Persicaria amplexicaulis Taurus (=‘Blotau’)
The range of Persicaria amplexicaulis now available to plant lovers is potentially bewildering. But if you choose to measure performance against reliability, flower colour and longevity this one comes pretty near the top in the rankings. It was a chance seedling, identified by Alan Bloom at Bressingham in Norfolk. Vibrant rose-madder flowers are marginally shorter than the species, and swollen in girth to impressive effect. Individual flowers sport a tuft of electric blue stamens. Extended flowering is a bonus.
HEIGHT/SPREAD 100cm x 70cm.
ORIGINS Persicarias originate in Northern temperate regions.
SOIL Prefers a humus-rich, moisture-retentive soil, but copes with less.
SEASON July to October.
The other eight plants chosen by Chris this months are:
Vernonia arkansana ‘Mammuth’
Miscanthus sinensis ‘Emmanuel Lepage’
Aster sedifolius ‘Nanus’
Sedum telephium subsp. ruprechtii
Persicaria virginiana var. filiformis
Crocosmia x crocosmiiflora ‘Star of the East’
Verbena bonariensis ‘Lollipop’
You can find out more about these plants in the September issue of the magazine - issue 189
Chris suggests places to visit to enjoy summer garden displays:
The Walled Garden at Scampston Hall in North Yorkshire was originally a kitchen garden. The owners Sir Charles and Lady Legard enlisted landscape designer Piet Oudolf to invest it with a new lease of life, with bold contemporary design leaning heavily on herbaceous plants and grasses for colour and texture. In September massed grass parterres turn warm golden brown, contrasting with the rich colour palette of late summer perennials. An award-winning restaurant uses produce from the gardens.
Scampston Hall, Malton, North Yorkshire YO17 8NG.
Tel 01944 759111, www.scampston.co.uk
There is a special charm to all walled gardens, but the historic kitchen garden at Audley End in Essex is magnificent. Just under 100m long, it has a range of fruit, vegetables and flowers much of which is available to buy through the shop. It is managed for English Heritage by Garden Organic, under head gardener Mike Thurlow.
Audley End, Saffron Walden, Essex CB11 4JF.
Tel 01799 522842, www.english-heritage.org.uk
The Inner Temple Garden in London is not quite walled, but it is an enclosed space, which became a formal garden after it was gifted to the Society of the Inner Temple by James I in 1608. A new dynamic phase began recently with the arrival of Andrea Brunsendorf as head gardener. Her creative plantsmanship has introduced new successional planting with emphasis on late summer colour. The ancient avenue of plane trees is thrown into colourful relief by a carpet of 13,000 Liriope muscari – a sight to behold when flowering in September.
Inner Temple Garden, Crown Office Row, Inner Temple, London EC4 7HL.