligularia clivorum carries its very large flowers erect in open clusters on stout 3-ft (1 m) stems, whereas in L. przcwal.skii the flowers are smaller and crowded on a narrow, tapering spike 4 ft (1-25111) high. Both will grow in ordinary soil, but L. przewalskii prefers rather moist soil. There are several selected varieties of L. clivorum including Des-demona with purplish leaves and stems.

All will thrive in sun or partial shade and can be increased by division in spring or summer.

Lily of the valley, see Convallaria

Limonium (Statice) Some kinds of limonium are annuals which must be renewed from seed every year but there are also good perennial kinds of which the best for the garden is Limonium latifolium. It grows 2 ft (6ocm) high and in late summer produces big, spreading sprays of tiny lavender flowers. These sprays may be cut and dried for winter decoration.

This limonium thrives in sunny places and well-drained soils. It is increased by root cuttings in winter or early spring, or by seed in spring.

Linaria (Toadflax) Some kinds of linaria are annuals to be renewed each year from seed, and some are rock garden plants, but there is also one good hardy border plant, Linaria purpurea. It has very narrow leaves and produces slender spikes of purple or pinkish flowers, 3 to 4ft (1 to 1-25111) high. Throughout the summer. It will grow almost anywhere and often seeds itself about in warm, sunny places. Plants can be divided in spring or autumn.

Lobelia The most familiar lobelias, the creeping blue-flowered kinds, are summer bedding plants too tender to live outdoors in winter, but there are other very different kinds which are reasonably hardy and are good plants for the border. Lobelia fulgens has vivid scarlet flowers carried on 3-fl (1 m) long, slender spikes in late summer and early autumn, and beetroot-red leaves. L. vedrariensis, has violet-blue flowers in more crowded spikes produced over an equally long period of time.

Both thrive in good rich soils, well drained in winter. They may not prove fully hardy in cold districts or on wet soils and are then best lifted in autumn and removed to a frame or greenhouse for the winter. They are very easily increased by division in the spring.

Loosestrife, see Lysimachia and Lythrum

Lungwort, see Pulmonaria

Lupin, see Lupinus

Lupinus (Lupin) The border lupins are all varieties of Lupinus polyphyllus, a splendid early summer-flowering plant with stout spikes of flowers on 4-ft (1-25-111) stems and in a wide variety of colours. The finest kinds are known as Russell lupins because they were first raised by Mr George Russell of York. The flower spikes of these are more solidly filled with bloom than those of the older types of lupin and they are often in two contrasted colours.

Lupins like well-drained soils and sunny places and they do not thrive well on chalk or lime, on which their leaves tend to turn yellow and die ofT. They are seldom long-lived plants and need to be frequently renewed, either from seed sown in spring or early summer or from cuttings taken in the spring. Seedlings are likely to vary in colour, but plants from cuttings reproduce exactly the characteristics of their parents.

Lychnis (Maltese cross, Jerusalem cross, rose campion, German catchfly) There are many different kinds of lychnis and not all are hardy perennials. Lychnis chalcedonica is the Maltese cross or Jerusalem cross, a striking plant with greyish leaves and stiffly erect 2-ft (60-cm) stems carrying heads of vivid scarlet flowers in early summer. L. coronaria is the rose campion, sometimes known as agrostemma, similar in height to the last but more branched, with even greyer leaves and magenta-crimson flowers in early summer. L. viscaria is the German catchfly, a plant 18 in (45 cm) high with rose-carmine flowers in late spring and early summer. It has a double-flowered form, known as splendens plena, which is even better.

All these kinds like sunny places and well-drained soils. L. chalcedonica and L. coronaria are readily raised from seed and often seed themselves about so freely as to become a nuisance. L. viscaria splendens plena is increased by division, in the spring.

Lysiniachia (Loosestrife) There are several different kinds of lysiniachia for the border and most have erect spikes of yellow flowers in early summer. In Lysimachia vulgaris these spikes are stiff and narrow, in /_. punctata they are looser and more graceful. Both kinds are 3 ft (1 m) high and will grow in almost any soil and situation. A kind that needs a little more care and should be given a sunny position and well-drained soil is L. clethroides with short spikes of white flowers in late summer. All can easily be increased by division in either spring or autumn.

Lythrum (Purple loosestrife) These plants are as easily grown as the yellow loosestrifes or lysimachia, but they have slender 3-ft (1 m) spikes of magenta flowers around mid-summer. The two best kinds are Lythrum salicaria, about 4 ft (1-25111) high, and L. virgatum, 2 to 3 ft (75 cm to 1 m). Both have improved garden varieties with brighter, purer colours. They can be increased by division in either spring or autumn.

Macleaya (Plume poppy) The plant correctly known as Macleaya cordata is. In gardens, more usually called by its old name Bocconia cordata. It is grown for its large. Almost circular, greyish leaves and tall sprays of small buff-coloured flowers in late summer. It will grow in any reasonable soil and sunny position and can be increased by division in spring.

Maltese cross, see Lychnis

Marguerite. Golden, see Anthemis

Meadow rue, see Thalictrum

Meconopsis (Himalayan poppy, Welsh poppy) Although the various kinds of meconopsis are all herbaceous plants, by no means all are perennials and very few fit comfortably into the ordinary herbaceous border or bed. They demand special conditions and need to be grown in specially prepared places. Most must be frequently, even annually, renewed from seed, and at least one, Meconopsis cambrica, docs this for itself so freely and easily that it can become a nuisance. Yet the family is well worth persisting with for it contains some plants of quite exceptional beauty. The best known of these is the Himalayan poppy, M. betonicifolia. With sky-blue flowers on 3-ft (1 m) stems in early summer. It is readily raised from seed sown in a frame or cool greenhouse in sandy peat in spring. The seedlings must be planted out in a partially shaded place in deep, well-drained but not dry soil, containing plenty of peat or leaf mould. They will flower in their second year and may prove impermanent thereafter, particularly if they get too dry in summer or too wet in winter. M. grandis is similar with finer flowers.

There are other interesting kinds requiring similar treatment, notably the Chinese yellow poppy, M. integrifolia, 3 ft (1 m) high with large primrose-yellow flowers, and the Nepal poppy. M. napaulensis, which has handsome leaves clothed in tawny hairs and flowers which may be anything from a rather washy mauve to a glorious rose. Both flower in early summer, and as M. integrifolia invariably dies after flowering, a fresh stock of it must be raised annually from seed.

The Welsh poppy. M. cambrica, is a perennial about 1 ft (30cm) high with yellow or orange flowers in summer. It likes cool, partially shaded places such as light woodland but is not fussy about soil and is one of the easiest kinds to grow.

Michaelmas daisy, see Aster

Milfoil, see Achillea

Monarda These easily grown plants bear clusters of scarlet, pink, mauve or purple flowers in mid- and late summer, and their abundant leaves are aromatic. There are numerous varieties, mostly of Monarda didyma. And these include Cambridge Scarlet. Bright scarlet; Croftway Pink, pale pink. And Blue Stocking, violet purple. All are about 3 ft (im) high, spread quite rapidly and will thrive in practically any soil and a reasonably open position. They are readily increased by division in spring or autumn.

Monkshood, see Aconitum

Moon daisy, see Chrysanthemum

Mullein, see Verbascum

Nepcta (Catmint) Free-flowering plants for the front of the border or bed. The commonest kind is Nepeta faassenii which has slender 15-in (38-cm) spikes of lavender-blue flowers all the summer. Six Hills Giant is taller and may reach 3 ft (1 m) in good soil. Both have pleasantly aromatic leaves.

They like well-drained soils and sunny places, and in wet soil may rot away in winter but otherwise are perfectly hardy. If they are cut back each spring to within a few inches of ground level the habit is improved. Spring is the best season for planting and plants can then be divided.

Obedient plant, see Physostegia

Oenothera (Evening primrose, golden drops) The commonest evening primrose is a British wild plant which should only be admitted to the rougher parts of a garden as it is apt to seed itself about too freely. Especially in light, sandy soils. It has pale primrose flowers, individually short-lived, but produced in succession in summer. It flowers in the second year from seed and dies thereafter so that it is necessary to raise it afresh from seed every year.

Far better as garden plants are the varieties associated with Oenotherafruticosa and O. tetragona, both good perennials. 18 to 24in (45 to 60cm) high, bearing a profusion of bright yellow flowers in late summer. Fireworks, with red buds, is particularly showy.

A useful sprawling kind for the front of the border is O. missouriensis. It has big lemon-yellow flowers in late summer and early autumn.

All like well-drained soils and sunny places and can be increased by seed sown in spring or early summer or, the perennial kinds, by division in spring.

Omphalodes (Creeping forget-me-not. Blue-eyed Mary) Some kinds are rock plants but Omphalodes verna is a sprawling herbaceous plant with rather coarse, rounded leaves and loose sprays of small blue flowers, like forget-me-nots, in spring. It will grow practically anywhere, in sun or shade, and is a useful carpeting plant for the border or shrubbery. It is easily increased by division in spring or autumn.

Paeonia (Peony) There are both herbaceous and shrubby peonies; the two most familiar herbaceous kinds are the common peony. Paeonia officinalis, which has crimson. Pink or white flowers, usually very full and double, in late spring, and the Chinese peony. P. albiflora, which is at its best a week or so later in early summer and has a wide range of colours and flower forms. There are single-flowered varieties, semi-doubles and full doubles and colours go all the way from white and delicate pink, through deeper pink, salmon pinks, rose and scarlet to intense crimson. All are fragrant. Both the common and the Chinese peony are about 3 ft (I m) high.

They like reasonably good soils and sunny places, can be planted in spring or early autumn and are increased by careful division when transplanting but should be left undisturbed as long as possible as they are often rather slow to re-establish themselves. Quality of flowers is improved if a little well-rotted manure or garden compost is spread around the plants each spring.

Pampas grass, see Cortaderia

Papaver (Poppy) Many of the poppies are annuals or biennials but the Oriental poppy, Papaver orientate, is a true hardy herbaceous perennial which will live for years in light soils, though it may prove impermanent where drainage is poor in winter. The flowers are very large and showy. Scarlet, pink or white, carried on 2i-ft (75-cm) stems in early summer.

This poppy likes a sunny place and is readily raised from seed sown in spring, but seedlings often vary in colour from their parents, so selected garden varieties are increased by root cuttings in spring or early autumn.

Pearly everlasting, see Anaphalis

Penstemon On the whole these are not very hardy plants but they are very readily grown from summer cuttings and so, in cold districts, it is best to root some cuttings in a frame late each summer and over-winter them in the frame in case the outdoor parent plants die. Penstemons carry their showy tubular flowers in spikes and continue to flower from mid-summer until autumn. Penstemon heterophyllus makes a bushy plant 1 ft (30cm) high and has blue flowers; it is one of the hardiest. Garnet is a larger plant, to 2 ft (60 cm). with deep red flowers: Evelyn is similar but pink and Mydleton Gem is carmine. There are many more and, if seed of Penstemon gloxinioides

is purchased, a variety of colours will be obtained. Selected varieties must be grown from cuttings. All like good, well-drained soil and warm, sunny places.

Peony, see Paeonia

Peruvian lily, see Alstroemeria

Phlox The herbaceous phlox is one of the most popular of summer-flowering plants. It flowers in the latter part of the summer and carries its sweetly scented flowers in large, more or less conical heads. There are a great many varieties ranging in height from 1 to 4 ft (30cm to 1 -25 m). and in colour from white, palest pink and mauve to vivid scarlet, crimson and deep purple.

All are easily grown in almost any soil, though the quality of the flowers is best in moderately rich soil. Plants will thrive in full sun or partial shade and can be planted in spring or autumn. Increase is by division at planting time or by root cuttings in winter or spring.

The phlox is sometimes attacked by eel-worms which make the stems gouty and the leaves narrow and distorted. As the eel-worms live in the upper parts of the plant it is often possible to raise a clean stock from infected plants by taking root cuttings, but the resultant plants should be given a new place or they will soon become re-infested.

Phygelius (Cape fuchsia) There is a curious upside-down look about the curved orange-red flowers of this uncommon hardy plant. In the open it grows about 4 ft (1-25111) high but against a wall it will often behave like a climber, and ascend to a height of 7 or 8 ft (225 to 25m). The flowers come in late summer and early autumn.

The Cape fuchsia likes a warm, sunny spot and well-drained soil. It is increased by division in the spring.

Physalis (Cape gooseberry. Chinese lantern) These plants are grown for the decorative effect of their orange berries enclosed in an orange bladder which, as it ripens, becomes net-like so that the berry is seen like a light in a lantern. There are several kinds, but the best is Physalis alkekengi which is often listed in nursery catalogues as P.franchetii. It grows 2 ft (60cm) high, has white flowers in summer and likes good, well-drained soil and a warm, sunny position. It is increased by division in the spring.

Physostegia (False dragonhead, obedient plant) Physostegia virginiana is sometimes called the obedient plant because its rose-coloured tubular flowers, which stand out from the flower stems to form short spikes, can be moved from side to side as though on a hinge and will stay where they are put. The common form is 4 ft (125 m) high and inclined to be untidy, but there is a much better dwarf form, known as Vivid, only 1 ft (30cm) high with bright rosy-red flowers. Both tall and short kinds flower in early autumn, will grow in any reasonable soil and open position and can be easily divided.

Pink, see Dianthus

Plantain lily, see Hosta

Platycodon (Balloon flower) The popular name of this unusual plant refers to the flower buds which look like small inflated balloons. They expand into showy, bell-shaped, light blue or white flowers like those of some campanulas. The flowering season is late summer and the height of Platycodon grandifiorum is 18 in (45 cm), but there is a lower growing, blue-flowered variety named mariesii which is only 9in (23cm) high.

All like sunny places and fairly rich but reasonably well-drained soils. They can be increased by division in spring.

Plume poppy, see Macleaya

Polemonium (Jacob’s ladder) This pretty plant gets its popular name from the laddered appearance of its elegant, ferny leaves. The light blue or white flowers are borne in 18-111 (45-cm) spikes in early summer.

The plant will thrive in sun or shade in almost any soil. It is easily increased by division in spring or autumn or by seed in spring or early summer: indeed it often seeds itself about so freely that it has to be thinned out rather than further increased.

Polygonatum (Solomon’s seal) Graceful plants which will grow in quite densely shaded places as well as in more open situations. The creamy-white tubular tlowers hang along the upper half of the arching stems in late spring and early summer. There are two kinds, Polygonatum officinale and P. multiflorwn, both 2 to 3 ft (60 cm to 1 m) high, but the latter has the larger flowers and is the better garden plant.

They will thrive in any reasonable soil and can be increased by division of the fleshy roots in spring or autumn.

Polygonum (Bistort, knotwecd) Some of the polygonums spread so rapidly by under-ground stems that they soon become a nuisance but this is not true of the bistort. Polygonum bistorta, a plant which makes a dense carpet of growth from which arise, in late summer, slender 2-ft (60-cm) stems terminating in short spikes of pink flowers. A more decorative variety, known as superbum, has deeper rose Bowers. Another good kind is P. campanulatum which spreads rapidly over the surface, has greyish-green leaves and branching sprays of blush pink flowers in late summer and early autumn.

Both kinds like rather moist soils and will grow in sunny or partially shady places. They are very easily increased by division.

Poppy, see Papaver

Poppy. Himalayan, see Meconopsis

Poppy, Welsh, see Meconopsis

Potcntilla Some potentillas are shrubs and some are rock plants but the numerous varieties and hybrids of Potentilla atro-sanguinea are very showy herbaceous plants for the front or middle of the border. They range in height from the sprawling, foot-higli Gibson’s Scarlet, with brilliant scarlet flowers, and P. nepalensis Miss Willmot. Cherry rose, smaller flowered but very showy, to the 2-ft (60-cm), orange-flame William Rollison.

All flower most of the summer, enjoy sunny places, are not fussy about soil and are increased by division in spring or autumn.

I Mil m<m:I ria (Lungwort) These plants make low clumps of leaves which in some kinds are handsomely spotted with pale green or silver. In early spring they produce clusters of small flowers on 9-in (23-cm) stems, blue in the case of Puhnonaria august(folia, pink or rose changing to purple in P. saccharata, which has the most heavily silver-spotted foliage, brick red in P. rubra. A particularly good variety of P. angustifo/ia is named Munstead Blue.

All are very easily grown in almost any soil and sunny or shady position, and all can be increased by division in spring or autumn.

Purple coneflower, see Echinacea

Purple loosestrife, see Lythrum

Pyrethrum Plants making clumps of ferny leaves from which, in early summer, grow 2-ft (60-cm) stems, each terminated by a large daisy-type flower which may be single or double, white, pink, rose, scarlet or crimson. They are first class for cutting and also make a good display in the garden.

They like good, well-drained soils and sometimes prove impermanent in ground that lies wet in winter. They can be planted in spring or in summer immediately after flowering and are increased by division when planting.

Red-hot poker, see Kniphofia

Red valerian, see Centranthus

Rodgersia Plants with handsome bronzy leaves, often deeply divided like those of a horse chestnut, and branching sprays, 3 to 4 ft (1 to 1-25 m) high, of small flowers around mid-summer. These flowers are pink in Rodgersiapinnata and R. aesculifolia and white in R. tabularis.

They all like damp soil but will also grow-in ordinary soil provided it contains enough humus to prevent it drying out badly in summer. They will grow in sun or partial shade. Divide in spring or autumn.

Rose campion, see Lychnis

Rudbeckia (Coneflower) These plants belong to the daisy family and have big yellow flowers rather like sunflowers but in some kinds the central disk is raised and cone-shaped. This characteristic is particularly well marked in the popular variety Herb-stsonne, which grows 7 ft (2-25111) high and has lemon-yellow, green-coned flowers. Golden Glow, which is even taller, has double flowers of similar colour, but Gold-sturm is only 3 ft (1 m) high, and has a black. Nearly fiat central disk to its orange-yellow flowers. All flower in late summer and early autumn.

They like sunny places and will grow in practically any soil. They can be increased by division in spring or autumn.

Sage, see Salvia

St Bernard’s lily, see Anthericum

Salvia (Sage, clary) The scarlet salvia is a tender betiding plant and the common sage is a sub-shrub, but there are other kinds of salvia which are hardy herbaceous perennials. One of the best of these is Salvia superba, a bushy plant, 3 ft (1 m) high, with slender violet-blue flower spikes in late summer. There are shorter varieties, one named Lubeca, 2ft (60cm) high, another named East Friesland, only 1 ft (45cm). All are easily grown in any reasonable soil and open place and are increased by division in the spring or autumn.

The clary, S. sclarea, grows 3 to 4 ft (1 to 1-25111) high and has large leaves and spikes of mauve or lilac flowers in mid-summer. A variety with finer flowers is named turkestanica, but neither this nor the ordinary form are very long lived and they are usually treated as biennials to be raised each year from seed sown in late spring. Allowed to flower the following year and then discarded.

Salvia patens has tuberous roots and gentian-blue flowers on 3-ft (1 m) spikes in late summer, but it is not very hardy and in cold places or on poorly drained soils it is best to place the roots in a greenhouse or frame each autumn and leave them there until the spring.

Saxifrage, Large-leaved, see Bergenia

Scabiosa (Scabious) The sweet-scented sca-bious is an annual, but the Caucasian scabious, Scabiosa caucasica, is a useful perennial for well-drained or chalky soils. Its flowers are blue or white, produced continuously from mid-summer to autumn on 2^-ft (75-cm) stems which are ideal for cutting. It likes open, sunny places and can be increased by careful division in spring. Which is also the best planting season.

Scabious, see Scabiosa

Schizostylis (Kaffir lily) This is a plant that creeps about by stems (or stolons) just beneath the surface so that, in a favourable warm, sunny place and well-drained but not too dry soil, a few plants will soon form a sizeable colony. The leaves are narrow and the flowers are borne in erect spikes 1 to ii ft (30 to 45 cm) high all autumn and well into the winter if the weather is mild. The common form is scarlet but there are also pink varieties of which the best is Viscountess Byng. Schizostylis coccinea (its full botanical name) should be planted in spring and is easily increased by division when replanting.

Sea holly, see Eryngium

Sedum (Stonecrop) Most of the slonecrops are rock garden plants but a few are sufficiently tall for the herbaceous border or bed. Seclitin spectabile is a particularly useful plant with fleshy grey-green leaves and large flat heads of small pink flowers on 18-in (45-cm) stems in late summer and early autumn. S. telephium is similar in habit but duller in colour but the hybrid between this and S. spectabile, named Autumn Joy, is an excellent plant with large, flat heads of salmon-pink flowers deepening to bronze red as they age. S. maximum is taller, about 2 ft (60cm), with greenish-yellow flowers in late summer. This is not a very good plant but it has an attractive variety named purpureum with reddish-purple leaves.

All like sunny places and will thrive in any reasonably well-drained soil. They can be increased by division in spring or autumn.

Shasta daisy, see Chrysanthemum

Sidalcea These plants are grown for their long, slender spikes of pink, mallow-like flowers in the latter half of the summer. There are numerous varieties and as the plants set seed freely and this often comes up of its own accord all over the place, giving seedlings of slightly varying height and colour, it is easy to raise more varieties at home. Heights range from 2 to 5 ft (60cm to 1 -5 m), colours from pale silvery-pink to rosy-carmine.

Sidalceas will grow in almost any soil and reasonably open place and can be increased by division in spring or autumn or by seed sown in spring.

Soapwort, see Saponaria

Solidago (Golden rod) Very easily grown plants with branching sprays of tiny yellow flowers in late summer and early autumn. There are numerous varieties differing in height and shade of yellow; Tom Thumb. Deep yellow, lift (45cm); Goldenmosa, light yellow. 3 ft (1 m), and Golden Wings, bright yellow, 5 to 6ft (1-5 to 2m).

All will grow in practically any soil and open or partially shaded place and can be increased by division in spring or summer. Self-sown seedlings often appear freely but may be inferior to their parents.

Solomon’s seal, see Polygonatum

Spiderwort, see Tradescantia

Spiraea, see Aruncus, Astilbe and Filipcndula

Spurge, see Euphorbia

Stachys (Lamb’s ear) Stachys lanata is a plant with leaves so densely covered with silky grey hairs that they feel soft and woolly like an animal’s coat. Purplish flowers are produced on 18-in (45-cm) stems in early summer but they add nothing to the beauty of the plant. A variety named Silver Carpel has actually been introduced which never flowers and this is considered an advantage. This stachys can be grown anywhere and is increased by division at any time.

Statice. See Limonium

Stokesia The aster-like flowers of Stokesia laevis come in early autumn and are produced on a plant 1 ft (30cm) high, very suitable for the front of a border or bed. The flowers may be lavender, lilac or light blue. It is a plant which likes a sunny place and well-drained soil. Divide in spring.

Stonecrop. See Sedum

Sunflower, see Helianthus

Thalictrum (Meadow rue) Very elegant plants, the foliage of which is small and fern like, the flowers carried in loose sprays or little fluffy heads. The loveliest is Thalictrum dipterocarpwn, 5 to 6 ft (1-5 to 2m) high, with nodding lilac and yellow flowers produced in open sprays in the latter half of summer. There is a good double-flowered form known as Hewitt’s Double. Thalictrum glaucum is 4 ft (1-25111) tall, has grey-green leaves and pale yellow flowers at mid-summer. T. aquilegifolium is about 3 ft (1 m) high and has fluffy purple flowers in late spring. T. adiantifolium is no more than 14 ft (45 cm), has greenish-yellow flowers in summer and leaves like maidenhair fern.

All like reasonably good well-drained soils and sunny places. A little shelter is desirable for T. clipterocarpum. Most can be increased by division in spring but ‘ T. dipterocarpum is best raised from seed in spring.

Thrift, see Armeria

Toadflax, see Linaria

Tradescantia (Spiderwort) The flowers of the spiderwort are unusual in having only three petals. They are produced on 2-ft (60-cm) stems in continuous succession throughout the summer. The common kind, Tradescantia virginiana, has blue flowers, but there are several garden varieties such as J. C. Weguelin, lavender blue; Osprey, white and blue, and rubra, rosy red. All are easily grown in almost any soil and place and can be increased by division in spring or autumn.

Trollius (Globe flower) The flowers are like very large, unusually globular buttercups and those of Trollius europacus come in late spring before the main flush of hardy plants. They are lemon yellow and carried on 2-ft (60-cm) stems. T. ledebourii flowers a month later in early summer and has more open orange flowers on 2!-ft (75-cm) stems. There are also numerous hybrids with names like Earliest of All, Golden Queen and Orange Princess, which adequately describe their particular qualities.

All like good, rich, rather moist soils and will grow in either sunny or partially shaded places. They can be increased by division in spring or autumn.

Valerian, Red, see Ccntranthus

Verbascum (Mullein) Some mulleins are impermanent and must be renewed annually from seed, but a few are perennials, though even these may not live for many years. All are grown for their rosettes of large, handsome leaves and tall, narrow spikes of flowers. Some kinds, such as Verbascum thapsus and V. Broussa, have their leaves and stems densely clothed in silvery hairs which is an additional attraction to their yellow flowers. Both these are biennials and should be renewed annually by seed sown in late spring, to give flowering plants the following year. One of the smallest is V. phoeniceum, a good perennial with 2-ft (60-cm) spikes of purple flowers in early summer. Good perennial varieties of medium height, 3 to 4 ft (1 to 1-25111), and summer flowering are Gainsborough, lemon; Cotswold Beauty, amber; Pink Domino, mauve pink, and Cotswold Queen, bronze.

All like well-drained soils and sunny places and the perennial garden varieties are increased by root cuttings in winter or spring.

Verbena Most verbenas are more or less tender bedding plants, often treated as annuals, but there are two good perennial kinds for the herbaceous border or bed. Verbena rigkla (also known as V. venosa) produces [-ft (30-cm) spikes of purple flowers in late summer and V. bonariensis is a taller plant of open, rather gaunt habit with clusters of small purple flowers in late summer and early autumn.

Both like well-drained soils and warm, sunny places. They are increased by division or seed in spring.

Veronica Many kinds of veronica are rock plants but there are also some excellent hardy herbaceous perennials all with narrow spikes of flowers. One of the best is Veronica longifolia subsessilis, 18 in (45 cm) high and bearing its violet-blue flowers in late summer. V. incana has grey leaves and foot-high spikes of purple flowers after mid-summer. V. spicala is about 18 in (45 cm) high and has blue, purple or pink flowers throughout the latter half of summer. V. gentianoides is the earliest, producing its spikes of china-blue flowers in May. It has a variety with attractive white-variegated leaves. The tallest kind is V. virginica, with nearly white flowers carried on 6-ft (2-m) spikes in late summer.

All will grow in any reasonable soil and fairly open place. They can be increased by division in spring or autumn.

Wand flower, see Dierama

Welsh poppy, see Meconopsis

Windflower, see Anemone

Yarrow, see Achillea

Yellow loosestrife, see Lysimachia

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