Choose perennials that die back beautifully
LOOKING FORWARD to spring and summer, I’ve picked perennials that flower profusely for maximum value, but which also retain their form and provide interesting textures throughout winter. After a clear, still, chilly night, hoar frost on leaves, flowers, seedheads and stems transforms the plants with delicate ice crystals, producing an ethereal otherworldliness. To make the most of this, I’ve used perennials with strong winter skeletons that become the architectural stars of the winter garden. These include Miscanthus sinensis ‘Flamingo’, Calamagrostis brachytricha, perovskia ‘Blue Spire’, hylotelephium ‘Herbstfreude’ and Phlomis russeliana. By late winter, when stalks start to look scruffy, sad or unkempt, cut back everything to the ground.