Mid summer has arrived and for those of you who have not yet made a visit to the Growing Nursery, each of our beds looks like a huge herbaceous border. The main reaction from most of our visitors is "Wow"!
There is, what is known in the trade, as a riot of colour! Everything seems to have appreciated from the recent warm and admittedly, sometimes wet, weather by growing extra tall and extra flowery!
It's difficult to pick out any particular plants amongst so many, but our Astilbes are looking especially good, the flowers are emerging from tight coloured buds, attracting all manner of insects. Moisture lovers, they have deeply divided foilage and feathery fronds of flower plumes in all colours. They flower over a long period, and even when finished, the compact foliage is attractive in itself, and deer resistant.
Enjoying a more free draining situation and full sun, Echinacea or coneflower is a native of North America, where it naturally occurs on the open grasslands, along with Rudbeckia or Black Eyed Susan and many different varieties of native grass. On the Growing Nursery, we have an Echinacea for all tastes, each displaying different heights, flower forms and colours. One of the most striking, is a variety called "Mama Mia", which has vibrant, fragrant red blooms, changing to orange and coral as they age. A tall Echinacea, it flowers all summer, and is highly attractive to insects, particularly butterflies, which feed on nectar from the brown cone centre. It also makes an excellent cut flower.
If any of our visitors are interested in planting perennials with bees and butterflies in mind, now is a good time to come and see where they are landing! It won't be long before the Angelica plants flower and then you can almost hear the hoverflies and bees getting to work. It really is a great time of year!
Alyson Woods, Nursery Manager
>> See just a small selection of what's currently in flower in our Growing Nursery