Manawatu Standard

Sedum spectabile ‘Autumn Joy’


blooms of Phlomis russeliana, commonly called Jerusalem sage, with its bursts of yellow flowers that are spaced evenly up long rigid stems, supported by wonderful large and broad foliage.

0These arrive in late-spring and even as the petals drop, the architectu­ral structure remains for as long as you allow it, offering terrific graphic interest when mixed in with other plants.

I’m also attracted to the Ixia maculata ‘Elvira’ with its ethereal spikes of icy blue flowers and the possibilit­y of mixing it with alliums, which will come into their prime in summer.

Summer into autumn

My summer and early-autumn flowering perennial list is where things get out of control and showing restraint, in relation to the size of my space, will be a challenge.

I have previously tended to collect specimens one-by-one and plonk them into my garden, but the abundant, tapestry effect I am after will work best when planting more or fewer plant types. Tricky!

Alongside my long-time favourite – the willowy Verbena bonariensi­s – I am trying to narrow down varieties of plants I already love. Of the echinacea family, I hope to focus on the divine Echinacea pallida ‘Hula Dancer’ with its long and droopy pale pink petals and also pull in the white Echinacea purpurea ‘Alba’.

After coveting plants of the Sanguisorb­a family, last season I finally added Sanguisorb­a officinali­s (greater burnet) to my mix and I was not disappoint­ed. Tall stems rise from a clump of

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