Peony ‘Claire de Lune’

Peony Clare du luneI first discovered this plant at Chelsea 2012 in Andy Sturgeon’s Show Garden and I remembered being blown away by its beauty with its pale colouring and prominent stamens in deep yellow. A must-have for the cottage garden in part shade or sun. I had the recent pleasure of visiting a local NGS garden where this plant featured, a real treat. Continue reading

Pittosporum tenuifolium ‘Wrinkled Blue’

pittosporum tenuifolium wrinkled blueI love this beautiful plant – a substantial evergreen with beautiful leaves that are wavy around the edges. Great choice for a sheltered garden in need of a backdrop plant that gives elegance across the seasons, the foliage contrasts beautifully with the dark coloured stems.

I had a large specimen in my London garden, sadly I had to leave it behind when I relocated to Hertfordshire, but I know it will go on for many years giving pleasure and shelter to the newer occupants.

Botanical name: Pittosporum tenuifolium ‘Wrinkled Blue’
Other names: Tawhiwhi ‘Wrinkled Blue’, Kohuhu ‘Wrinkled Blue’, Pittosporum ‘Wrinkled Blue’
Genus: Pittosporum
Variety or Cultivar: ‘Wrinkled Blue’ _ ‘Wrinkled Blue’ is a neat, oblong evergreen shrub with silver-blue, wavy edge foliage on dark stems.
Pittosporum tenuifolium ‘Wrinkled Blue’ is: Evergreen
Flower: Insignificant or absent in Summer
Foliage: Blue, Silvery-grey in All seasons
Habit: Bushy, Rounded

I specialise in soft landscaping and planting plans – if you would like to have a chat about your garden please do get in touch.

Happy gardening!

Fatsia japonica (Japanese Aralia)

fatsia_japonicaI love this plant! This is a fantastic plant for shade and for creating shade – enabling underplanting of shade loving plants beneath its beautifully palmate leaves. Native to southern Japan and South Korea. Not only is it evergreen but it produces fascinating white flower heads which then turn to black berries – much appreciated by garden birds in the colder months. Continue reading

Echinacea purpurea (Cone flower)

Echinacea purpurea

Echinacea purpurea

I love this flower almost as much as the bees do and I have seen plenty of them this year plundering the pollen. I love the variety of colours that these steadfast perennials come in and most of all I love the cone that slowly reveals itself during later summer and stays right through till winter.

I love nothing more that sitting at my table collecting the seeds from the driest seed heads and opening them up to reveal the seeds all tightly packed together. I remember last year my darling niece coming to visit me and making up paper envelopes out of grease proof paper to share the seeds with friends and clients.

Everything is now well into fruiting and seeding and so I am thinking again about the bounty that awaits me in the garden soon to be picked. It’s nearly time to get out your paper bags, kitchen roll or old biscuit tin and go collect some seeds. Remember that the best time to collect seed is on a dry day and store them away from direct sunlight and damp. The last thing you want is to go to your seeds store next spring and find them full of mould and unable to use them. Another method of seed collection is to tie a paper bag down over the heads of your beloved plants in readiness for those seeds to drop. Which ever method of seed collection you use remember to label them especially if your memory is fading like mine!

I won’t be harvesting my Echinacea for at least a couple of months yet but I am already thinking about them and knowing they are on their way is thrilling enough as I plan out my new garden. This is a bee loving perennial must have for any sunny border. To find out more about all the different Echinacea visit

Happy gardening!