An under-utilised shrub in a lovely range of leaf colours – from purples and rusty oranges through to zesty greens. Perfect for cutting and great for borders. Thrives in full sun or part shade, in acidto-neutral soil. H&S: 8ft (2½m).
A compact plant with pretty scallopedged leaves and tall stems of tiny creamy-green, bell-shaped flowers in mid to late spring. Easy to grow in most situations. Cut for both flowers and foliage. H&S: 2ftx20in (60x50cm).
Panicum ‘Frosted explosion’
This half-hardy annual is very easy to grow from seed. In summer the broad grassy blades explode with plumes of tiny flowers. Snip away the leaves and add the flower stems to arrangements. HxS: 16inx1ft (40x30cm).
Emerging in a vibrant green before fading to creamy white, the spring flowers look lovely mixed with tulips and late-flowering daffodils in a vase. Bushy and deciduous; unfussy about soil and location. H&S: 13ft (4m).
Achilleas such as ‘Summer Pastels’ (above) can be sown in February for midsummer flat-topped blooms in a range of colours, plus feathery foliage that is generally green but sometimes silvergrey. HxS: 20in-3ftx20in (50-90x50cm).
Also known as cloud grass due to its fine froth of delicate flowers. A very useful filler to partner with delicate flowers like scabious, or dry and use in autumn and winter. Needs welldrained soil. HxS: 1ftx8in (30x20cm).
Mophead hydrangeas make great preserved flowers. Pick in autumn when the flower colour has deepened and the white centres have disappeared. Leave in a vase – no need for water – and they’ll dry out. H&S: 3-6ft (90cm-1.8m).
Furry, frilly-edged foliage and masses of tiny star-like, acid-green flowers in late spring/early summer. Cut back hard after flowering for a second flush of blooms in late summer. Cutting will stop it selfseeding everywhere. H&S: 20in (50cm).
A hardy annual with thin, grassy leaves and soft, silver-grey flowers – like bunny tails. Lovely in a vase with native blooms such as ox-eye daisies and cornflowers. Thrives in full sun and a well-drained soil. HxS: 8x6in (20x15cm).