Viola labradorica

This is also a weed but a very pretty one and fills dull, dark corners and edges very well. It spits its seeds everywhere and seems to spread through underground links too so I have to control it very hard. I had a big clearance at the end of last year for example. It is still sold in garden centres without any warnings.

Vibernum bodnantense 'Charles Lamont'

I have always coveted V. bodnatense with its beautiful scented flowers on bare wood. A friend has a really old one that is now like a tree (she has cut it to two main stems) and it looks really Japanesey when in flower. It also has fasbulously "ripped" bark but she doesn't know what it is. A neighbour has a younger one and it flowers for quite as long as the Daphne. I have umm-ed and ahh-ed between the most popular 'Dawn' and 'Charles Lamont'. My neighbour's is lovely and is Charles Lamont so that is what I have bought. It will live on the terrace in the ground so I can appreciate its scent. During the summer its more boring form will be hidden by other deciduous plants and herbs.

Vibernum carlesii 'Aurora'

Has a Daphne-like fragrance and comes into flower just as the Daphne finishes which is perfect. It has been a great performer every year and is now 2m high despite being in a pot.

Verbena bonariensis

I planted this tall Verbena in the pink bed first but it has moved itself to the front of the hot bed in the gravel where it is much happier clearly. The bees, butterflies and I adore it and it flowers for a very long time through Summer and Autumn. It looks great with the sun behind it too when you can see all the little hairs on its square stems.


These are planted in the wall bed beside the Pink bed and are a very joyous addition to early Summer.

Trachelospermum jasminoides

This came with me in a pot from my previous house and is now in the ground on the terrace, goes up and over the kitchen door and up the neighbour's house too (at their request of course). It has small scented white flowers in late Spring/early summer sometimes followed by large boomerang shaped seed pods. it's evergreen and can turn nice colours in Autumn too.

Syringa pubescens patula

This is my mini lilac. It lives in a beautiful urn but get tucked beside the West fence of the terrace because its beauty and scent are fleeting though its foliage is pretty all season. It's remarkably hardy given how little love and water it gets.

Spigelia marilandica 'Wisley Jester'

This started in a pot but has been so hardy that I have moved it into the front of the bed. It produces interesting and unusual red and yellow tubular flowers with a jester's hat end and tolerates shade. It is remarkably resilient for such an exotic looking flower. 30 x 30 cms.

Sorbus aucuparia

This is a lovely tree that anchors the bed, holds the bird feeders and produces masses of red berries for the blackbirds. I have once made rowanberry jelly from them but I had to cut them early before the birds got them and it's quite tart (despite the trick of freezing the berries first) so I leave them all for the birds now.

Skimmia japonica 'Rubelle'

I find Skimmia a little dull but they do add spots of colour at a useful time of year in shaded spots and can be quite fragrant.