Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Soul and Spirit of Soul and Spirit of Every Garden; They Bring Colour, Character and Charm, So Sniff out Some of These Perfect Herbaceous Perennials and Wait for Their Moment to Shine in Your Plot

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Soul and Spirit of Soul and Spirit of Every Garden; They Bring Colour, Character and Charm, So Sniff out Some of These Perfect Herbaceous Perennials and Wait for Their Moment to Shine in Your Plot

Article excerpt

Byline: With Carol Klein of TV's Gardeners' World

PEOPLE are always asking what my favourite plant is. I find it impossible to answer. Quite apart from the fact you'd be offending all the others if you chose just one, different plants steal the limelight at different times.

Herbaceous perennials are the basis of our garden. Yes, shrubs and trees provide structure throughout, but the real soul and spirit, its essence, emanates from these wondrous perennials.

With rich crimson pin cushions all summer long, Knautia macedonica is indispensable. It is just one of the perennials I couldn't be without.

Pollinating insects gorge on it and its seedheads are useful for birds.

We never deadhead it, both for the birds' sake and because they are so pretty. It makes a shrubby plant about 2ft both ways.

My mum gave us a white phlox that we've increased year on year.

It hasn't got a name apart from Jeannie's phlox.

There are countless varieties of Phlox paniculata, varying in colour from almost red, such as "Prince of Orange", to the mysteriously lilac "Eventide".

|Sometimes phlox develop mildew but forms of Phlox maculata seem impervious to it.

They have a more graceful form, with flowers loosely arranged around the top half of the stems.

And they are not at all fussy about soil as long as they are well fed.

The daisy family is the most populous flowering family in the world. Daisies of all kinds make gardeners smile.

There are at least a dozen suitable for every place, though the majority prefer sun.

One of the best - and a plant I make no apologies for using over and over again - is Aster "Little Carlow", with clouds of blue flowers on strong stems. It seldom needs staking.

I have a soft spot for umbels of every kind - plants from the family apiaceae.

Most have white flowers in the manner of cow parsley, in others such as fennel they're yellow.

Unexpectedly, astrantias and eryngiums belong to the same clan.

If I had to choose only one it would be Selinum wallichianum.

Each flower head becomes a plateau composed of tens of smaller florets, which in turn are made up of myriad tiny flowers. …

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