Garden News (UK)
Alan and Ahmed’s favourite plants
From early to late spring, masses of rose-pink flowers with a pale eye top the tall slender stems of this Japanese primrose with long-stemmed, hairy leaves. It thrives in part to full shade, in a welldrained soil. H: 20cm (8in); S: 15cm (6in).
Acer palmatum ‘Shishigashira’
This upright growing
Acer palmatum has thick, bunched-up, curled leaves and has been artfully wrapped around a terracotta column. Although most acers are finicky about pruning, we treat it like a hedge and clip it into shape with shears.
H: 3m (10ft); S: 2m (6½ft).
With iconic uncurling croziers, the shuttlecock fern looks wonderful in spring. It happily spreads, forming neat little clumps of fresh green lacy fronds that stretch out and filter through the sunlight. It’s ideal for a rich soil in moist, dappled shade. H: 1.5m (5ft); S: 45cm (18in).
In May and June, our Californian lilac is smothered in deep blue flower clusters that really glow against the green backdrop of our garden. With its glossy evergreen leaves and attractive shape, it has a year-round presence within the planting.
H: 1.5m (5ft); S: 2m (6½ft).