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Sedum Blue Pearl ('Sunsparkler') (PBR) - The colour of the fleshy foliage is reason enough to grow this drought-tolerant sun-lover, as it is a dusky shade of purple that intensifies as the summer progresses, providing a beautiful contrast to silvers and pinks. This plant is also valuable though for its long flowering season, producing small clusters of bright pink blooms, which are irrisistable to butterflies, bees and other pollinating insects.

Sedum Blue Pearl ('Sunsparkler') (PBR) - The colour of the fleshy foliage is reason enough to grow this drought-tolerant sun-lover, as it is a dusky shade of purple that intensifies as the summer progresses, providing a beautiful contrast to silvers and pinks. This plant is also valuable though for its long flowering season, producing small clusters of bright pink blooms, which are irrisistable to butterflies, bees and other pollinating insects.

Hebe 'Youngii' - A compact, spreading, evergreen shrub which is smothered in short spikes of large violet flowers all summer, that gradually fade to white. The tiny leaves are dark green and glossy and often have fine red margins. Its spreading habit makes it ideal for rock gardens, or try it planted en-masse along a path or driveway. Like most hebes, it will flourish in a range of conditions, and once established, it is drought-tolerant, too. The flowers are a magnet for bees and…

Hebe 'Youngii' - A compact, spreading, evergreen shrub which is smothered in short spikes of large violet flowers all summer, that gradually fade to white. The tiny leaves are dark green and glossy and often have fine red margins. Its spreading habit makes it ideal for rock gardens, or try it planted en-masse along a path or driveway. Like most hebes, it will flourish in a range of conditions, and once established, it is drought-tolerant, too. The flowers are a magnet for bees and…

Greater Knapweed - Centaurea scabies is big and showy, like a cross between a cornflower and a thistle, with whiskery petals in a whorl. It is a valuable nectar source for insects and a favourite flower of butterflies, including the Marbled White and Dark Green Fritillary. It also has therapeutic properties, and was once used in skin ointments to heal wounds and infections. Centaurea scabiosa is a truly outstanding wild flower which outshines many cultivated plants.

Greater Knapweed - Centaurea scabies is big and showy, like a cross between a cornflower and a thistle, with whiskery petals in a whorl. It is a valuable nectar source for insects and a favourite flower of butterflies, including the Marbled White and Dark Green Fritillary. It also has therapeutic properties, and was once used in skin ointments to heal wounds and infections. Centaurea scabiosa is a truly outstanding wild flower which outshines many cultivated plants.

We all like to get free plants. And self-seeders produce new plants for us every year. They are ideal if you want a fuss-free garden, because they require little intervention. Left to bloom and set seed, these prolific varieties will soon fill every available patch in the garden.  Here are my top 10 self-seeding plants. 1 Papaver

We all like to get free plants. And self-seeders produce new plants for us every year. They are ideal if you want a fuss-free garden, because they require little intervention. Left to bloom and set seed, these prolific varieties will soon fill every available patch in the garden. Here are my top 10 self-seeding plants. 1 Papaver

Peony border beside the pergola in the walled garden includes 'Duchesse de Nemours', 'Sarah Bernhardt', 'Dancing Butterflies' and 'Kansas'. Beaminster Manor, Beaminster, Dorset, UK

Peony border beside the pergola in the walled garden includes 'Duchesse de Nemours', 'Sarah Bernhardt', 'Dancing Butterflies' and 'Kansas'. Beaminster Manor, Beaminster, Dorset, UK

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