12 key plants from the ornamental meadow
1 Pycnanthemum flexuosum The white globular flowers of this Appalachian mountain mint turn into bluegrey seedheads that pick up the colours of surrounding stone walls. The needle-like leaves also fall away, accentuating the seedheads further. 90cm. USDA 6a-8b†.
2 Symphyotrichum cordifolium One of several asters found growing in the meadow, which bears clouds of small, star-like flowers in varying shades of blue. The flowers are followed by these fluffy white seedheads, which extend the period of interest. A vigorous self-seeder, it may have to be culled periodically. 90cm. USDA 3a-8b.
3 Amsonia hubrichtii Also known as the Arkansas blue star, this pretty plant has delicate blue blooms in spring but its peak interest comes when the feathery foliage turns a brilliant gold for autumn and winter. For the best autumn colour it should ideally be grown in full sun. 75cm. USDA 5a-8b.
4 Liatris aspera Long after the tufted, purple, summer blooms have faded on its tall flowering spikes, Liatris aspera provides volume and verticality to the mix. 90cm. USDA 3a-8b.
5 Eupatorium dubium ‘Baby Joe’ This is the shortest of the meadow’s Joe pye weeds. Its magenta-pink domes of flowers continue to provide interest with statement-making seedheads that last all winter. 75cm. USDA 3a-9b.
6 Daucus carota The wild carrot needed no encouragement to spread through the meadow and required thinning by the second year. Its invasiveness can be forgiven when it produces its dense umbels of white
flowers. These then fold in on themselves to give these gloriously sculptural seedheads. 90cm. USDA 3a-9b.
7 Ilex verticillata Known as winterberry, this deciduous holly is native to eastern North America. Leaves turn a lemony yellow in autumn but this soon turns to brown. Instead it is the clusters of red berries that are the star attraction, providing interest through winter. 5m. USDA 3a-9b.
8 Pycnanthemum loomisii This mountain mint, collected by Aaron Floden in Campbell County, Tennessee, is one of several that David has included in the ornamental meadow. The upper leaves turn a bright silver in June and are topped by terminal flowers. The comely seedheads provide interest from a distance as well as close up. 1.3m. USDA 6a-8b.
9 Calamagrostis brachytricha Originally from central and east Asia, the clump-forming Korean feather reed grass, Calamagrostis brachytricha, has showy panicles that add volume to the meadow. 90cm. AGM*. RHS H6, USDA 8a-10b.
10 Schizachyrium scoparium
The blue blades of this clump-forming grass turn a deep burgundy red at the end of summer. 90cm. USDA 3a-9b.
11 Penstemon digitalis This native meadow plant offers a tubular flower shape, a welcome contrast to its neighbours. Seedheads are attractive. 90cm. USDA 2b-8b.
12 Eryngium yuccifolium Has sword-shaped leaves and thistle-like blooms in creamy white that give off a honey scent. Good architectural interest well into winter. 1m. USDA 5a-9b.