Best of the bunch
This reliable, easy-to-grow perennial with deeply lobed leaves produces long stems of pink flowerheads in summer.
They may not be the focal point of the mixed border but they are a great supporting cast, growing to around 60cm, with their pincushion flowerheads.
Good varieties include A. ‘Hadspen Blood’, which produces loose heads of dark red flowers in summer, and A. major ‘Shaggy’, with its clusters of tiny cream flowers surrounded by green-tipped white bracts. Plant in moist, well-drained soil and lift and divide in autumn or spring.