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.
Sweet Williams are one of those lovely old-fashioned flowers, easy to grow and famous for their spicy-scent. The Auricula-eyed Group are irresistible, dense clusters of flowers in patchwork colours, dark tapestry rubies, fuchsia, scarlet, purple and white.
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.
This stunning, more rare form of Dicentra with its pure white heart shaped flowers adds charming beauty to the woodland or shade garden. It gives a real lift each spring when the delicate heart shaped wonders first appear
Digitalis ferruginea is an interesting and exotic looking foxglove and a native of the northern Mediterranean. With elegant, leafy spires and closely packed golden blooms, each orchid-like flower has an interior of rich red to dark brown veins with fine soft hairs on the tips.
Digitalis grandiflora is one of the few truly perennial foxgloves. Extremely hardy and one of the best performers. Bearing upright stalks of beautiful creamy-yellow bells through the summer, the lovely soft shade allows this plant to blend with almost anything in the garden.
Digitalis lanata has a beautiful colouration, from late spring to mid summer it produces spikes of densely packed, fawn-coloured flowers each with a pearl coloured lower lip. Each of the blooms is delicately patterned with dark brown veins.
This striking and robust foxglove, a hybrid between the pink flowered D. purpurea and the yellow flowered D. grandiflora produces a beautiful mix of the two shades. Warm pink, speckled flowers that are larger than the traditional foxglove.
This outstanding variety produces large spikes of the most beautiful shade of coral / apricot. Introduced in 1992, this most unusual and sought after colour makes an excellent companion for plants with dark plum foliage or flowers.
This popular and outstanding strain of Foxglove produces wonderful, tall dense spikes of blooms in a wide range of colours. The flowers are borne horizontally all the way around the stem, displaying the heavily spotted throat markings to better advantage.
The Chilean glory flower is an exotic-looking climber with dark fern-like foliage and twining tendrils that cling to fences and trellises.This useful climbing plant will quickly cover walls, archways or pergolas. The clusters of small tubular flowers range from bright orange-scarlet and carmine rose to clear golden yellow.
One of my favourites for the back row. The rounded, violet-blue flower heads on silvery, branched, leafy stems are actually much softer than they look. An unusual colour and structure, so a great conversation piece and an excellent dried flower.
In summer Echium plantagineum bears the most beautiful dense spikes of exquisite, violet-blue flowers. Compact and bushy and growing to only 30cm tall, they are rich in nectar and pollen and are ideal for attracting butterflies and bees. RHS AGM.
Produces a profusion of daisy like blooms from May right through till November. Erigeron is easy to grow and an amazingly versatile plant, being low-growing, happy in sun or partial shade and thriving in any well-drained soil.
I love the drama of big spiky plants. The most elaborately formed flowers belong to Eryngium giganteum 'Miss Willmott’s Ghost'. As the summer moves to its later stages, the whole plant reaches its peak in a blaze of silver. The plant will reward you with a glamorous late-summer display.