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Garden Beds and gate
Flower Borders with blue delphiniums

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Garden Beds and gate
 Page 27
Flower Borders Full of Colour. 


        Perennials with Purple, Red, or Bronze Leaves.
                                 Perennials with purple or similarly dark leaves are most valuable in the garden, especially when contrasted with foliage that is green or yellow. Such plants are best planted in moderation, as their effect can be a little sombre.

Borders  of colour: Lupins  are popular perennials, largely due to the fact that they thrive in the English climate,  but also because  of their striking shape and colours.
  • Lupinus 'Lulu'   is a hardy perennial which can be grown from seed and will flower in the first year. Reaching a height of 60cm, it is shorter than  other lupins  and is therefore known as a dwarf  lupin. Despite  its size Lupinus 'Lulu'  is a splendid plant with a good colour range  and is ideal for herbaceous  borders in small gardens.
  • The sowing period  for lupins  is January  to July if they are to flower in the first year. Seeds  should be sown in planters or trays and covered  with a little compost.
  • Lupins  need full sun to partial shade, and actually  prefer sandy  soil to a rich soil, as the latter encourages  soft growth.
A scented  garden:  There are many scented and perfumed perennials. Choose  phlox,  sweet  rocket (Hesperis), wallflowers, carnations,  romneya  and violets for a garden filled with fragrance. Aromatic plants like mint, lemon balm, anthemis, monarda,  sage, verbena and santolina  form a fragrant  background  to which you can add new plants every year. Lavender,  although  actually  an evergreen  shrub rather than  a perennial,  is one of the most popular scented plants and is fairly  easy to grow. Position  fragrant plants along garden  paths so that you can savour them as you pass  by.
 Classic restraint,  with a twist: A flower bed made  up of only one or two species  is easy to maintain, but your garden  could look flat if this is the only style of planting it contains. There are several ways to add interest to these beds. Give a little more presence  to your flower  bed by introducing a few lupins, delphiniums  or tall campanulas at irregular intervals.
  • Experiment  with colour by adding contrasting  touches. Introduce a bright shade if the flower bed is dark, white if blooms are red, and blue or deep  violet if the bed consists  of warm pink,  orange, salmon or yellow.
  • Combine  these  two approaches  for an even more striking effect.  Plant several midnight  blue delphiniums  in a large flower bed of yellow achillea, or let some crimson  lupins emerge from a carpet of blue geraniums.
Compact  borders save time:  Perennial borders can be a good idea for gardeners  who are pressed for time. Opt for compact species  that retain  their regular  shape over the years with little maintenance. The best species,  from the smallest to the tallest, are perennial  candytuft (Iberis sempervirens), which is covered  in white flowers  in the spring, bellflowers (Campanula  carpatica,C. 'G.F. 'Wilson', C. portenschlagiana or C. poscharksyana), oregano (Origanum vulgare), carnations  (Dianthus  plumarius) and common  rue (Ruta graveolens),  with its dense  grey-blue foliage.  Other  taller species  include geranium varieties such as Geranium sanguineum, G. renardii or G, pratense,  common  bistort (Persicaria  bistorta) and catmint (Nepeta nervosa).
Planting a Herbaceous Perennial.
Lobelia-Queen Victoria
         Lobelia 'Queen Victoria'
Striking  red  flowers  are carried  on spikes from summer into early, autumn.  Sturdy, erect  stems and  narrow leaves  are a deep, reddish  purple.  It requires  moist  soils..
Ophiopogon ’Nigrescenes’
 Ophiopogon 'Nigrescenes'
This creeping  evergreen forms a dense  tuft of narrow, strap-shaped, blackish purple leaves. Slender spikes  bearing tiny lilac flowers are produced in  summer.
Purple Sage
    Salvia officinalis 'Purpurascens'
(Purple Sage)
The downy,  aromatic  evergreen leaves of this shrubby  perennial  are flushed  purple when new, and mature to greyish green. Flower spikes are carried in summer.
Penstemon digitalis ’Husker’s Red’
      Penstemon digitalis 'Husker's Red'
The young leaves and shoots of this erect perennial are a rich purple in spring but fade to green-tinged purple when the tubular flowers appear in early summer..
Sedum telephium
      Sedum telephium subsp. maximum
Bold clumps of succulent stems, clothed in large, rich dark maroon leaves, produce flattened heads of tiny, reddish white flowers in late summer.
Tellima grandiflora ’purpurea’
      Tellima grandiflora
Purple-leaved fringe  cups, Clumps of evergreen, boldly veined, reddish purple leaves are heart shaped. Above these, spikes of nodding, pinkish cream flowers rise in late spring.

Dividing a clump of flowering Perennials.

Digging up a perennial crown
    Dig up the crown with a fork,  lifting the rootball without damaging  the roots. Shake to remove the soil.

Splitting a Perennial crown
     Divide the clump into at   least  two sections,  using your hands  for small  plants  or a fork for larger ones.

Cutting the centre of a perennial crown
        Immediately replant these sections,  selecting  those with healthy  roots and removing the middle sections of plants  that are getting old.

         Replace the soil removed  around the  hole and firm well with your hand for small plants  or with your foot for large perennials.  Then water.


Mini Index
 Skips pages. Gets you to a general area.
Garden Bulbs.
Lillies& Alliums.
Flowers until Frost.
Annuals For Summer.
Borders Full of Colour.
 Collecting Seeds.
Foliage Plants.
Garden Gate and flower borders
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