Beth’s best for bloom­ing in tough con­di­tions

Rutherglen Reformer - - Home & Garden -

HERE is a se­lec­tion of Beth Chatto’s rec­om­men­da­tions if your soil is very dry, sandy and hosepipe bans be­come a reg­u­lar oc­cur­rence:

BULBS are of­ten at home in free-drain­ing soils and Beth has used these to great ef­fect – lots of el­e­gant red tulip spren­geri and pur­ple al­li­ums. She also sug­gests scilla pe­ru­viana, Por­tuguese squill and nec­taroscor­dum, Si­cil­ian gar­lic.

GRASSES – sil­very blue ones such as fes­tuca glauca, koele­ria glauca and helic­totri­chon, feath­ery stipa tenuis­sima and the or­na­men­tal pen­nise­tums with their bot­tle­brush plumes.

MEDITER­RANEAN-LOOK­ING plants with sil­very or hairy fo­liage – san­tolina (cot­ton laven­der), ver­bas­cum, phlomis (Jerusalem sage) stachys (lamb’s ears), bal­lota, con­volvu­lus and laven­der are all hardy.

THIS is a just a se­lec­tion – the Chatto nurs­ery, near Elm­stead Mar­ket, in Colch­ester, Es­sex, has more than 2,000 species. For more in­for­ma­tion visit bethchatto.co.uk. The gar­dens are open from 9am to 5pm (4pm in the win­ter).

DRA­MATIC gi­ant fen­nel fer­ula com­mu­nis with its mas­sive yel­low flower heads, as well as cul­ti­vated fen­nel.

COT­TAGE gar­den favourites – nepeta, an­themis, cro­cos­mia, euphor­bia, pen­ste­mon, bearded iris, glad­i­oli, as­pho­dels and ver­bena will work well.

VA­LE­RIAN, which you see grow­ing on stone walls, is as tough as old boots and won’t let you down. Euphor­bia will flour­ish in the most in­hos­pitable of en­vi­ron­ments and hyper­icum asks for noth­ing but gives back tonnes of happy yel­low flow­ers to re­ward your ne­glect.

SUN-SEEK­ERS from New Zealand – senecio and lib­er­tia gran­di­flora.

Or­ange cro­cos­mia herey

Flow­er­ing laven­der cot­ton

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