It is too easy to focus on the seasonal rising stars in the garden – the snowdrops, the hellebores, the tulips and now clematis, aquilegia, allium and soon the roses, but what about the stalwarts, the unassuming, dependable fillers that rarely get a mention or their pictures taken unless they are new or especially different? There are numerable geraniums that fall into this category, such as G phaeum and G monacense anglicum in the woodland edge border: They flower for months on end, responding amicably to a trim every now and then before going to sleep for the winter. Likewise this persicaria (probably P bistorta ‘Superbum’), not as showy as Red Dragon but just quietly getting on with it without any fuss – and it has pretty flowers, unlike the dragon: The common and almost thuggish Centaurea montana does a brilliant job of providing leafy structure to the blue & white border before peppering herself with those lovely cornflower blue flowers and was a real star in filling the space before other plants were added to the border. She may have her wings clipped, but I would never remove her: I may have sought out Geum ‘Totally Tangerine’ and still be in awe of the frilly petals of G ‘Tequila Sunrise’, but you can’t get any more dependable or vibrant than good old ‘Mrs Bradshaw’ – she just goes on and on….. Getting on with the job more subtly though is Geum rivale ‘Leonard’s Variety’, seeding happily near the stream and also providing months of delicate colour: The greatest value-for-money bloomer must undoubtedly be good old Erysimum ‘Bowles Mauve’ which hasn’t stopped for over twelve months – she may be leggy, but she covers her legs discretely with leaves and endless flowers: And on this Garden Bloggers Blooms Day, a meme kindly hosted by Carol at May Dreams Gardens, let’s hear it for those solid fillers the pansies – colouring up nicely during the winter, then flowering flat out in the knowledge that they are soon to be removed and replaced with something else (well, perhaps not quite yet!):
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