Seed extravaganza…

Is this a rogue Leonotis? Tostat, September 2020

Fifteen years ago when we moved to France, I was really a bit intimidated by the idea of growing perennials from seed, but now it really is my preferred way of growing plants, though I do still buy plants from time to time- when the wait is just too long. I have learnt that there is tremendous surprise and pleasure in the growing of something from scratch and I have a great emotional commitment to all my plants that I have grown myself! Sometimes there are great results and sometimes no results, dud seed- or rather probably, wrong time, wrong place, no can do. So you have to be prepared for a little Russian Roulette.

This plant grown from seed this spring is a mystery. One reader of this blog is a lovely chap called Tony Tomeo, who often leaves me interesting questions and observations, lives in Southern California and is a genuine horticulturalist- I am very pleased that he enjoys my blog and always look out for his comments. Puzzling a couple of weeks ago about this plant, he wondered if it was a monarda…he was bang on about the smaller plant, which clearly now a somewhat stunted Leonotis leonorus. To me this mystery plant is trying to channel an East European TV tower from the 1960s…and I am still at a loss. Have another go, Tony?

Conoclinum coelestinum, Tostat, September 2019

This is another new-to-me by seed plant. It used to be called ‘Eupatorium coelestinum conoclinum’, but is now just Conoclinum coelestinum– or in plain-speak, Blue Mist-Flower. I shouldn’t really be growing it as it needs a tad more water than I have in the garden, but I adore this shade of blue right at the end of summer, and it is a pretty thing in a raggy sort of way. This is the first flower on a new baby plant so the adult version will be about 1m tall with big, wide plates of blue fluff- and I will find a spot for it- as always happens.

Dendranthema weyrichii, Tostat, September 2019
Dendranthema weyrichii
Photo credit: http://www.rhs.org.uk

Grown from seed this spring, these were seriously miniscule as seedlings- but now measuring 2 handspans in the garden, and survivors of three canicule heatwaves, these plants already have a gong in my book. Dendranthema weyrichii is a tough, no-nonsense plant- in effect, a tiny chrysanthemum as shown in the RHS photo, and with a growth habit that just keeps on spreading, I think it makes a really good hot, dry groundcover plant. No flowers yet for me.

Vernonia lettermannii
Photo credit: http://www.specialplants.net

This plant has been such a triumph that I have already sown more seed for next year which I bought from the fantastic Derry Watkins at Special Plants. She has always got interesting new plants to try, and this Vernonia lettermannii is a good’un. Growing to less than a metre, with feathery branching stems, it is close to flowering in the garden with me, but is such a wispy, almost see-through plant, that my photograph looked pathetic in comparison with Derry’s clump. The growth rate has been astounding for a perennial, and like the Dendranthema, it has come through serious heat and drought without blinking. The giant Vernonias are fabulous, but this smaller, feathery relative is such a good plant for late-summer and totally trouble-free for a dry, hot spot.

Early this morning, the tail of dying Hurricane Dorian brought us good rain- no wind, just good, serious rain for a couple of hours, and this works miracles on the exhausted garden. So, not to ignore old favourites that are also doing a good job, I love this combination of the bright, fresh blue of the Caryopteris and the soft orange of the Abutilon.

The Caryopteris is just at the limit of what it can handle in my summer-dry garden, but two out of three plants have survived this summer- probably because they have been a little sheltered from the full sun by other plants, like the Abutilon. There are many many reasons to be cheerful.

Caryopteris clandonensis ‘Hint of Gold’ with my unknown orange Abutilon, Tostat, September 2019

Nipping round the garden with the camera…

The rain we have had this week has brought lots of things back from the  brink and encouraged others to push the boat out a bit, so I am frequently to be seen nipping round the garden with the camera.

Sphaeralcea munroana, Tostat, June 2015
Sphaeralcea munroana, Tostat, June 2015

This Sphaeralcea munroana is a lovely thing, but it isn’t at all what I expected! For a start, it should have been a crimson orange, and secondly, I was expecting it to be less drapey and more upright. But, whatever, I am actually rather fond of it. New to me this year, and picked out for its drought resistance, it is described by American sites as a ‘xeric’ plant, which means it is seriously good at drought tolerance. And, of course, as soon as I planted it, we had a soaking wet February. But it has pulled through, and is very pretty, if a sweeter pretty than I meant.  At the moment, it is trailing along the ground rather than growing upwards. But, maybe next year when it grows up a bit..

Anthemis tinctoria 'Sauce Hollandaise', Tostat, June 2015
Anthemis tinctoria ‘Sauce Hollandaise’, Tostat, June 2015

There is nothing special about this plant, Anthemis tinctoria ‘Sauce Hollandaise’, but, my goodness, it is a beauty. From 3 tiny pots planted 5 years ago, I have swathes of it now, and I adore it. Tough, pretty, fresh, and very happy to go without water for a while, it is a very good friend. Virtually bombproof, as Bob Brown would say, and most years, there is silvery green foliage all year round. Just deadhead to keep it going, and it will work really hard for you. I am becoming a daisy nut.

Echinacea purpurea 'White Swan', Tostat, June 2015
Echinacea purpurea ‘White Swan’, Tostat, June 2015

Another bombproof plant. You can pick up seed for Echinacea purpurea ‘White Swan’ all over the internet for a pound or so, it germinates easily and gives you a great return. These vigorous plants were teeny weeny seedlings only a year ago, and this year, are quite splendid.  I love Echinacea, I am not so sure about some of the very gaudy doubles that are being bred right now, but you can’t beat the simplicity of ‘White Swan’. And here is a mature flower, the flower reflexes as it matures and exposes the central cone. Wow.

Reflexed Echinacea 'White Swan', Tostat, June 2015
Reflexed Echinacea ‘White Swan’, Tostat, June 2015

Knautia macedonica, Tostat, June 2015
Knautia macedonica, Tostat, June 2015

This is another really good plant. Happy in drought, probably fine in good soil if a little floppy, but wouldn’t want serious wet, it self seeds all over my gravel area and elsewhere too. Knautia macedonica is an unbeatable crimson, and wafts elegantly making a lovely haze of transparent colour. The flowers sit at the top of tall thin stems, so it almost seems to float. It will flower forever once it starts until frost cuts it down, and is totally hardy.

Rudbeckia fulgida var. deamii, Tostat, June 2015
Rudbeckia fulgida var. deamii, Tostat, June 2015

Oh oh, another daisy. Rudbeckia fulgida var.deamii is a very yellow daisy, maybe too Birds Custard for some, but I can take the yellow because it is another toughie.  And, though I am fond of ‘Goldsturm’ and have loads of it, I also like this one, which I grew from seed, easy as pie, and this is how they look 2 years on. It muscles it’s way past any weeds, and insists on being seen, so nothing retiring or delicate about it, right down to it’s coarse, hairy legs. But, flowering all summer, who can complain?

Bee coming in, Nepeta tuberosa, Tostat, June 2015
Bee coming in, Nepeta tuberosa, Tostat, June 2015

Warning! This is my 3rd shot at this plant, having grown it from seed twice and lost it. Nepeta tuberosa, so lovely that I will keep at it, needs razor sharp drainage and sun all year round. But if you can give it that, it will reward you with lipstick-shaped upright flower spikes, some more carmine than others, I have had carmine, almost pink, deep blue…It doesn’t last forever, but will self seed if it likes you. It also has the most strokable, velvety leaves and is very striking. Another Derry Watkins, Special Plants plant, and a right good one. Tweezer job on the seedlings so you need a steady hand.

And green is the colour…

Now that we are in a surprise period of large dollops of rain, kindly delivered towards the back end of the day, and continuing for the rest of the week, the colour green is returning to the garden. Not to the grass, still crisp and burnt, and also a large purple clematis which has been completely brule-d. Not to mention one or two other things which probably are not mortally wounded. But there are other things…

Here are two plants that I would probably never be able to grow other than in a pot with daily attention. I wouldn’t normally want to be bothered with daily attention, but there are some things that are just so beguiling that I fall for them. I grew both of these from seed from Derry Watkins at Special Plants about 3 years ago. Not one of my more successful plantings as I only got one good seedling from both sowings, but they are both really worth it.

Astilboides tabularis, Tostat,  June 2015
Astilboides tabularis, Tostat, June 2015

The colour of the new leaves on Astilboides tabularis is mouth-wateringly green, but the hairy leaves are outstanding in bright sunlight, and although it is a slow grower, I am devoted to it.  It grows steadfastly, stubbornly carrying on even if the odd slug gets in there, and when fully mature, the leaves should be much bigger, up to 1m apparently. Don’t believe the RHS.. there is nothing common about this plant. But it does need very consistent moisture, good soil and semi-shade, so hence the pot in my case. So I will just keep it, and pot on as they say.

Peltoboykinia watanabei, Tostat, June 2015
Peltoboykinia watanabei, Tostat, June 2015

This is a complete mouthful of a name- with more syllables than you can quite believe- Peltoboykinia watanabei.  The new leaves are an almost luminous green, and, like the Astilboides, it is totally hardy so I leave both plants out in their pots in the winter.  Again, it needs consistent moisture, good soil and semi-shade and will eventually make 0.75m in height and a bit wider probably. I love the palmate shape of the leaves and its doggedness. It just keeps slowly going.

Caryopteris x clandonensis 'Hint of Gold', Tostat, June 2015
Caryopteris x clandonensis ‘Hint of Gold’, Tostat, June 2015

This is quite the best caryopteris I have seen. I also grow ‘Worcester Gold’ which is anaemic in comparison. I bought these Caryopteris x clandonensis ‘Hint of Gold’ as small plants in the early Spring, and though they have taken their time to get settled, and it is a bit too early for flowering, they have paid their way already. The foliage is an exhilarating lime-yellow-green, not a bit sickly, and it is a tough little plant, on its way to making a nice rounded boule-shape about 1m x 1m. So, I can’t wait for the flowers.  I am growing it in 2 places, one hotter than the other, and one with a lot less moisture, but actually, the plants are level-pegging, though the one in the sunnier spot has marginally better colour, so I am very hopeful that it will be a Great Success.

Acanthus 'Whitewater', Tostat, June 2015
Acanthus ‘Whitewater’, Tostat, June 2015

Now, ok, this is slightly slipping from the green theme, but it is so extraordinary that I had to put it in. Have you ever seen a plant that so closely fakes being a pool of spilt, creamy milk?  This is Acanthus ‘Whitewater’.  Now, I love Acanthus, but they really do take their time with me, and this small plant is, believe it or not, 3 years old. But it is in a harsh spot, and so I believe that it will get to the point where the rhizome is big enough for it to be out there all year, not just now and then. Eventually, it will also have candy-pink flower spikes, up to 1,5m- but that’s a way off. So I am used to the fact that it comes and goes, depending on the weather and the moisture, but it does always come back. So I hope I won’t be in a bathchair by the time it gets to flowering.

And lastly…

Begonia grandis ssp.evansiana, Tostat, June 2015
Begonia grandis ssp.evansiana, Tostat, June 2015

a begonia! I am not a begonia fan, but I love this one. Sites say that this is a hardy begonia. I think that’s a dodgy recommendation and I always overwinter it dry in its pot, just out of the weather.  Begonia grandis ssp.evansiana is like an opera coquette..all flashy red underskirts and posing, and gorgeous when backlit. Also, once it likes you, it will give you tons of tiny bulbules, which will sprout all over the place, so it has a generous nature. Mine is maybe 4 years old, and when at full height is a stunning metre and a bit.  Lovely.

Patience is a virtue…growing plants from seed

…and not one that I classically take to, being of the busy bee variety of person. There was a very irritating book, that I don’t remember the title of, which I read as a child, and I remember wanting to stab the character, a girl called Patience, with a fork. But, probably what turned me from just being an enthusiastic gardener with not a lot of time ( you know, 3 small children, full time job) to being a total nut, was the experience of finally obeying the instructions and successfully growing plants from seed.

It is a job for the patient, especially if you are growing perennials and shrubs from seed, as you do have to put in a long wait for the final outcome. Of course, once you get there, you are busy patting yourself on the back for growing 30 whatever they are for about £5, including the compost.

So, I thought I would share with you some of the successes that I have had in growing from seed. And I am choosing plants that give out in more ways than one, often great foliage and then superb flowers. I often pay homage to Derry Watkins, and my first plant was one of my first seeds from her.  Here it is, right now, in my garden, and the size of these leaves has to be seen, easily 12″ long and 8″ across..

Telekia speciosa leaves, Tostat, May 2015
Telekia speciosa leaves, Tostat, May 2015

they are spectacular.  It is Telekia speciosa.  And the best bit is that in July-ish, enormous yellow daises are produced on 2m stalks, which last right through till Autumn and beyond, as the seedheads brown up but make a great skeleton in the winter. I absolutely love them.  I planted them where Derry suggested, moist-ish, not far from the canal or ruisseau. But since then, they have brought themselves right to the front of my partly shaded woodland area, so that they have put themselves right into the sun and away from the moisture. And they also seem fine.  Here are the flowers from two years ago- as they age, they copy Echinacea and the big centre goes chocolate-brown, another little virtue. From seed to flower, I think probably a 2 year wait.

Telekia speciosa, Tostat, August 2013
Telekia speciosa, Tostat, August 2013

And now for something smaller and discreet. I also bought this from Derry. It is Libertia procera.  Of this, Derry says, plant in dry sun. Well, for me, they also work well in not bone-dry sun, but she is right in that the flowers are bigger and better on the plants in my bone-dry spot.  In fact, this week, caught at quite a jaunty angle, I thought they looked almost Japanese, a delicate spray of white, see below…

Libertia procera, Tostat, May 2015
Libertia procera, Tostat, May 2015

the slight breeze accounts for the faint wobble.  The foliage is grass-like, a bit like Sisyrinchium, and stands up straight and defiant all year round, making a clump about 1m tall and 0.25m wide.  So it is a good companion for other, more floppy flowerers giving some welcome punctuation.  Easy from seed, but probably more than 2 years wait for the flowers. For me, I think it was 4 years wait, and although they don’t last long, they are very decorative.

Sideritus syriaca, Tostat, May 2015
Sideritus syriaca, Tostat, May 2015

Quite often, I’ll see a plant I like the look of somewhere on the net, discover I can’t buy it in France, and then I spend an enjoyable hour scouring the internet for seeds. Sometimes off and on, for weeks, I confess.  So it was with Sideritus syriaca, which I first saw on Annie’s Annuals weekly email.  It is a mountain plant, from Greece and Crete, from which a refreshing anti-oxidant tea can be made. I haven’t tried that yet, but I really love the plant. Low-lying, a bit like Stachys with woolly-ish leaves, for me it is a ground-hugger.

Now, it may be that as it grows it will stand up more as in Annie’s photo in the link.  But, this is the second year and it has produced flowers! Result. It was one of those tweezer jobs to deal with the seedlings, I don’t literally use tweezers, it’s more to illustrate the tinyness. But, this year, they have really put on the beef and are 10 times as big as they were at their biggest last year. Yes, it’s for hot and dry, throw in stony and it will be utterly at home. I am pretty sure I got seed on ebay. It is always worth looking there.

And for my last plant, here is also my hand in the picture which shows how tiny it still is in Year 2. Dianthus cruentus, sometimes called the Blood Pink, is going to be a stunner next year. Already, the tweezer scale plantlings are producing flowers and have grown, so you wait. The colour is really hard to reproduce. It is an electric red, rather as Verbena bonariensis is an electric mauve. So the colour is very intense and looks a bit too safe in my photograph.

Dianthus cruentus, Tostat, May 2015..and my hand.
Dianthus cruentus, Tostat, May 2015..and my hand.

Here is where I saw it and was entranced.

Spot Dianthus cruentus. Cleve West, Best in Show, Chelsea 2011.
Spot Dianthus cruentus. Cleve West, Best in Show, Chelsea 2011.

Again, the colour is not as it is. But this small plant was a highlight of this beautiful show garden. After Cleve West and his Best in Show Garden in 2011, Dianthus cruentus plants were in limited stock and disappeared from shelves all over the UK. It was only a couple of years later that you could buy seed easily. Derry Watkins now has it in her seedlist, see the link on the plant name above. Again, it prefers hot, dry, stony…but full sun and handfuls of gravel when you plant it would probably do the trick. Enough already.

High and mighty…but tiny…Papaver rupifragum

Friends have sometimes said of my garden, ” ..you have so many tall things..”and I do, and one or two have said “What about smaller plants?” And I have laughed and said something about compensation for being a short person, but isn’t it funny how some things stick in your mind. So I have been getting to know shorter plants lately, on the grounds that my friends had hit on something. I was ignoring the plant world that lives at less than 1 metre high.

Right now, a very tiny and delicate plant is getting ready for its moment in the limelight. I first saw this plant on Annie’s Annuals about seven years ago, but since then, the same plant, I am pretty sure, is now being called Papaver atlanticum ‘Flore Pleno’.  Still, not having got to the bottom of a possible identity crisis, I was relieved to find a good poppy blog by Matt Mattus, a plantsman, that is still talking about Papaver rupifragum or the Spanish Poppy. So, for now, I’ll stick with the name I know.

It is a spirited and delicate thing. It’s a slow grower, I practically needed tweezers to transplant the seedlings to grow it on, and probably because we get a tad too much Spring rain for it, it’s still with me, but in recovery this year from the epically wet Spring we had last year. So, although it is in a hot South facing spot, I reckon it’s got to be hotter and drier still. So, for the UK, thin, bone-dry soil, tops of walls, that kind of thing and SUN.  So, for the first reveal, I give you the plant as of yesterday…

Papaver rupifragum, April 2105
Papaver rupifragum, April 2105

Not much perhaps to look at, though I love the arching shepherd’s crook shape of the flowerhead, so here is how this will look later in the week, when I will miss it as I am in London and Edinburgh for a few days.

Papaver rupifragum April 2012
Papaver rupifragum April 2012

It is the most beautiful and delicate, and not shouty, orange with petals that softly crinkle at the edges.  Tougher than it looks in rain too. I think that what I must do is buy some more seed from Derry Watkins and have a go in a drier spot. There’s a plan. And a great reason to, while I am at it, see what else Derry has got that’s new to me. Usually masses of things and then I have to choose. Delightful torture.

I love my workhorses…

Well, sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t.  Workhorses are those plants that are utterly failsafe, reliable doers that actually often get overlooked by me because I know them so well. But it’s in early Spring that you are reminded of what good plants they are, and how it’s your own whims that dictate their survival in the garden, not their intrinsic qualities.  So here are three of mine. They suffer because I can get irritated by their self-seeding and I can get snobby about them because they seem so obliging. But they really do work for me, so I am giving them their moment of glory.

Teucrium hyrcanicum ‘Purple Tails’ is my first unsung hero.  I got seed from Derry Watkins. She is the amazing woman who runs Special Plants near Chippenham, and whose seed catalogue would bankrupt me if I weren’t firm with myself.  I had never been very successful with perennials from seed, but a few years ago, I made much more of an effort to get the conditions right, and Teucrium hyrcanicum ‘Purple Tails’ was one of my first successes.

Teucrium hyrcanicum 'Purple Tails' photo credit: www.specialplants.net
Teucrium hyrcanicum ‘Purple Tails’ photo credit: http://www.specialplants.net

And here is one of the reasons why I love it.  I have just been moving some clumps around the garden in a gail force wind, and yet, in early Spring, it is already energetic, bursting with pretty foliage and raring to go.

Right now in the garden, Teucrium hyrcanicum 'Purple Tails' Mar 15
Right now in the garden, Teucrium hyrcanicum ‘Purple Tails’ Mar 15

You can tell that it’s an early summer bloomer because it is already up and running, but it will give you a good month of flower and then you will have seedheads once the flowers are over. It will self-seed, so then you have the choice of pulling out, making more clumps, or just enjoying it. For me, it likes goodish soil, not too dry, but it is perfectly happy with normal rainfall and warm sun. It is quite an insistent clumper, so it doesn’t let other stuff invade it. It grows to 2′ or so, and one year I must have a go at Chelsea-chopping some of it to see if I can prolong the flowering a bit.

Phlomis russeliana is my second choice.  It works all year. Big plate-sized, thick leaves make sure that nothing else creeps in where it is growing, and then, in early summer, tiered candelabra soft creamy yellow flowers shoot up on straight, tough stalks. By late summer, the flowers have gone over, but the seedheads remain statuesque right through till early Spring the following year when they can be cut back. Winter frost looks stunning caught in the phlomis heads, and so it really is a truly four season plant. It will take rubbish soil, heat, very little water, sun and is altogether obliging.  Here it is growing in what I call ‘The New Garden’ made out of a caved-in barn space at the side of the house. This was another of my Beth Chatto type challenges, to grow plants that work in unenriched, poor, very rocky, free-draining soil. Look how happy it is amongst the kniphofia and perovskia.

Yellow Kniphofia, Gaura lindheimeri, Perovskia atriplicifolia 'Little Spire' and the creamy spires of Phlomis russeliana, June 2012
Yellow Kniphofia, Gaura lindheimeri, Perovskia atriplicifolia ‘Little Spire’ and the creamy spires of Phlomis russeliana, June 2012

And my last hero is, Bronze fennel or Phoeniculum vulgare ‘Purpureum’. It is a light, airy wonder of a plant. The bronze foliage is at its most striking in early Spring. Here is a fennel baby coming up right now in the garden alongside a pal, phlomis russeliana.

Foeniculum vulgare 'Purpureum' coming up in March 2015 alongside Phlomis russeliana.
Foeniculum vulgare ‘Purpureum’ coming up in March 2015 alongside Phlomis russeliana.

Completely tough, it will self seed everywhere, so you will never be without it, especially in a veiled planting next to roses, the feathery, dark foliage is stunning. The yellow seedheads are really pretty in themselves, and it will be happy in both good and poor soil, but will need sun.

Rosa 'Edith Piaf' and Phoeniculum vulgare 'Purpureum' July 2013
Rosa ‘Edith Piaf’ and Phoeniculum vulgare ‘Purpureum’ July 2013

There’s nothing common or garden about these three heroes.

When Shitty Bank isn’t so shitty….

The site of Shitty Bank 2003
The site of Shitty Bank 2003

This is the site of Shitty Bank when we first saw it in 2003.  There is no bank, and it’s not that…bad! Dried out as a result of a huge heatwave that hit France for a month in August 2003, but otherwise fine.  This is was where we decided to put the swimming pool that we built 3 years later, mainly because it was flat, a bit screened by a big hedge from our really nice neighbours, and it was a sun-trap.  So in it went, and with it came a massive heap of spoil, rubbish soil with huge river stones in it, and not much else.

What to do? Well, I had recently read Beth Chatto’s great book about gravel gardening…a new subject to me having previously gardened in Scotland. And so, emboldened by her experiment in gardening with what she’d got, an old carpark space, I decided to do the same with our bank of spoil. An old friend came to visit, laughed, and promptly christened it ‘Shitty Bank’. The name stuck.

Lessons learnt:

– if, like me, your ground is poor and stoney, it will take a couple of years for plants to get their feet down and really take off. So patience really is a virtue.

– don’t bother with ‘small and interesting’ plants…go for rough, tough stuff that will see off all the bindweed and other weeds, or at least sit on them. The ‘small and interesting’ things just get lost in the bigger things and don’t make it. I love Nepeta tuberosa, and did have a good clump which I grew from seed, but rain and other plants pushed it out, and now I have it in a kinder place.

– do plant beautiful and tolerant plants. Rosa chinensis ‘Mutabilis’ loves it. She started as a one-foot weakling and is now 3m high x 4m spread.  A few years ago, we had quite a wet summer and the bindweed was growing to serious strangulation point.  So, in the winter, we crawled underneath and anchored black tarpaulin material as tightly as we could around the underneath of the rose.  This has been quite effective and reduced the bindweed by about 80%. With us, this rose is in bloom for easily 10 months of the year.

Rosa chinensis 'Mutabilis' changes from deep pink to peach to yellow as the flowers age..
Rosa chinensis ‘Mutabilis’ changes from yellow to peach to deep pink as the flowers age..

– another toughie, which is now a small tree, is Vitex agnus castus, which has fabulous purple blossom in late summer.

Vitex agnus caste
Vitex agnus castus flowering amongst Eryngium agavifolium

– and I wouldn’t be without, though it doesn’t last long, I love the way the colour in the flowers fills up like a cartoon blush, and it does happily colonise everywhere….Echinops sphaerocephalus ‘Arctic Glow’.

Echinops sphaerocephalus 'Arctic Glow'
Echinops sphaerocephalus ‘Arctic Glow’

And, although like everything else in the garden, there is constant change as plants, and me, change our minds about each other, and each year brings new weather challenges, Shitty Bank does a good job and I have learnt that it survives pretty well now with one really good tidy-up of bramble, bindweed and their pals each year. And now, the plants are big enough to fend for themselves.

Small footnote: I grew my Nepeta tuberosa from seed from Derry Watkins at Special Plants, near Bath, back in 2005.  She is a fount of wisdom, and her brochure is a torture to read- you could choose everything.  Her seed is always good.  If she was down the road from me, I would be penniless.

Early Shitty Bank: Rosa sanguinea, Phlomis purpurea (pink), Stachys byzantina,  yellow Asphodeline lutea, Euphorbia characias wulfenii
Early Shitty Bank: Rosa sanguinea, Armeria maritima Dusseldorf Pride  (pink), Stachys byzantina, yellow Asphodeline lute, Euphorbia characias wulfenii