Five favourites - plants for colour and impact
Garden designer Arit Anderson shares her five favourite plants to bring colour and impact to your garden
Of all of the attributes that flowers give us, colour is nearly always top of the wishlist. These five plants often find their way into my planting schemes because of the colourful impact they bring. They sing, they shout and can bring joy to your borders, even on the gloomiest of days.
Euphorbia characias subsp. wulfenii
How do I know when spring has arrived? When I look out of my window and see that familiar zing of lime beckoning my eye from the border. Euphorbia are such a joy to look at and are a sign that, with winter behind us, the garden is only going to get better. They sit so well with yellows, blues and whites, and are rarely out of place in a spring or summer border.
Achillea filipendula ‘Gold Plate’
I absolutely love umbellifers, with their flowers that look like little umbrellas and the way they sit so delicately above their stems. Achillea filipendula ‘Gold Plate’ demands attention with striking, acid yellow flowers. The flowers are also the perfect landing pad for pollinators like butterflies and hoverflies. Plant achillea next to globe heads like echinops, not only will the bees love them, but it’s a winning design combination.
Dahlia ‘Reverend P. Holian’
I always think that choosing dahlias is like looking into a sweet box! Although I adore dahlias with pastel coloured flowers, the rich and vibrant varieties are the real show offs. Dahlia ‘Reverend P. Holian’ is a cactus dahlia with fabulous deep pink, almost jewel like, flowers. They are great in a border, or look equally stunning in a pot. You can keep cutting the flowers until the first frost, so the inside of your home will look as good as outside.
- How to grow dahlias
- How to plant out dahlias
- Seven of the best dahlias
- Alan Titchmarsh's favourite dahlias
Helenium ‘Moerheim Beauty’
For reliable summer colour, look no further than this fantastic helenium, Helenium 'Moerhein Beauty'. The rich orange flowers look like the embers of a fire at the end of a sunny day and it is long flowering, with frequent deadheading. It is incredibly beneficial to pollinators including butterflies and moths, and birds feed on the seeds. I always love suggesting this late season bloomer, and like to see it teamed up with yellows or grasses such as Stipa tenuissima.
Symphyotrichum ‘Little Carlow’
You may wonder why this pastel coloured aster (or Michaelmas daisy) is featured in my selection, but don’t be fooled. I planted Symphyotrichum ‘Little Carlow’ in a border and on gloomy October days, the plant positively glows. It’s always worth remembering that colour vibrancy is dependant on light levels, and this looks spectacular in the lower, cooler light levels of autumn. Long flowering and good for wildlife, it's hard to resist planting Symphyotrichum ‘Little Carlow’, especially when year-round colour is wanted.
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