Heliopsis helianthoides var. scabra ‘Summer Nights’
This plant’s name aptly conjures up its dramatic contrast of golden flowers and burgundy stems. When first seen in the perennial trials gardens at Hermannshof in Germany, we made a note to add this to our nursery’s palette. Plants tend to grow rather tall, and early season pruning makes little impression. We resolved the problem by constructing hazel-twig frameworks through which the plants strain upwards, yet stay invisibly supported. Deadheading will prolong the flowering display.
HEIGHT/SPREAD 175cm x 50cm.
ORIGINS Heliopsis are native to open prairies and scrubs of the USA and Mexico.
CONDITIONS Most fertile garden loams that have moisture retention.
SEASON June to September.
The other eight plants chosen by Chris this month are:
Agastache ‘Painted Lady’
Aconitum ‘Stainless Steel’
Phlox paniculata ‘Reddish Hesperis’
Acanthus mollis (Latifolius Group) ‘Rue Ledan’
Kniphofia ‘Tawny King’
You can find out more about these plants in the July issue of the magazine - issue 187
Chris suggests places to visit to enjoy summer garden displays:
To see massed herbaceous perennials in creative arrangements, visit the pleasure gardens at Trentham, Staffordshire, which have been revived with new funding and a strong new design team – Piet Oudolf, Tom Stuart-Smith and Dominic Cole. Gardens include formal Italian, new perennial, a wildflower meadow and woodlands. There is also a garden centre and a café.
Trentham Gardens, Stone Road, Trentham, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire ST4 8AX.
Tel 01782 646646, www.trenthamgardens.co.uk
Contemporary planting on a smaller scale can be seen at Lady Farm near Bristol in 12 acres of contrasting garden areas. Each has a strong emphasis on plant communities. A steppe garden was created from a difficult mound of subsoil from an old tennis court. A prairie garden looks magnificent from July to December with tall grasses, Eupatorium and Helenium.
Lady Farm, Chelwood, Bristol BS39 4NN.
This private garden is open certain days from July to October – phone the owner Judy Pearce on 01761 490770 for details and to arrange a visit. www.ladyfarm.co.uk
The Hannah Peschar Sculpture Garden is a ten-acre sculpture gallery but with the character of a private garden. Exhibits are displayed within the extensive wooded and watery grounds of this Surrey house and gallery. Works are for sale, and commissions are undertaken, under the guidance of the owners Hannah Peschar and landscape designer Anthony Paul. Each spring opens with a major new exhibition.
Open May to the end of October. Black and White Cottage, Standon Lane, Ockley, Surrey RH5 5QR.
Tel 01306 627269, www.hannahpescharsculpture.com