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in     by Joyce Bullock 07-10-2014
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Many clients have asked for an 'extended flower season' this year.  They often have lovely colourful beds in May and June, but that all the colour goes once that initial flush of activity has died down.

It is worth remembering that not every plant is going to be at its best all of the time.  Which is good, because it would make for a very boring garden (probably one filled with conifers, tut).  So, on that premise, you must accept that every dog has its day, or each plant will have its own opportunity to shine.  I took a Viburnum opulus along to a networking group just last week as I had to do a 10min presentation.  The pot showed a couple of stems and one or two autumn coloured leaves just about hanging on.  I introduced the plant as a 'thing of beauty'.  When it is in flower, it is indeed a glorious thing of beauty, but that in October it was looking less interesting.

I digress, my point is that whilst one plant fades another can follow on with colour and interest.  Which brings me to Actea James Compton.

Actea James Compton.jpg

This autumn I have worked with many clients who want to add colour and interest and, as I said before, extend their flower season.  Carol, Clare (aided and abetted by baby Pippa), Pam, Chris & Clive and the three gardens at the barn conversions in Hill Ridware, all have had Actea James Compton planted in them.  The herbaceous perennial, will die back each winter, come back with new foliage in Spring.  The leaves are a lovely bronze colour - they show up fabulously against something light green or a red brick wall, but then in September the bottle brush like flower opens and has the most glorious fragrance!  Stunning.

With its height at 1-1.2m and late flower, it is a good addition in the mixed bed.  Plant it somewhere that you can appreciate the fragrance.

If you would like more colour in your garden, give me a shout.  There are many more plants that will give you year round colour and interest.

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