As we approach winter it’s hard to believe that my perennial Geranium pyrenaicum ‘Bill Wallis’ still has a few flowers remaining and yet only a few yards away a snowdrop is about to flower. I’ve been looking very closely where I’ve planted bulbs this and previous years and there are lots of green shoots poking through the ground. It’s good to know what I shall be enjoying next season so I thought I’d give you a few planting ideas for next year.
Perennial geraniums are always very popular in the flower borders with their various growing habits and colourful flowers. The multi award winning ‘Rozanne’ has produced a new star for the garden called ‘Azure Rush’. It’s a sport of ‘Rozanne’ with a more compact and mound forming habit making it good for growing in containers too. It has a long flowering season and produces large flowers that are a slightly paler blue than ‘Rozanne’.
Another beauty for the garden is Geranium wallichianum ‘Sylvia’s Surprise’. Its large pink flowers with pale centres appear in early summer and will bloom again from late summer until the first frost extending its interest of red foliage in autumn. Both geraniums enjoy well-drained soils in full sun or part shade.
Dicentra also known as bleeding heart is a wonderful genus of perennials for those shadier sites bearing interesting and unusual shaped flowers. A wonderful variety for early next year is Dicentra ‘Burning Hearts’. This hardy low growing and mound forming perennial has grey-blue ferny foliage that contrasts beautifully with the rosy-red heart shaped flowers with a white outline to the petals. The delicate looking flowers will hang on arching stems through spring and into summer.
Astrantias are unusual flowering perennials known as Hattie’s Pincushion or Masterwort. These are wonderful plants with unusual looking flowers that do have that pincushion look. One of the stars of the Astrantias coming next year will be Astrantia major ‘Star of Fire’, one of the best red flowering astrantias from early to late summer on tall dark purple red stems.
I shall make room for this beauty because I collect Astrantrias and have them planted all over the garden.