Beau­tiufl dwarf scented wall­flow­ers

Woman's Weekly (UK) - - Come On In! -

com­mand a higher price.

Sin­gle colours are per­fect for when cre­at­ing a colour­co­or­di­nated scheme, so make sure you add some now to your 2018 seed or­der. Look out for seeds of the highly-scented va­ri­eties ‘Blood Red’, ‘Fire King’ and ‘Vul­can’ plus any be­long­ing to the ‘Gi­ant’ se­ries, which grow es­pe­cially hap­pily in shade.

For a rich tapestry ef­fect, min­gle dif­fer­ent-coloured va­ri­eties among a batch of tulips and nar­cis­sus. Great com­bos are ma­hogany-coloured wall­flow­ers in be­tween feath­eredged par­rot tulips in vel­vety shades of red. Even more dy­namic are sun­shine-coloured wall­flow­ers with the tulip ‘Daven­port’, which has crim­son blooms with ca­nary yel­low fringes, over a sea of blue for­get-me-nots. For a more so­phis­ti­cated look, plant Tulip ‘Queen of Night’, which is dark pur­ple, be­side creamy-yel­low wall­flow­ers.

One of the first spring bi­en­ni­als to ap­pear in the garden is hon­esty or Lu­naria an­nua. It self-seeds pro­lif­i­cally and ger­mi­nates well from fresh seed when the lovely lu­nar discs dis­solve to quickly pro­duce clumpy rosettes of leaves, which over­win­ter and start to grow again in Fe­bru­ary.

Its bee-friendly, faintly scented flow­ers range in colour from plum through to pale mauve and these pro­duce pods with a pur­plish wash over them. There is also a white form, Lu­naria an­nua var. alba that pro­duces pods that are pure green, and so per­fect for pas­tel-coloured ar­range­ments. Both be­come the fa­mil­iar moon-shaped ‘sil­ver pen­nies’ when dry and make a won­der­ful cut flower in au­tumn.

Look out as well for a white-flow­ered, var­ie­gated hon­esty, with branch­ing hairy stems bear­ing net­tle-like leaves with strong white mark­ings. Make use of its re­silience to dry shade by adding it to a bed of ferns and hardy gera­ni­ums.

For­get-me-nots or myoso­tis are also very pro­mis­cu­ous, self-seed­ing ev­ery­where, so it’s a good idea to trans­plant seedlings in win­ter by the spade­ful, spread­ing them to all cor­ners of the garden. There are pink and white forms as well as many blue va­ri­eties to buy, ‘Royal Blue’ be­ing taller than most and one of the best.

Sweet rocket or Hes­peris ma­tronalis ar­rives a lit­tle later at around the same time as the fox­gloves and, as both pro­vide a splash of lilac or white, the two look very good grow­ing side by side. Both will emerge from self-sown plants, so if you want strict or­der and con­trol then you’ll need to move them in the au­tumn, plant­ing them 60cm apart. If you leave this task un­til spring, the plants will never re­ally re­cover.

White fox­gloves are use­ful for cre­at­ing beau­ti­ful ghostly ef­fects in a shady bor­der, but sub­se­quent seedlings of­ten re­vert to pur­ple. It is there­fore best to sow fresh seed each year, or to weed out the pur­ple ones by iden­ti­fy­ing the pink midribs in young plants.

Tulip ‘Queen

of Night’ White fox­gloves will

lift a shady bor­der

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