Erigeron karvinskianus (formerly erigeron mucronatus) also known as the Mexican fleabane. This is a perennial which flowers from March onwards until the first hard frosts. It is in these summer months though when it looks at its best and the flowers are most prolific. It is best grown in full sun but has obviously not read the books as it is dotted about our north facing courtyard. Apart from its long flowering period another attraction of this little daisy is the way the flowers change from white to pink as they age. It is a plant that just gets on and does it own business without any intervention or attention. Moreover it seems to be pest and disease free.
It can be grown easily from seed or bought as a plant although I think that the latter option is usually relatively expensive. I have gasped with shock more than once when I've seen the price label at plant sales. Once you have it I think that it is with you for keeps it as it self-seeds with abandon. I'm quite happy for it to do so despite himself's regular assassination attempts.
Kalimeris incisa 'Charlotte' - this is the newcomer of the bunch only arriving in August 2014, a purchase made at the Southport Flower Show from Holden Clough nursery. Preferring a sunny position is a hardy perennial which flowers from June to October. It bears pale mauve aster like flowers with a yellow centre. As far as I've been able to find out it is relatively disease and pest free. It's biggest selling point as far as I'm concerned is that it attracts bees and hoverflies. As you might be able to see I need to get in to do some dead-heading and some belated propping up. Friday night's torrential downpour has battered and flattened the plant somewhat and now that it's established I think that it might need staking in the future. The biggest selling point as far as I'm concerned is that 'Charlotte' attracts bees and hoverflies.
Allium sphaerocephalon also known as the drumstick allium. Coming into flower later that most other alliums this is another easy-going character that just gets on with it given a sunny spot. I like the fact that they take so little room to accomodate so that you can plant them in between summer flowering perennials. A downside as it with all bulbs is trying to remember where they were the flowering stalk dies down. The flowering heads start off green before slowly from the top down turning into a deep purple colour. They can have a bit of a flippy- floppy tendency but that doesn't matter. They will self-seed gently. Again they are another magnet for pollinators. If you don't already grow these make sure to add some to your bulb order this year. Talking of making bulb orders I've read that it has not been a good season for bulbs because of the warm dry weather. The advice is to get bulb orders in early. I'm usually last minute when it comes to do doing this but intend to get cracking forthwith.
Clematis jouiniana x 'Praecox'- this is a long time July favourite although it first comes into flower in June. It's an extremely vigorous herbaceous clematis which can either be grown either as scrambling ground cover or as a climber. Awarded the Royal Horticultural Society Award of Garden Merit this again is a pollinator magnet. I love it although it has one major fault in that it dies a most disgraceful death. If you are not of a sensitive disposition and want the full picture have a peek here. It has reached the situation though where it's taking up too much room so is in for a most severe pruning next spring.
Geranium pratense 'Plenum Violaceum' - another easy going perennial which has such pretty double flowers. Mine is in a north facing border where the flowers do not scorch as much if we have a very hot spell. Sadly it is sterile as I would welcome seedlings with open arms. I've had it growing in the garden for a long, long time, along with its sibling geranium pratense' Plenum Caeruleum' but sadly the latter did not remerge this year. I must seek a replacement. There is also a white flowering sibling too!
Thank you Chloris for your welcome invitation. I'm now off outside as the weather has brightened up. I have a pot of oh so tiny hardy begonias to prick out so may be gone for some considerable time.