I love the way this adds movement to a planting scheme when caught by even the gentlest of breezes. Don’t be deceived by its diaphanous appearance; it has an iron constitution once established. It is good in association with shrub roses, where it offers a delightful airy contrast to the more weighty blooms. As plants fade, the foliage takes on warm autumnal tones of gold and burgundy and the structure will contribute to a planting group for weeks.
HEIGHT/SPREAD 120cm x 50cm.
ORIGINS Native to open woods, clearings and road verges of eastern and south-eastern USA.
SOIL Best in moist, humus-rich soil in full sun or light shade. Once established, they can withstand dryer seasons.
The other eight plants chosen by Chris this month are:
Nepeta subsessilis 'Washfield'
Campanula latifolia var. alba
You can find out more about these plants in the June issue of the magazine - issue 186
Chris suggests places to visit to enjoy gardens at their seasonal best
It can be good to challenge perceptions of what plants should be included in a border. The naturalistic approach of Strilli Oppenheimer, owner of Waltham Place, assisted by the late Dutch plantsman Henk Gerritsen, has achieved a very different planting balance. The 40-acre organic garden includes potager, knot garden, herbaceous borders, woods, lake and grass maze. An organic farm supplies produce for the café and shop. Waltham Place also runs training courses. Check website for details and opening times (including the National Gardens Scheme). Waltham Place, White Waltham, Maidenhead SL6 3JH. Tel 01628 825517,
Those familiar with the world of the late author Roald Dahl can visit the gardens of his former home, Gipsy House. An intriguing series of outdoor rooms is divided by hedges and walls. An avenue of pleached limes leads to his writing hut. Ornamental borders and a productive vegetable garden occupy the foreground, while magnificent floral meadows take your view out to the countryside. It opens under the National Gardens Scheme on 14 June and 4 July, 2-5pm. Gipsy House, Whitefield Lane, Great Missenden, Bucks HP16 0BP. Nearby is a museum dedicated to Dahl (aimed at 6 to 12-year olds). 81-83 High Street, Great Missenden, Bucks HP16 0AL. www.roalddahlmuseum.org
Next door to Gipsy House garden is an excellent nursery, The Plant Specialist, with an extensive range of durable herbaceous plants. There are seductive display areas and knowledgeable staff to assist. See website for seasonal opening hours. 7 Whitfield Lane, Great Missenden, Bucks HP16 0BP. Tel 01494 866650, www.theplantspecialist.co.uk