I have been meaning to post about an alternative to summer bedding plants which I know look so appealing in garden centres and other shops at this time of year. But they're not sustainable and can look dare I say ... naff. The problem lies with our need for colour at this time of year when we just have to escape the dullness of a long winter: I prefer using herbaceous plants in shades of green with a little pop of colour here and there. My two examples are:
- a container of alchemilla - it has acid yellow flowers but it's the raindrops on the leaves which look so lovely. And you won't have to throw it on the compost heap in September.
- and a little vignette of perennials looking well in June through to September: tall scabious which will have pale blue rosette flowers and tiny lavender with a small variegated euonymus tucked in to one side.
I have a number of pots with agapanthus too inspired by the Chelsea Physic Garden which has long borders of lavender and agapanthus growing together. I will post a photo when they flower a bit later.
For later in the season I use gaura which is like a flowering grass and lasts till November here in the midlands.
There are also some edibles grown from seed this year: cornflowers, pot marigolds, borage and nasturtiums. They are about to flower but we are enjoying the silvery green of the cornflower stalks in particular in this rainy weather.