Tag Archives: Digitalis

Perfect Plant Partners


The highlight of any garden – maybe even the ultimate aim – is the combination of plants, and the effects they create. What a feeling, when what you envisaged and planned for, comes to fruition! Or, even more exciting, when a perfect plant combination comes out of the blue.

Sitting out the other night, enjoying a bit of lovely evening warmth, I looked more closely at the adjacent Black border, and thought “You know, that grass, now it’s flowering, is perfect next to that Astrantia!” The grass was a later addition to the bed, and hadn’t proved itself, up to that point. Mind you, it does need staking – the effect is totally ruined if it flops, as it tends to do.


I really wanted to share this, and then went on a walk around the “Estate” to see if there were any other possible contributions. Thanks to the joys of iPad, I have now learnt how to annotate my photos, and show you, so easily now, what the plants are. Modern technology, eh?



And here’s one I made earlier!


I hope to continue this theme, as and when these horticultural pairings arise. The photos, once annotated, are self explanatory, so these posts may be short and sweet, even wordless, but always impromptu.

What wonderful and exciting plant combinations do you have in your garden? It would be lovely if you could share them with us. I, for one, would love to see them!

Gardening is all about learning, and what better way to learn, than from fellow gardeners?

A Chocolate Pot


It’s a wet Sunday afternoon. Nothing much can be done outside – at least with any comfort. So I’m amusing myself, playing around with some of my photos and practicing a new collage app.

Rachel de Thame, on the t.v. coverage of Chelsea Flower Show, did a series of articles, on themed plant collections, one of which was chocolate. For a bit of fun, I thought I’d create my own “Chocolate Pot”, using plants in our garden.


Let’s start with a climber, to cover the back fence or wall. Akebia quinata, or “Chocolate vine”, is a beautiful climber, with chocolate coloured flowers, that smell of vanilla, in spring.


Next, we need a backdrop to the border, so we have Cotinus “Grace”, with its beautiful oval, chocolate coloured leaves.

Now for the highlights of the border – the flowers.

Digitalis parviflora

Digitalis parviflora

The “Chocolate foxglove” gives us fantastic spires of chocolate coloured flowers.

Iris "Dutch Chocolate"

Iris “Dutch Chocolate”

Irises always give us stunning flowers, as well as interesting foliage the rest of the time. “Dutch Chocolate” is no exception.

Helenium "Moorheim Beauty"

Helenium “Moorheim Beauty”

We now need a flower to brighten up these chocolate tones, so I’ve introduced a “chocolate orange” element in the form of this orange daisy with chocolate centres. This daisy is a good filler providing a contrast in flower shape.

And now, to finish it all off, we need an edging.

Heuchera "Chocolate Ruffles"

Heuchera “Chocolate Ruffles”

What could be better than Heuchera “Chocolate Ruffles”! A great edging plant with evergreen, chocolate brown leaves (somewhat paler at this time of year, in this photo).

Uncinia rubra

Uncinia rubra

And, to provide a contrast in texture, we could do with a chocolate coloured grass, so this sedge fits the bill!

What a yummy collection for all us chocolate lovers!

As I said, this was a bit of fun, but I think it would work in practice. It would need a sunny site with free draining soil, although the sedge grass may need extra watering. Although shade lovers normally, Heucheras and this foxglove both like sunny conditions as well. The flaw, if it is one, is that the flowers don’t bloom at the same time, but the foliage should pull it all together.

Hope you like my Chocolate Pot! If you have any other suggestions for a theme, please let me know, and I’ll see what I can concoct!