Pittosporum tenuifolium 'Irene Patterson"

Lovely, variagated version with mottled green and white foliage and small, scented burgundy flowers. Responds to pruning.

Pittosporum tenuifolium Garnettii

I love Pittosporum for their pretty evergreen leaves and maliability. Can be pruned. Moved its position in the same bed in 2012 and it seems to be fine.

Phyllostachys aurea

Bamboo - well! I used to love it for its foliage and the noise in the wind. It also looked great behind my 'Family' statue, it's yellow stems and green leaves contrasting nicely with the black marble. However, I would never plant it again. The version I bought was supposed to be non-invasive but even so I planted it in a pot surrounded by cement blocks. This made not a blind bit of difference as it merrily wandered out into my red bed, the pond bed (nearly killing my precious acer) and into the neighbour's garden. It took me four back-breaking days to get it out and bent two quality garden forks  - and I can still see a bit poking through my fence from the neighbour's garden. Grr! I am still using it however. Almost all my canes came from it. I kept those of course!

Physocarpus opulifolius 'Lady in red'

Very good burgundy stems and foliage with pretty pink to white buds to flowers in large flowerheads.

Physalis alkekengi 'Franchetii'

This is an invasive weed. I thought the orange chinese lanterns would add interesting colour and texture to the red bed at the end of the season as the orange lanterns go brown and cobwebby around the edible fruits - and they did the first and second years. But this plant spreads underground like the most invasive weeds. Like them, each broken bit becomes a new plant so you can't leave a scrap in the ground. It is a complete nightmare and buries itself in the roots of roses and other plants. I spent lots of 2011 trying to remove it and I thought I had been mostly successful but it reappeared in 2012 and again in 2013 and had even moved under the gravel path from the Hot bed to the pink bed. I can't possibly have orange in the Pink bed so I have resorted to weedkiller!  Like a number of other plants I think this one should carry an "invasive" warning on the label.

Philadelphus coronarius 'Variegatus'

A scented mainstay towards the back of the Pink bed. Some of it seems to be reverting because it seems to be growing enormous leaves where normally they are small and delicate.

Paeonia lactiflora 'Blaze'

Planted in the search for more red in early season but the red fades to deep pink. It is supposed to be hardy, compact and grow to 75 x 60cms. It's coming up in April 2013 so we'll see how it performs.

Paeonia 'Haruno-akebono'

Seems to flower every other year. Amazing flowers although it is pretty smothered by Rosa Pretty Lady.


I love Penstemon but they don't love me or the soil. They look fab the year I buy them and plant them but they never re-appear. I've almost given up on them but may continue to treat them like annuals because they are so lovely.

Nymphaea alba

The first flowers were eaten by foxes! The tuber has grown considerably but it is starting not to flower so may need replacing.