Low mounds of aromatic foliage (30cm x 45cm) are smothered in soft blue flowers from mid summer right through to frosts. Great for edging a sunny border or pathway. Likes full sun on well drained soil and tolerates drought once established. Whole plant hums with bees all summer
From June onwards masses of indigo violet bells are held on dark purple stems to around 40cm. Once this initial flush of flower fades you can cut whole plant back hard and look forward to a second flush of flower late summer. Does best in sun or light shade on any reasonable soil
Cut leaves emerge in late winter and are quickly followed by sprays of mauve flowers Feb-Mar, creating a charming carpet. Summer dormant, so makes excellent ground cover under deciduous shrubs, dying back as they come into leaf.
Carex elata Aurea
An evergreen perennial forming a compact clump of upright or arching, narrow, bright yellow leaves, to 70cm in height, with small blackish flower spikes on erect stems to 45cm in height in early summer
Low, tight mounds of grey green foliage send up narrow stems topped by masses of starry violet blue flowers throughout the summer. Does best on poor, well drained soils and tolerates drought well, once established
Centaurea montana Lady Flora Hastings
Tight buds, resembling miniature pineapples, open to white cornflowers with a pale mauvey pink centre throughout spring and early summer above clumps of silver spear shaped foliage. The species originates in mountainous areas of southern europe and is very happy in sun or light shade on any reasonable soilo in our gardens
Centaurea montana Purple Heart
Recent introduction with radiating white petals surrounding a purple tinted centre above nice silver foliage. Easy to accomodate in sun or light shade on any reasonable soil and a magnet for bees too
Centranthus coccinea Ruber
Bushy clumps up to 1m x 1m are smothered in rounded heads of pinky red flowers from May until frosts, if you remove faded flower heads as they go over. Whole plant gets cut to the ground in the autumn after frosts. For sun or light shade on well drained soil, attracts butterflies, tolerates drought and self seeds where happy
Low, spreading ground cover for the front of a sunny border on well drained soil. Deep green foliage sets off azure blue flowers That start to open August and carry on until frosts. In September the foliage starts to take on red tints until the whole plant turns a deep red by October
Chaerophyllum hirsutum Roseum
Tap rooted perennial with attractively dissected, aromatic foliage and umbels of lilac-pink flowers in late spring or early summer - like a bushy, long lived pink cow parsley! Grow on any reasonable soil in part shade
Chrysanthemum Mary Stoker
70cm. Great late border colour; bushy clumps are smothered in single, soft apricot daisies Aug - October. Good in the border or a vase. Likes sun on any reasonable soil
Cirsium rivulare Atropurpurea
Wide basal clumps of soft, deep green thistle like cut foliage send up slender, slightly branching stems topped by 2-3 maroon flowers from May through to late summer, if spent flowers are removed. Likes deep, retentive soil in sun or light shade. A big hit with bumblebees
Cirsium Trevor's Blue Wonder
Perennial up to 1.2m high with downy purple-tinged stems, rosettes of toothy green basal leaves and fat thistle-like violet-purple flowerheads in summer, and in flushes afterwards if deadheaded; the flowers are good for pollinators, and if the last flowers are allowed to remain, the seed heads may provide food for finches
Dense clumps of wiry stems clothed in dark green needle like leaves and topped by masses of pale lemon daisies from mid summer until early autumn. Dead heading with prolong flowering. Likes full sun on well drained soil and tolerates drought once established. 30cm.
Corydalis Beth Evans
Clusters of tubular pink flowers are set of by ferny glue green leaves in Mar-Apr. Essentially a spring flowering corm that appears early, flowers and then becomes dormant by early summer. Likes a spot that is shaded in summer months, if only by other herbaceous plants, plant where ground will remain undisturbed in a well drained, humous rich soil
Corydalis flexuosa Purple Leaf
Low clumps of glaucous ferny leaves with purple veins first appear in November and overwinter above ground. Sprays of violet blue flowers on purple stems, to 25cm, appear throughout spring. Plant becomes dormant and disappears below ground by midsummer, so make sure soil remains undisturbed. Light shade on retentive soil
corydalis solida Purple Bird
Clusters of tubular tubular purple flowers in early spring Mar-April, set off nicely by blue-green ferny leaves. Appears early, flowers and then becomes dormant until next spring - plant somewhere it will remain undisturbed in humous rich soil where it will be shaded by other plants in summer
Neat scarlet trumpets open in two parallel rows at the ends of arching stems to 1 metre tall in late summer. Does best on fertile, retentive yet well drained soil. Clumps benefit from being lifted and divided every 3-4 years.
Crocosmia Emily McKenzie
Open, reflexed flowers of burnt orange with a central mahogany purple blotch late summer. Does best on fertile, retentive yet well drained soil. Clumps benefit from being lifted and divided every 3-4 years. Compact form to 45cm.
Crocosmia George Davidson
Golden yellow flowers open from amber budsAug-Sept on short, to 45cm, arching stems above clumps of sword shaped foliage. Does best on fertile, retentive yet well drained soil. Clumps benefit from being lifted and divided every 3-4 years.