Perennials - A to Z



It’s difficult to say why, but I always feel a touch of joy when I spot an epimedium. These delightful spring flowering plants with delicate flowers and handsome leaves are neither glamorous nor showy.

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(Hardy Geranium) Indispensable, easy to grow and often long-flowering, what more does any gardener want from a plant? We are, of course, talking about hardy geraniums as opposed to the brightly coloured ones grown for summer colour which are pelargoniums.

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Heleniums are also known as Sneezeweed, a name that refers to the unfounded ability to cause hay fever. They seem to have been largely unknown as a garden plant before the end of the 19th century, today they are steadfast favourites of the late summer border.

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Geums are colourful, cheerful and easy-to-grow. The flowers remind me of the strawberry plant; pretty and simply shaped, some produce dangling cup-shaped bells while others raise their heads revealing perfect rosettes.

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Daylilies (Hemerocallis)

This easy-to-grow, extremely tolerant group of plants produces lots of colourful flowers and for those who are just venturing into gardening or have little time Hemerocallis (Daylilies) require almost no attention once planted and are almost impossible to kill.

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Oriental Poppies

Big, blousy, glamorous, fleeting, whatever you feel about Oriental poppies they are hard to ignore. Wonderful for mixing in borders, they produce large, often brightly coloured flowers that bloom from mid May into June.

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Persicaria (also known as Bistort or Knotweed) are handsome, carefree plants that can be divided into two - ones that are big, and ones that are small.

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Potentillas (The Herbaceous Kind)

Potentillas seem to have been forgotten in recent years. Distinctly different to the popular shrubby potentillas they have the same flowers, simple and pretty, but unlike their shrubby cousins they bloom for ages.

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Hardy and easy to grow, Pulmonarias have been grown in gardens for centuries and as a result have many common names. The most familiar is ‘Lungwort’ which refers to an old assumption that it was a cure for lung diseases.

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Sanguisorbas (commonly known as Burnets) are not the sort of plant that immediately leaps into the mind when considering what to grow in the garden. Which is a shame because these tolerant, long flowering hardy perennials are marvellous for creating a ‘see-through’ effect.

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