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I've removed a number of overgrown and not very attractive shrubs from some of my garden and want to have some cottage-garden type borders.
So over the last couple of yrs I've been planting perennials interspersed with annuals.
I seem to have to stake just about all perennials over about 18" as they tend to flop if not staked and the taller they are the more staking required or the more they flop.
I imagine that a good cottage-style border has perennials/annuals that support each other from generally low growing plants at the front to hollyhocks and the like at the back.
Are any of you kind and knowledgeable folk out there able to suggest perennials that can hold their own?

Garden faces south - good generally well-drained topsoil on top of clay

e.g. my Baby Joe Pie weed is just coming into flower at abt 4' and is completely upright and lends support to other plants, so more like that would be good.
Lollipop Verbena is usually good but mine has reached 7' this year and thanks to the rough weather atm is laying everywhere too!


Phlomis, russelliana and tuberosa, are pretty stable

Echinops ritro,  hemerocallis, Solidago caesia but not the tall ones, euphorbias, some of the persicarias, there's a red called 'Inverleith' that stays up and a paler pink one I don't know the name of, crocosmias


Helianthus lemon queen gets to 8ft and needs no staking - one for the back.  I also never need to stake my phlox, which stand 3-4 ft proud on their own.  A couple of judiciously placed shrub roses are good for things to flop on to.  Plus heleniums, echinaceas and shasta daisies all hold their own pretty well.  

I have to stake my delphiniums, oriental poppies and peonies, but not much else.

hope that helps


Thanks nut and chicky - certainly does help. Some nice ideas there, I'll do some looking up and see which will fit best. The Helianthus lemon queen looks lovely.
I'm doing well dividing what I have and taking cuttings, so each year individual plants are becoming clumps.
I think the rose blanc double de coubert would fit well and work well with all the blues/purple's I current'y have. Used to have one yrs ago - beautiful flowers and fantastic scent. Maybe a group 3 clematis to grow throught it for flowers later in the season too



That's the sort of garden I have.

Rather than staking I sometimes stick some twigs in and they help to support the plants but I've never needed to stake any of the following at all. 

Phlox, golden rod, phytolacca, Inula, Delphinium (shorter varieties up to 4 feet), Digitalis (shorter ones), lupin.






Lovely pics NL2 - esp the first - that's the effect I'm after but most of my borders are 6-8' wide, but I've 2 down the garden abt 12ft wide, I just need to get balance between the 7' stuff and the 12" stuff  - I've got a big gap in the middle 

Thanks for the inspiration!

Victoria Sponge

I've started to scaffold my plants this year instead of having them flopping over the paths and suffocating their bedfellows.

Things I've found around 4'+ that stand up on their own are aster little Carlow, lythrum (I've got dropmore purple and blush) and rudbeckia triloba.

I think obedient plant is largely upright but I've put an arc around a largish clump just in case.


Love those borders NL


Bee Balm is good, havent had to stake mine, Astilbe OK, also shrubs like hydrangeas help to keep things stable, must say I have invested in some plant supports, if I put them in early by the time the floppier plants have grown you cant see them.  I also have a few camelias.



 You mean the stuff I've just pulled out on the right!! 

pic was abt 7-8 yrs ago


My Little Carlow isn't so little either at abt 5' - had to stake that and some of the phlox

Thanks for your replies and help

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