Good Gardening with Mark Curtis: August 2018

01/08/18 News
It's surprising that with the long hot summer days the garden can still put on a splendid show this time of year. 
One of my favourites for tumbling over a wall is the silvery Ballotta acetabulosa – coming from rocky waste grounds of the Mediterranean, this plant copes well with heat and dryness. The bees love the small purple-white flowers. Erigeron glaucus ‘Sea Breeze' planted in the adjacent spot will also tumble and give you some bigger cheery flowers in between, also loved by bees.
Invaluable plants are flowerers for dry shade, and my pick for this would be Geranium nodosum. Not available all year from the nursery, but worth making a special note to buy one when they are. They tend to flower for most of the summer through to autumn and are semi evergreen also. Named varieties ‘Clos de Coudray' with purple-pink flowers and the white ‘Silverdale' look great.
Heucheras are now coming into flower and will happily take short periods of drought. The lighter varieties (yellows and limes) will prefer the shadier parts of the garden – the darker ones such as ‘Forever Purple' and ‘Obsidian' the sunniest sites – great additions for the edge of a border and more or less evergreen. With literally thousands of varieties, there is a plant here for every part of your garden.
Two further favourites for now are Lysimachia cletheroides – named after King Lysimachos of Thrace – this attractive perennial will do well at the back of the border on soil that is well drained but remains moist. Gently and seductively curving tails of white, they form a large clump and a stunning backdrop. 
Finally, Fuchsia ‘Garden News' definitely tops my Fuchsia list.  A bold flower, said to have been brought by a sailor from Chile, it will certainly capture your heart and come back year after year.
Mark Curtis
Plant Manager, Tates of Sussex

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