Tag Archives | top10

Best Shade Loving Plants


Beth Chatto believes you can transform a shady spot with easy-care planting that includes foliage and flowers for a brighter Spring garden. Illuminate a shady spot under trees with a range of flowers and plants.
Beth Chatto has an extensive list of plants for shady areas for all year round interest

Book Cover The Shade Garden

Top Ten Spring Shade Lovers

  • Honesty purple or white forms are good when in flower but also produce airy white seedheads
  • Forget-me-nots are flowering all over my back garden at the moment from self-sown plants.
  • Bluebells can be white as well as blue or even pink. They normally grow in shady woodland and will flower without sun. They also spread quite quickly particularly the thuggish Spanish variety. Do not take wild bulbs from there natural habitat.
  • Hellebore the Lenten Rose is another shade  loving plant that is happy under trees although the flowers tend to hang down and be hard to inspect.
  • Tulips can brighten the darkest spot. I plant them in pots so I can move them to where they will have the greatest impact. I can then replace them with other plants later in the year.

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Top 10 Spring Flowering Shrubs


Spring is known for colourful bulbs and primula but there are many top shrubs that provide great colour in spring.

Forsythia The yellow flowering twiggy shrub that can grow to 10 feet. It flowers before the leaves form and is a strong, bright  yellow. Large blossom varieties are now being cultivated but either way you get a mass of bloom.

Rhododendron Evergreen shrubs of many forms and sizes from 12 inches to 12 foot. Some bloom from March and some in May. Many sizes and colors exist and one range is named after Snowwhite’s seven dwarfs.

Ribes sanguineum Red Flowering Currant 6′ by 4′  This easy deciduous shrub flowers in panicles of red  or pink  in March and April.

Mahonia aquifolium ‘Compacta’Oregon Grape Evergreen shrubs with spiky leaves grow to several feet tall. Yellow flowers in February and March with good scent. It also produces black edible berries. Continue Reading →


Top Ten Flowers – Two Different Lists

Gardeners World ran a series looking for Britains favourite top ten flowers. The BBC didn’t name specific varieties or offer much insight so I have added some Gardeners Tips

  1. Lilies –  Soak in water water for an hour lay sideways on a bed of grit and shade the root run.
  2. Roses – Encourage growth from the ground by planting deeper than they originally grew. Scented varieties Margaret Merrill and Rosa Westerland are worth looking out for
  3. Daffodils – Feed with tomato fertilizer as they finish flowering and leave leaves for 6 weeks. Miniature DAffs are now very trendy but if you have the space go for King Alfred.
  4. Fucshias – Pinch out the tip when they have 4-6 pairs of leaves. I grow Lady and Tom Thumb as well as Winston Churchill
  5. Delphiniums – Treat for slugs in Autumn so they don’t feed on the roots all winter. The white varieties are not as strong as the trditional
  6. Clematis – Plant 6 inches deeper tha the top of the rootball and keep roots cool.
  7. Sweet Peas – Train the strongest side shoot not the main stem for show blooms.
  8. Primulas – Mark plants in flower if you want to split them in June.
  9. Poppies – Cut oriental poppy foliage right back after flowering and stake early.
  10. Irises – Plant in groups of 3-5 to make quicker clumps.

Bulb historian Anna Pavord has also chosen her favourite top ten flowers and surprise, surprise they are all bulbs or corm based flowers. I have put them into alphabetical order

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G. T.’ S Top Ten Waterside Flowering Plants

If you need a stream of ideas of plants for your waterside look no further.

For bog gardens or the streamside there are many plants that will be happy with damp roots. This is our selection of the flowering plants that will grow well in a waterside position.

Flowering Waterside Plants a Top Ten

  1. Iris is one of the most popular waterside plants with several varieties suitable for this position including, Iris ensata Gracieuse’, Iris pseudacorus and Iris sibirica ‘Silver Edge’ .
  2. Snowflake or ‘Leucojum vernum’ is much larger than its relation the snowdrop. The flowers are held on long stems that droop gracefully. It is easy to grow  and multiplies freely in most gardens provided the soil is moist enough. Plants have been known to withstand flooding and standing water so it is an ideal choice for bog gardens
  3. Ligularia The Rocket has yellow flower heads held well clear of the foliage. Very architectural with its sturdy, upright habit giving good reflection in the water.
  4. Astilbe ‘Rheinland’ or Astilbe x arendsii ‘Spinell have wonderful plumes of flowers and love the damp conditions.
  5. Lysichiton camschatcensis The Giant white arum has beautiful white, arum-like flowers which are slightly later than yellow Lysichiton americanus. With smaller leaves it is a better plant for a small pond or bog garden. Slow to establish but very hardy.
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Choosing Bold Colours in the Garden

One of the most interesting aspects of gardening is the combination of colours that can be achieved by accident or design.
Leaves and bark can play their part but it is the bold colours of some of our favourite flowers that take centre stage.


Sometimes, we like the delicate, soothing pastel shades or the zen of a ‘White Garden‘ but, this doesn’t mean we always have to follow decorum and good taste. Sometimes its nice to just choose great impact colours which add life, zest and sparkle to the garden. The kind of colour combination that makes a passerby think – ‘hmm that’s interesting’


Deep Purple Delphiniums and bright red poppies

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