Wednesday, 6 January 2021
A striking tall perennial in the pea family with attractive pinnate leaves and dense heads of violet flowers in summer – like mauve clover heads.
The main effect though is in autumn and winter when the russet red stems and bristly seed heads stand over 6ft tall. Completely weather-proof - an excellent feature in the winter border. Very hardy and adaptable.
Monday, 4 January 2021
A North American species from the deserts of the south west. A sub-shrub with pure white stems and small rounded white leaves and spherical heads of gold-orange flowers.
A very distinct small, almost shrubby foxglove from Spain with 8-10in spikes of brownish orange glossy flowers over narrow evergreen leaves.
Quite charming and generally hardy in the southern portion of the UK, especially in drier areas but worthy of a special place in a sunny raised bed or container.
A remarkable South African shrub in the pea family with tiny silver leaflets and violet flowers.
Very rare and not tried outdoors in the UK as far as I know but cold hardy here with minimal protection.
A stunning and wonderful Asiatic woodland species with broad, heart-shaped, beautifully textured and muskily aromatic leaves (sage & onion?) with a rich purple underside.
Sprays of soft yellow flowers appear in summer.
An excellent and easy small shrub from S.Africa. The big vivid scarlet pea flowers in spring are perfectly complemented by the silver edged fine pinnate leaves. The papery coppery seed pods are a bonus later on.
Although this seems to be quite cold tolerant and long-lived in a pot I’ve never managed to get it going in the ground, and I have no idea why. A very well-drained sheltered sunny, maybe maritime site might suit it but primarily I recommend it as a container plant.