Plant Now

I update this category weekly and include planting tips as well as photographs of new releases and old favs. Feel free to subscribe to my site too. Every time I post a snippet, it’ll be delivered directly to your inbox. Enjoy!

Plant Now: Viburnum x burkwoodii


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Viburnum x burkwoodii has richly fragrant, waxy, white spring flowers that open from pink buds. The flowers smell a little like vanilla ice cream, which is hands down my favourite.

In warmer areas it’s semi-evergreen in winter; in cooler areas it loses all its leaves. Either way, it’s a hardy plant that tolerates frosts. It can sometimes grow a little scraggly, but some of the named hybrids, like ‘Anne’ Russell’ (second from top), have a tidier shape.

The fully white viburnums are ideal for white gardens (obviously), like this Viburnum plicatum at Loseley House & Gardens (image second from bottom).

Viburnum x burkwoodii grows well in sun or light shade in well-drained soil. It’s not particularly fussy about soil type – acid or alkaline – which makes it easy to grow. Plants reach a height of 2-3m and its flowers are some of the most fragrant among all the viburnums.

Plant it by itself as a specimen tree or in amongst the borders as a foundation to smaller shrubs. This viburnum can also be grown as a hedge or espalier.

Autumn is a great time to plant viburnum, which are available from garden centres.

Image credits: The top image is from Style & the Bride. It features a spring bouquet by G Lily called ‘Shades of Pink’, with roses, genestra, veronica, viburnum and heather. The second image is from The Plant Store; the third image is from The Garden Show Online; the bottom image is from PhytoImages.

Plant Now: Verbascum


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Verbascum phoeniceum is a tall-growing plant (to 90cm) that provides good height for the garden. You can see that in this Chelsea Flower Show garden with the purple flowers at the front. A perennial, it usually flowers in its second year, though some of the newer varieties will flower in their first year.

Hybrids are available in white, apricot, purple, soft lavender, peach and pink.

‘Southern Charm’ is a collection of beautiful soft colours from Kings Seeds. Sow seeds now and it will bloom for you in its first year. Verbascums prefer full sun.

Plant Now: Pansies


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I truly love pansies. At least, I love the soft pink and deep purple pansies of this world. In pots or in the garden, they provide a modicum or mass of beautiful colour. Plant some up in small pots and hang them on gates and fences for a pretty display.

Sow seeds now for autumn and winter colour. Sow them in trays or pots for planting out when big enough.

Pansy ‘Ultima Purple Lace’, in the forth image from the top, has deep-purple velvety flowers with a fine silver lace edge. It’s a knock-out in the garden, ideal for beds or container growing, and even picking for small posies. Seeds are available from Egmont Seeds.

The second image is from Garten Zauber; the third image is from Jackson Pottery; the bottom image is from here.

Plant Now: Borage


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Borage (Borago officinalis) seeds can still be sown for their small intense blue flowers. Bees go potty for the flowers, so keep it close to plants that need pollinating. Sow seeds directly in the ground, in sun or part shade.

Borage is great for the vase – a star on its own or for setting off the other flowers.

Image from Valdirose blog.

Plant Now: Chamomile


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Who’s for a chamomile tea? Yes? You’re in good company, because chamomile is one of the most popular medicinal herbs worldwide. It’s well known for its gentle healing properties; our ancestors used it to treat everything from fevers and feebleness to headaches and humbugs. In between they employed chamomile’s curative properties for colds, menstrual cramps, mild infections, digestive disorders, liver and gallbladder complaints, and inflammation of the skin.

Chamomile has antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic properties, but it’s best known for its use as a mild sedative. For frazzled nerves, a cup of chamomile tea is just the thing.

The flowers are pretty too. They look equally lovely in a modern garden as they do a cottage garden. Mine are positioned in my white garden at the front of the house (a cottage) by the picket fence (white). Yep, I’m a bit cliche like that.

If you’re planting chamomile (German chamomile, Matricaria recutita – an annual) this season, position it in full sun in well-drained soil. And then you can snip off the flowerheads and dry them to make your own chamomile tea.

Plant Now: Clematis


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Clematis plants are in shops now, so it’s a great opportunity to see them in bloom before picking out a variety to plant. Depending on which variety you grow (spring flowering, summer flowering or autumn flowering), you can have a clematis in bloom for most of the year.

Flowers may be small (as little as 2.5cm) or large (up to 25cm in diameter), single or double. They prefer a moist, well-drained soil that’s neutral to slightly alkaline in pH. They need plenty of water and regular, balanced feeding. When planting, mix a handful of bonemeal into the soil.

Clematis make great cut flowers. Pick when the blooms have just opened and remove all foliage.

Photo credits: The top images comes from Snippet & Ink; the second image is from Grey Likes Wedding.

Plant Now: Campanula


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Looking for a haze of blue for your garden? Plant Campanula lactiflora. It’s a stunner, with stems up to 1.5m high. Great for picking, it bears panicles of bell-shaped flowers from midsummer to autumn. In cooler areas plant in full sun; in the warmer north partial shade is best. Protect young plants from slugs and snails.

The top image, via HGTV Gardens, also shows the David Austin rose ‘Golden Celebration’. Bottom two images via the Frustrated Gardener.

Plant Now: Statice


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Ordinarily I’m no fan of statice (Limonium), but in certain circumstances this papery flower can look quite classy. Here, in both these bouquets, they stand out, in the top bouquet with its blooms grouped in vibrant hues, and in the second bouquet because the buds stand in a loose and airy fashion above the rest of the flowers. In the bottom image, again, the closed flowers provide a beautiful, airy table display.

There are two types of statice. The top two images feature the annual statice (Limonium sinuatum) and the bottom two images showcase the perennial statice (Limonium latifolium). The latter, also called sea lavender, grows well in sandy, salty and windy conditions, producing a cloud of small lavender blooms on stems up to 90cm high. The annual statice is the one we see most often in garden centres (and all seed companies sell this one), and it’s a cinch to grow. Flowers can be displayed fresh or dry.

Seeds for the perennial statice are available from Kings Seeds.

Image credits: the top image is via Tumblr; the second image from the bottom is from The Flower Lab; the bottom image is from Wedding Chicks.

Plant Now: Achillea ‘Double Pearl’


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Achillea ‘Double Pearl’ produces clusters of pure white, pompom flowers over a long period during summer. The flowers are great for picking, with stems growing up to 75cm high. Like gypsophila, they can be used as a filler in vases or bouquets. Vase life is around 5-8 days.

Sow seeds in trays, before planting in a sunny position in the garden. You can get seeds from Kings Seeds.

Top image is from Australian Seed.

Plant Now: Astilbes


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If you find astilbes in your garden centre, plant some now. They are superb cut flowers with fluffy plumes in pink (as seen here), white, red or mauve. They’ll grow in sun or shade, with plumes appearing in spring and summer. They do best in cool summers, which is why you see more of them down south. In all cases, though, they like plenty of moisture.

If you prefer to grow by seed, you can get them from Kings Seeds and Egmont Seeds.

In this bouquet you can also see red peonies, red roses, white dahlias and the red berries of hypericum.