INULA

There are many yellow Daisy-like perennials – some well-known and others unusual like this one. It is a better choice than its popular colleagues when your soil is heavy, the site is partially shaded and you prefer finely-rayed flowers to those with broad petals. It is long-lived and free-flowering, but the clumps should be lifted every 3 years, divided, and then replanted. Apply a mulch in spring and water during dry spells. Cut the stems down to ground level once the flowers have faded.

VARIETIES: There are several varieties in the catalogues but you may have to search to find one at the garden centre. I. Hookeri (height 2ft. Spacing 1.5 ft.

Flowering period: August-September) has 3 in. finely-rayed flowers – the equally large flowers of I. orientalisalso have very slender petals. Thegiant I. Magnifica (6 ft) is more suited to a woodland garden than a herbaceous border – its leaves may be over 3 ft long. Where space is limited grow I. Ensifolia – 2 in. blooms on 1 ft high plants.

SITE AND SOIL: Any reasonable garden soil will do – thrives in sun or partial shade.

PROPAGATION: Divide clumps in autumn or spring.

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