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Add a touch of warm red

Heleniums make great partners for Rudbeckias, igniting those golden yellows with a touch of rufous-red. Taller varieties flower later than their shorter cousins. ‘Rauchtopas’, meaning smoky topaz, has petals swept up like the rim of a sombrero, showing warm orange-red on the undersides. The warm mahogany ‘Moerheim Beauty’, bred in the 1930s at Ruys’ Royal Moerheim Nurseries in The Netherlands, has the flouncing skirts of a flamenco dancer in full flow. This will bloom late, right up until October if happy, reaching a metre in good soil, and it’s still the best of the bunch.  

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