Of all the shady characters I’d be happy to have in my garden, the lovely, leafy hostas (more commonly known as plantain lilies) surely are at the top of the list. Originally, hostas come from China, Korea and Japan (where they are known as giboshi). In their natural homes they flourish in dappled shade and rich, moist soil. They were first introduced to Europe about 260 years ago, and became an instant hit thanks to the luxuriant nature of their leaves, and the delicacy and fragrance of their lily-like flowers!
I really have lost count of the number of plants I learnt about as a young student gardener, that no longer exist under those names. It has also happened to one of my favourite plants of all time: the Cimicifuga. Now, and forever more, it must be known as Actaea. Regardless of any name-hanging, however, this is a plant I will never be without in my garden!
Who isn’t impressed by a beautiful peony in full bloom? These plants are virtually unrivalled in their ability to bring impact and drama to a garden. Once established, they flourish for decades, bringing large quantities of flamboyant blooms in a magical range of colours, as well as outstanding, often finely cut foliage. And, as I write this, the buds on the peonies in my garden are swelling day-by-day. The excitement I’m feeling about them opening is palpable. In this blog post, I will tell you more about a special group of peonies: Itoh Peonies.
Reliable, resilient and repeating every year – these are just some of the reasons why growing bare root perennials is so satisfying, not to mention their quintessential cottage-garden charm. Returning every year, their ability to make more of an impact each time means that by planting perennials you’re making an investment which will just keep rewarding you for years to come! ↑ Beautiful planting combo of Stachys (Alpine Betony) and Geranium (Cranesbill) Also noteworthy is their typically low-maintenance nature which means you don’t have to make too much of a fuss to get them to do well. The determination of hardy perennials is undeniable, once they’re happy in their place they just keep on giving! Why choose bare root perennials? If...
There are essentially four different types of peony. Keen gardeners may wish to grow some of the wild species, though they are not usually the ones from which the dramatically colourful varieties are derived. There are also woody tree peonies, which have bare winter stems and are better suited to mid-way or the backs of borders. There are also hybrids, that are a cross between the tree peonies and the herbaceous types, which are becoming more popular (see the variety ‘Yellow Crown’, below).