Lathyrus ‘Spencer Mix’ is sweet pea seed blend that includes white and dark flowers, and clear shades of pink, red, lilac and purple.
Sweet peas are sun lovers, but like their roots in cool, moist soil. They are usually grown for cutting: the more assiduously you pick the flowers, the more the plants will produce. Continue reading “Lathyrus odoratus ‘Spencer Mix’”
For most of us, I suspect, hollyhocks are a dream, but what a dream they are!
Ruffled blooms with a hint of crinoline have the old fashioned charm and romance we associate with cottage gardens. The leafy green buds, typical of the mallow family, are decorative too. Continue reading “Cottage Garden Plants: Hollyhocks”
It’s ironic we gardeners are often highly suspicious of plants that have the potential to be really happy and spread in our gardens, whilst lavishing energy, love and concern on ones that only ever hover on the edge of survival. Continue reading “In Praise of Alstroemeria”
I felt like we all might need a treat today – myself included. So I’m sharing a few pictures of delphiniums, one of the best loved cottage garden plants, as part of my pictures for dreaming series. Continue reading “Cottage Garden Flowers: Delphiniums”
Today, I’m offering you a picture to dream over: Clematis ‘Perle d’Azur, Rosa ‘Rêve d’Or’ (the pale apricot climber) and Stachys byzantina with a pink moss rose and papaver at RHS Rosemoor.
Clematis and roses have been planted together in cottage gardens for centuries.
The art of combination planting is to mix plants that will extend the flowering season (just how many buds are there on the moss rose?); be harmonious in colour and contrasting in height and texture (the soft lamb’s ear, the prickly roses) and in flower shape. The lamb’s ear brings its spires; the poppy, cups; the roses are rosettes, and the clematis are single, open flowers. The clematis provides height and a mass of purple-blue, which goes so well with the pastel pinks and apricots. There’s a climbing rose too. For good measure, the roses throw scent into the mix. Continue reading “Classic Combination Planting: Clematis With Roses”
This post about hardy geraniums, popularly called cranesbills, (not the pelargoniums) is the second in my series on companion plants.
What are companion plants?
Companion plants complement the showy ornamentals society loves – roses, peonies, delphiniums and hollyhocks – filling in the gaps in the flower border and helping it flow. They’re pretty enough on their own terms and happy to mingle in, above or below other plants. Good neighbours, they will not compete too aggressively for food, water or space.
Their presence encourages a healthier ecosystem by attracting beneficial insects which is why companion plants are often recommended for kitchen gardens. To find out more about what makes a plant a good companion, check out the first post in the series, on astrantias. Continue reading “Great Companion Plants For a Cottage Garden: Geraniums”