Cut­ting-gar­den sta­ples

Amateur Gardening - - Pick Of The Very Best -


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).

Tel­lima gran­di­flora

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).

Vibur­num op­u­lus

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).

Achil­lea mille­folium

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).

Agrostis neb­u­losa

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).

Hy­drangea macro­phylla

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).

Al­chemilla mol­lis

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).

Lagu­rus ova­tus

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).

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