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The List: Our 5 favourite perennials

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A pick of Myles Baldwins' 5 best perennials


1. Cherry Pie or Heliotrope

Name: Heliotrope arborescens

Description: An evergreen vanilla-scented small shrub. Lilac flowers are produced from early spring through to late summer. Excellent small hedge – a great flowery substitute for box hedging.

Size: 1m x 1.5m

Special Comments: Make more by using the prunings as soft tip cuttings. 

2. Salvia ‘Indigo Spires’

Name: Salvia ‘Indigo Spires’

Description: A hardy perennial for all gardens. Long flowering and showy indigo spikes that attract butterflies can bend over with their own weight. Will survive average frosts as long as well drained.

Size: 1m x 1m

Special Comments: Recommended for beginners. Great contrast with grasses. Easy to root from cuttings.

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3. Elephants Ear

Name: Bergenia cordifolia

Description: A hardy groundcover for full shade with pink winter flowers and large rounded leaves. Also comes in white.

Size: 40cm x 30cm

Special Comments: Prune ratty looking leaves late winter to reveal the flowers and new fresh leaves.

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4. Coral Bells or Heuchera

Name: Heuchera cvs

Description: Bred for foliage now more than flowers, these are hardy low-growing clumping perennials for semi shade.

Size: 15-60cm depending on the cultivar

Special Comments: Colours come in reddish plums purples, some with different coloured veins for more interest.

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5. Purple Coneflower

Name: Echinacea purpurea

Description: A hardy perennial with eye-catching cone shaped core with daisy like petals, flowering throughout summer. Native to USA.

Size: 60cm x 60cm

Special Comments: Take small basal offsets in spring, root in root hormone powder for more plants. Cut off finished flowers to encourage new flush.

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Text: Myles Baldwin 

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Author: Myles Baldwin