This week I visited Marchants Hardy Plants, a wonderful nursery selling grasses and hardy perennials near to where we live in East Sussex, which currently has a 25 per cent off end of season sale.
I came home with seven new plants, which I have cunningly turned into six things to show this Saturday to join in with the perennially brilliant Propagator. I was unusually organised and got them all in the ground straight away, so here are my new garden stars.
1. Persicaria amplexicaulis
I went along armed with a list which proved really useful when faced with so many goodies. Owner Graham Marchant has a great range of Persicarias – he and his team grow all their own plants from cuttings. I had clearly in mind that I wanted a very pink, full-flowered variety and he found me this baby.
2. Aster cordifolius ‘Little Carlow’
I spotted this gorgeous lilac aster next to a swishy Miscanthus and it stole my heart. The label states: “Wiry stems support prolific numbers of inch wide lavender-blue flowers, enhanced by autumn light”.
3. Miscanthus sinensis ‘Adagio’ and Salvia Uliginosa
Here is the Miscanthus with its “narrow silver-buff plumes”, next to the ‘Bog Salvia’ with its “small piercing sky blue flowers, not large but prolific and lasting well into the autumn”. I am hoping both will clump up nicely.
4. Astrantia ex. ‘Marchants White’
This is Marchants’ own variety of Astrantia, white blushed pink. I have placed this in the empty bed I showed in last week’s six.
5. Campanula lactifloria ‘Dixter Presence’
A Campanula was not on my list, but I could not resist this lovely blue one which was Christopher Lloyd’s own selection, promising “profuse bell flowers of mid-blue carried in large open heads”.
6. Geranium pratense ‘Southease Celestial’
I was planning to buy a blue geranium, but was flexible as to the variety, so I was pleased to spot the last remaining one of this variety named after a village near us. It doesn’t look much at the moment, but I have high hopes for it next year, as it promises: “huge cupped salvers of luminescent lavender-blue born in summer”. I have placed it next to our ubiquitous pink cranesbill for contrast.
Here is the empty bed now, looking slightly less empty. I have ordered bulbs for this spot from Peter Nyssen – pale apricot tulips and white narcissi. Next up is bare root rose buying – I usually treat myself to three new roses a year. For this spot I am thinking a shade tolerant climber or rambler – Paul’s Himalayan Musk, Cecile Brunner or Felicite Perpetue. Answers on a postcard please.
And here is what I am aspiring to – the beautiful garden at Marchants!