A favourite of garden designer Gertrude Jekyll. The 'Pearl' is excellent for the middle of a sunny, well-drained border, especially when planted as a large drift and looks great with a backdrop of evergreens. A unique, easy and reliable plant to add to any border.
Raised by the Hon. Lewis Palmer in the late 1940s in his garden at Headbourne Worthy, Hampshire. The Headbourne Hybrids is a very special strain, being both one of the hardiest that you can grow and the most “violet” blue available. RHS AGM
This is a stunning fashionable plant, with globes of rosy-purple crowded spherical umbels, and strap shaped leaves. The flowers are very long lasting and help fill that awkward gap between the later spring bulbs and the perennials.
‘Ministar’ is an outstanding dwarf variety of columbine from Japan. With bright blue flowers with a white corolla in late spring and stands only 20cm tall. Very hardy, it is one of the best selections for rock gardens, troughs and well-drained edges at walls or paths
Emma Nora Barlow was a formidable woman and a granddaughter of Charles Darwin. She enjoyed hybridising plants and gave some seeds to the nurseryman Alan Bloom who named his commercial stock after her. They produced a cottage garden classic.
Italian Arum, Lords & Ladies Wildflower of Britain and Ireland
'Arum Marmoratum' is extremely useful for shady spots or woodland planting. With unusual creamy-white flowers, attractively patterned leaves and scarlet, fleshy berries it stays lush right throughout winter, thriving in cold weather.
The Royal Series is the only Aubrietia awarded the RHS AGM. This soil hugging perennial carpets the ground in a profusion of bloom early spring. Plant in crevices of walls or on a steep bank to flow over into a waterfall cascade of colour. RHS AGM.
Whether you are into the culinary arts or edible landscapes, you may want to put this plant at the top of your list. Chosen by the RHS as one of the top plants of the last 200 years, Cardoons are aristocrats in both the ornamental and the vegetable world.
'Helen Campbell' is a particularly attractive variety which produces scented white flowers throughout the summer The extraordinarily long stamens protruding from the scented flowers and the long seed pods, give the flowers its spidery appearance.
Cobaea scandens is an impressive climber and is one of the fastest-growing and most trouble-free vines you will ever grow. Extremely attractive when scrambling upward through trellis work, archways, over small buildings or old trees.
Cobaea scandens alba will appeal to anyone who longs for something with panache and visual impact. This rare variety has clear white flowers and will fill the air with a very pleasant honey scent throughout the growing season.
Give the devil his due Crocosmia has never looked more appealing. 'Lucifer' is an aptly-named variety because its flowers are the hottest coloured of all - a searing paprika red. The fiery-red flowers with orange-yellow throats are held on gently arching stems.
Cyclamen coum is adored as a cultivated ornamental plant. The flowers vary from white to rosy-purple with every hue in between and sometimes of such quantity to obscure the leaves. The dainty blooms open from early winter and continue unabated into spring.
D. spectabilis features nodding, pink heart shaped flowers which dangle enticingly from arching flower stems. Planted with other shade lovers, it can easily be the most breath-taking showstopper in the garden when in full growth.