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Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - GOODPASTIMES -

Peren­nial cone flow­ers ( Echi­nacea spp), with their rosepur­ple petals, can be re­lied on to give a long-last­ing dis­play through­out sum­mer and into au­tumn. Rud­beckia and Pen­ste­mon would make suit­able com­pan­ions, as they en­joy sim­i­lar grow­ing con­di­tions of full sun and com­posted soil.

Fes­tuca glauca “Eye­catch” is a clump-form­ing dwarf grass with fine blue-grey fo­liage. It is heat-re­sis­tant, needs a sunny po­si­tion and well-drained soil. Ideal for edg­ing paths and mass plant­ing. Lamb’s ears ( Stachys), with soft, furry grey leaves, en­joys sim­i­lar con­di­tions.

Con­trol vig­or­ous scram­blers and climbers such as plumbago, Helichry­sum peti­o­lare and bougainvil­lea to pre­vent their grow­ing into other plants, and into gut­ters and eaves of build­ings.

If your gar­den is too small to ac­com­mo­date a shade tree, then an ar­bour is an at­trac­tive al­ter­na­tive. Both the up­rights and cross­bars should be strong enough to take the weight of a clim­ber.

River bells ( Phygelius spp.) have pen­du­lous tubu­lar flow­ers and grow to just over a me­tre high. Plant in rich soil in sun or light shade and mulch to keep soil moist. Look for Princess Se­ries with flow­ers of sal­mon, pur­ple or white and Yel­low Sov­er­eign with lemon flow­ers.

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