A few of our favourites
Astrantia & Digitalis plant combination
Astrantia 'Roma' (PBR) - Delicate, papery, soft pink flowers which are held on wiry stems above attractive deeply lobed, mid-green leaves. This delightful masterwort is a vigorous variety with a much longer flowering period than most pink or red varieties. It looks particularly fetching planted with grasses and is garden designer, Piet Oudolf's favourite masterwort.
Digitalis x mertonensis - Towering spikes of large, dusky, carmine-pink tubular flowers appear in May and June above conspicuously veined, dark green leaves. This foxglove is a real showstopper and looks wonderful planted in bold drifts towards the back of the border in partial shade. Although it will grow in the sun, the soil needs to remain reliably moist over summer.
Evergreen groundcover plant combination
Create a year-round carpet of lush foliage using these pretty plants which will flourish in partially shaded positions near the front of a border, or in hard to fill spots underneath trees and shrubs.
Polypodium vulgare - A native of Britain, and as such is one of the most versatile for our climate, being content in most soils, damp or dry, as long as it has some shade.
Euphorbia amygdaloides var. robbiae - A valuable plant for difficult areas of dry shade, it looks really good in a woodland setting.
Bergenia cordifolia 'Purpurea' - Turns attractive shades of rich purple throughout the winter, especially when grown in poorer soils. In late winter and early spring, tall red stems carry clusters of cerise pink flowers.
Liriope muscari - An extremely useful plant, which will tolerate a range of conditions including dry shade and drought.
Sunny & dry plant combination
Sometimes you will find a spot in the garden which gets baking hot and the soil is usually bone dry. Most plants will give up quickly in these harsh conditions, but if you can remember to watere them well initially, the plants in this border will settle in quickly and thrive.
Lavandula angustifolia 'Hidcote' A compact form of the popular English lavender, named after plantsman Laurence Johnston's famous Arts and Crafts garden in Gloucestershire.
Cistus × purpureus In June and July this evergreen shrub produces crumpled, dark-pink flowers splashed with maroon at the base of each petal
Achillea 'Lilac Beauty'This gorgeous yarrow produces a profusion of rosy lilac flowers throughout the summer, each fading slightly to lavender pink as they age.
Attracting wildlife seed combination
The seeds in this collection will grow to produce beautiful flowers, which pollinating insects like red mason bees (they don't swarm and rarely sting) will find irrisistable.
Digitalis purpurea - Iconic woodland flowers that are found growing throughout the UK, foxgloves will often carry on flowering for several weeks in summer.
Hesperis matronalis - Sweet rocket is most at home in an informal herbaceous border, or when left to naturalise in a wildlife-friendly garden.
Ammi majus - Dainty white summer flower-heads, which look like fine lacework, hover in a frothy haze above the finely cut, green foliage. Often used by florists to add an ethereal, romantic feel to bouquets, it looks a delight in the garden and has quite an architectural feel. Finches will also find the autumn seed heads attractive.
Hot all year plant combination
Hot colours are exciting. They really stand out in the garden, so are great if you have a border a long way away from the house that you want noticed. This combination is great, not just beacuse of the colour, but because of the structural flowerheads that work really well with one another.
Achillea 'Walther Funcke' - This yarrow has masses of tiny, sometimes pink-flushed, orange-red flowers with yellow centres, that age to creamy yellow. It is more resistant to flopping over in wet weather than most other achilleas. It is long flowering, and drought-tolerant.
Kniphofia 'Alcazar' - Orange-red buds crowd the upright flower spikes and open from the base upwards from early summer to early autumn. The flowers are an orange-yellow, so create a distinctive two-tone effect on the spike. Best planted in humus-rich, moist, but well-drained soil, they’re perfect for a sunny mixed or herbaceous border.
Damp shade plant combination
Pockets of moist (but not waterlogged) shade, whether they be at the upper edges of a pond or stream, or simply in badly drained areas in the garden, are often tricky to plant up.
Primula japonica Miller's Crimson - Attractive tiers of deep reddish-purple flowers appear on stout, upright stems in late spring and early summer. We think this striking candelabra primula is one of the best forms currently available.
Primula vialii - Dense crimson flower spikes open from the base into vivid lilac flowers, like a purple form of red hot poker. This summer-flowering primula will add a splash of colour to the front of a shady border.
Hosta 'Devon Green' - Primarily grown for its lush-looking foliage, which forms dense mounds from spring to autumn, but the pale lilac, lily-like flowers that appear in midsummer are also really pretty.
Matteuccia struthiopteris - This wonderful deciduous shuttlecock fern is at its most beautiful in spring when the large, pale green, lacy fronds start to unfurl and filter the sunlight.