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Achillea ‘Cerise Queen’ is a carefree and generously blooming perennial which requires little maintenance to create an explosion of late summer colour. The large, flat-topped clusters of vibrant, pink flowers with tiny white centers are irresistible to butterflies, and also make excellent cut flowers.
Achilleas are traditional border flowers valued for their feathery foliage and striking flat, circular heads of flowers ‘F2 Summer Berries’ is a compact variety growing to only 60cm tall at maturity. This beautiful improved mixture includes the richer tones of red, cerise and pink in addition to many pastel shades.
Achillea is a joy to the gardener for its undemanding adaptive nature and its eagerness to perform. ‘Summer Pastels’, with a soft mix of pastel coloured flowers is very easy to grow, flowering in just four months from sowing and producing flowers in abundance from spring to first frosts.
These native wildflowers have clustered flower heads of tiny white flowers that from a distance look like little patches of snow resting on the grass. This famous herb is terrific as a wildflower clump in a blooming meadow, they are also a favourite for cut and dried flower arrangements.
Achillea sibirica var. camtschatica 'Love Parade' is an upright, tufted, perennial yarrow that is native to Siberia. Very different from the common yarrow, with dense clusters of large flat-topped soft pink flowers and glossy, dark green, fern-like leaves, they remain attractive throughout the growing season.
Originally bred by Brian Kabbes and developed in his nursery of ‘perennials and botanical rarities’, Agastache ‘Globetrotter’ has soft, touchable flower spikes that are lilac-pink with carmine-red bracts. They must have one of the prettiest flowers of all this very pretty family.
Agastache ‘Liquorice White’ has tall spikes of white lipped flowers and like all Agastache produces copious amounts of nectar for bees and butterflies to feast upon. Flowering late in the season, it is a boon for building up bees’ honey reserves before winter and will produce a honey surplus where drifts are grown.
Agastache 'Liquorice Blue' has tall spikes of lavender to rich purpley blue lipped flowers, above toothed dark green arrow shaped foliage. When brushed past or crushed, the foliage emits a sweet liquorice perfume. A wonderful plant for attracting bees and butterflies to the garden.
Ajuga genevensis is used throughout the world yet this relatively uncommon form is less well known. This very well behaved, evergreen groundcover has deep gentian blue flower spikes and is by far the showiest of the species. It is often the plant of choice for smaller areas or along edges and pathways.
For most of the year Ajuga is a pleasant, quiet achiever, a very versatile low growing ground cover, with evergreen, rosette-like foliage that hugs the ground like an evergreen carpet but those weeks in spring when the blue flowers appear are simply quite magical.
Ammi majus is tall, branching flower, with finely divided, feathery foliage. In summer, it bears an abundance of large round blooms made up of clusters of tiny white florets on tall, branched, slender stems. The delicate clusters add beauty and depth to bouquets and meadows alike.
Ammi visnaga 'Green Mist' is a new variety of Queen Annes Lace, with larger, darker green and more mounded umbels than its cousin Ammi majus. It flowers from June to September the blooms are initially flattened and lime green, turning white. The textured flower heads are a flower arrangers dream.
Anchusa arvensis is an annual wildflower that produces compact sprays of blue flowers from April to September. Rich in nectar and pollen, they are much loved by almost all bee species. Characterised as a companion of old culture it can be added to wildflower gardens to bring its own brand of natural diversity.
Perfect for any sunny spot that needs a burst of colour. Anchusa capensis ‘Blue Angel’ is prized for its long blooming flowers. The brilliant clusters of intense cobalt blue flowers will brighten up any space. Team with other annuals and perennials for eye-popping combinations.
Anchusa italica is a wonderfully statuesque plant with dense foliage and lance shaped mid green leaves. With spikes of rich gentian blue, giant forget-me-not type flowers, 'Dropmore' is a 1905 selection that is still available today. Growing to around 90cm tall, it is best situated in the middle of the border.
Anchusa officinalis is noted for its deep sapphire-blue flowers that are extremely attractive to wildlife. This relative of borage blooms from late spring right through until first frosts. In the garden it can be used as part of wildlife friendly planting scheme, they are much loved by almost all bee species.
Incredibly easy to grow the Annual Dwarf Flowers Mix grows to around 30cm (12in) tall. Flowering just 10 to 12 weeks from sowing, these fast-growing plants provide an easy and cost-effective way to give naturalistic planting, plug gaps and fill the border with a summer full of colour.
The Semi-Tall Flowers Mix is a richly flowering mixture of that produces large quantities of 50cm (20in) tall annual flowers for the border or for cutting. As well as being ornamental, they will provide nectar and pollen for bees, butterflies and other insects from early in the year to late in the season.
Composed of a finely balanced selection of annual flowers designed to provide a long succession of flowers from June to September, the Tall Flowers Mix grows 60 to 70cm (24 to 28in) tall and produces large quantities of flowers that are ideal for the border and for the vase.
Anthriscus sylvestris is most characteristic of hedgerows, road verges and woodland edges. Our native Cow Parsley has a sophisticated form, with delicate, open, white lacy umbels, that from mid-spring to early summer look as though they're erupting from a well shaken champagne bottle!
Anthriscus sylvestris 'Ravenswing' is the most elegant and garden-worthy form of the common cow parsley. With stunning, rich deep purple, almost black, finely cut ferny foliage the first year, it explodes the second year with delicate clusters of small white flowers held above the darkest of foliage.
The Magic Carpet Snapdragon is a dwarf, low-growing plant that has a trailing habit that makes it excellent for containers or in window boxes. They are rust resistant and reliable, the blossom-laden flower heads bloom in spring to early summer in a range of exquisite colours.
This pretty little wildflower is a slow growing, long-lived plant with attractive spikes of rich pink-mauve flowers that are very attractive to bees and butterflies as a nectar source. The flowers, which rise from dark green crinkly leaves, keep their colour throughout summer and look stunning when growing en-masse.
Borage is one of the most reliable sources of blue flowers, often flowering lavishly for weeks after sowing. The beautiful blue star-shaped flowers are edible and very important for bees, providing pollen and nectar in prodigious amounts.
This white flowered form of borage is not often written about. My first introduction was at the celebrated 'white' garden at Sissinghurst in England. The flowers are edible, garden visitors can be converted to herbal advocates simply by offering a taste of its white flower.
Buddleia blooms all summer long with an intoxicating scent just as overwhelming as their colour show. There is no denying that these shrubs are butterfly magnets. If you plant one, they will find it. Have your camera ready!
Cheerful and bright, use Calendula in beds, borders or containers. Calendula is prolific and durable, and like most hardy annuals it is easy to grow, simply sow where it is to flower. It is currently one of the top herbs used for medicinal use. Sprinkle salads and decorate cakes with the edible tangy petals.
With large single flowers some with chocolate coloured centres, Calendula 'Art Shades' contains not only the usual bright orange but also various unusual shades - apricot, orange, primrose and cream. Gorgeous and remarkably easy to grow they will flower non-stop from spring until first frosts.
‘Indian Prince' has unique petals quite unlike other Calendula, the dark orange rays are in layers of orange, backed with rich mahogany red petals.Prolific and durable the daisy-like blooms grow up to 20cm wide they are perfect candidates for cutting and flower arrangements.
Centaurea cheiranthifolia is a relatively unknown perennial variety of our much loved cornflower. Easy to grow, unfussy and very hardy, they make outstanding border plants producing blue-greyish lance-shaped leaves with slender stems, each topped with stunning ivory-white flowers with deep purple stamens.
The Boy Series, which all feature double flowered blooms on tall stems for garden or cutting, are available in many colours. These beauties grow well as border plants and are wonderful in a cutting garden. 'Black ball' flowers are a lovely rich dark-chocolate hue, almost black on cloudy days.
A favorite annual flower and cottage garden staple, Centaurea 'Blue Boy' has piercing, bright blue flowers with ruffled petals and violet-blue centres. The blooms appear from early to late summer. These beauties grow well as border plants and are wonderful in a cutting garden.
This pink variety is a favorite annual flower and cottage garden staple. One single cornflower looks like a burst of fireworks. With lance shaped, long and graceful leaves, the upper half of the plant has multiple stems which produce many flowers from early summer until frost.
Centaurea are a favorite annual flower and cottage garden staple. Very easy to grow, a single cornflower looks like a burst of fireworks. Red Ball is a very fine, old variety, the rosy carmine-red flowers with ruffled petals and dark centres appear from early to late summer.
Cornflowers are great plants for the cutting garden or border, and this fine cultivar is no exception. Centaurea 'Snowman' is a double flowered cultivar with wonderful fluffy, white flowers on densely branched plants. This is the white member of the series which includes Blue, Red, Pink and Black varieties.
Today cornflowers are rare in the wild, they flourish instead in gardens. They are the most splendid of annuals. Aside from their electric blue, which is breathtaking when they're grown in dense drifts, they are easy to grow, they flower all summer, make great cut flowers and butterflies and bees adore them.
Persian Cornflower is an attractive clump forming cornflower, with bushy, branched plants and the unusual characteristic of being perennial and flowering in the first year. Very adaptable to both dry and moist locations. Large deep lavender-pink blooms adorn the divided foliage throughout summer.
Centaurea macrocephala is a magnificent perennial that ideal for providing vertical interest in a sunny, well-drained herbaceous border. The golden-yellow shaggy thistle-like blooms are on strong stems and mid-green, lance-shaped leaves are followed by attractive seed heads.
Native to the meadows and woods of the mountains of Europe, Centaurea montana flowers from late spring with large flowers that are fringed in an intense violet-blue with deep purple centres and most attractive, very deeply cut petals. Easy to grow, it is an excellent garden plant as well as cut flower.
Centranthus 'Snow Cloud’ produces airy clusters of white flowers that appear from July to October on tall, fleshy stems with glaucous leaves. Very long flowering, sweetly-perfumed and easy-to-grow from seed, given an early sowing Centranthus will flower from July right through to October.
Centranthus ruber is a Cottage garden favourite that’s made it into the style books. Sweetly-perfumed, dense clusters of reddish-pink flowers appear from July to October. They are ideal for attracting bees and butterflies and other pollinating insects into the garden and lovely when used as a cut flower.
Cephalaria gigantea is a gentle giant that has an informal look that is perfect for looser planting styles. With pretty pale butter-yellow scabious shaped flowers, use it as you would Verbena bonariensis planted at the back of a mixed or herbaceous border. The stems are tall but airy and 'see-through'.
This beautiful highly versatile, aristocratic border plant has become very much in vogue in recent years. Oval, fleshy blue-green leaves spiral up the stem with tightly packed, sea blue bracts - and then the finale - small clusters of rich purple-blue tubular, nodding flowers which are adored by bees.
The Shasta daisy is a creation of plant breeder Luther Burbank. Introduced in 1901 after 17 years in development. Leucanthemum maximum ‘Alaska’ was one of Burbank's original crosses, because it quickly became a garden favourite and has retained high status ever since because of its pure white, large blooms.
A collection of five different species of native wildflowers, that were once a common sight in cornfields and meadows. These summer-flowering annuals are ideal for providing a splash of colour to create a wildlife garden or meadow.
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