Hydrangea anomala subsp. petiolaris: A star plant, this climbing Hydrangea thrives in some of the most shady, inhospitable areas of the garden. Slow to establish, it will eventually romp along a wall or fence, clinging by aerial roots. Its almost heart-shaped, dark green leaves turn yellow in autumn, and masses of showy, lacy, white flowerheads appear in late spring and early summer.
Chaerophyllum hirsutum 'Roseum' This lovely Cow Parsley is one of the joys of early summer. Over a base of feathery leaves stand branching stems, each holding a flat-topped head of lilac-mauve tiny flowers. Likes sun or part shade in good soil.
Sanguisorba 'Tanna' Small, plum-coloured, button-like flowers top wiry, upright stems, and seem to hover above the neat mounds of blue-green, pinnate foliage. This cultivar is more tolerant of drier conditions, so is particularly well-suited to mixed or herbaceous borders.
Geum 'Mrs J Bradshaw': A long flowering season with semi-double, vivid scarlet flowers that appear from June to August among rosettes of puckered, scalloped fresh green leaves. There are a range of yellow geums too.
Brunnera 'Jack Frost' In early spring, large, mid-green heart-shaped leaves that look as though they have been dusted with silver appear, followed by tall sprays of tiny, bright blue forget-me-not-like flowers. Gorgeous ground cover for the front of a border.
Nepeta racemosa 'Walker's Low' Deep violet to lilac-blue summer flowers and aromatic mid-green leaves. This violet-lilac catmint makes excellent, long-flowering, groundcover for a sunny border. Clipped back after the first flush in June, it flowers through to early autumn. Useful as an informal, scented edge for paths as, when trodden on, the foliage releases a pleasant aroma.
Stipa arundinacea One of the best and most versatile evergreen grasses, this will thrive in sun or shade, and glows shades of copper, gold and bronze in the autumn, hence its common name, Pheasant’s Tail Grass.
Corsican hellebore Bowl-shaped, pendant, pale green flowers hang above leathery, prickly-edged, sea-green leaves from January to March. This popular evergreen makes an architectural statement in the middle of a mixed border.
Artemisia 'Powis Castle': Artemisias are prized for their light, almost silver, aromatic foliage rather than for their flowers, which are dull and insignificant. This cultivar has fine, fern-like, aromatic leaves and tiny, yellow-tinged silver flowers in August.