Garden Designers Top Ten Plants & combinations.

Have added a new post about top ten new plants that I've used this year in clients' gardens and some interesting plant combinations. Full post is at and here is a taster:

1) Anchusa azurea 'Loddon Royalist': I first saw this at a plant show this May and was bowled over by it's stunning deep blue flowers. It grows to about 1-1.2 m tall, but doesn't seem to need staking. For this reason I used it as an alternative to Delphiniums which the client was keen on & we planted it in a sunny site. It flowered for a long time and was constantly surrounded by bees. Lovely from early summer onwards and worked well with Astrantia Ruby Wedding, Cirsium rivulare 'Atropurpureum' and Echinacea 'White Swan'.

E-mail me when people leave their comments –


  • Hi Tracy,

    Just one question if I may. I looked at your full list in full and wondered, why no shrubs, evergreens or structure?

    A garden full of herbaceous may look great in the Spring, Summer and Autumn, but will look like a pile of dead sticks in the Winter. Now I agree, most clients may not venture out in deepest December, but to look out of their window at their garden on Xmas Day , and see colour must bring them joy?
  • Hi there, you're absolutely right, lots of nice flowers but no substance in the winter. A lot of these plants were ones we used in a large garden where the client asked for a herbaceous long border and there was enough space to have the luxury of that as well as more traditional mixed borders. We used lots of evergreens such as box, Azelea, Heuchera, Viburnum, Choisya, Euonymus, Mahonia, Pieris, Sarcococca and other shrubs for stems, early flowers etc (Hamamelis, Cornus, Viburnum 'Dawn', Spiraea and so on). And 1500 bulbs too.

    So plenty to look at all year round - these were just a list of perennials I'd never had a chance to use before and I'm now going to plant in my cottage garden in the spring...
  • Wow, great blogpost. Thanks! I will definitely be getting my hands on the Schizostylis coccinea 'Alba': and Knautia macedonia 'Mars Midget' when I sort out my garden next Spring, they look amazing.
  • Hey Mark - thanks for the feedback. You'll love the Knautia especially, a real beauty. Have fun in the spring!
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