Top performers

Many gardens have key plants and top performers.  Location, aspect, and soil type can dictate what grows best and sometimes it is only trial and error that will pin down the lead role for your own borders.  For us Geum ‘Totally Tangerine’ (pictured) is one such star.  Although reaching its beautiful, citrusy, peak right now, it’ll continue to produce colour in the border throughout the summer.  Sterility is the  secret to its success - the desire to produce seed is strong but its physical inability to do so means it just keeps on trying and trying.

It can reach a height of 90cm in some gardens but ours have slightly less diva tendencies and keep to around 60cm or so.  Despite what the books say they do on occasion need staking - ours tend to flop slightly forward so something to keep them upright is useful.  At the front of the border they won’t shade anything out but an unsightly gap can be created to their rear.

Another favourite, Astrantia, does very well for us in June too.  The variety  ‘Claret’ is our favourite.  Well behaved and self supporting they offer a beautiful mound of new foliage before the star shaped pincushion flowers emerge.  If they start to look a bit tired, usually by July, they can be cut to the ground, watered, and will produce more of their beautiful flowers and foliage, keeping the late summer border looking fresh and well behaved.