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Herbaceous perennials for partial shade

Astrantia Buckland and hardy geranium Jolly Jewel Hot Pink
Astrantia Buckland and hardy geranium Jolly Jewel Hot Pink

Hardy geraniums, Astrantia and Angelica pep up pond bed planting plan

The demise of a pair of self-seeded Echiums due to the rotten winter has left a gaping hole in the bed next to the pond.

To be honest, it’s a bit of a relief that they’ve gone – they grew so tall and dominated the area, looking horribly raggy.

What to put in their place? The rest of the bed contains a Rheum palmatum (ornamental rhubarb), Rodgersia, Bergenia Baby Doll, Acanthus mollis Tasmanian Angel, a large variegated hosta, two dogwoods (Cornus alba spaethii and C. sericea White Gold), Clematis cirrhosa Freckles and assorted foxgloves.

As you can guess, there’s not a lot going on in there past midsummer!

Astrantia and hardy geranium combo

To pep up the bed, I’ve chosen Astrantia Buckland, with dusty pink flowers surrounded by broad, silvery white bracts, which have green veining and tips. Flowering from June-August, it’s an early bloomer, growing to 90cm.

To complement it, I’m adding a few Geranium (Cinereum Group) Jolly Jewel Hot Pink, flowering from May until early autumn. The flowers are vibrant pink above low mounds of fresh green foliage, reaching 25cm.

I’ve also bought an Angelica archangelica (the green one), as I love its large foliage – but I may have to fit that elsewhere!

For more information on these plants, visit www.crocus.co.uk.

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Mandy Watson is a freelance journalist and an incurable plantaholic. MandyCanUDigIt grew from the tiny seed of a Twitter account into the rainforest of information you see before you. Gardening columnist for the Sunderland Echo, Shields Gazette and Hartlepool Mail and editor of the Teesdale Mercury Magazine. Attracted by anything rebellious, exotic and nerdy, even after all these years. Passionate about northern England and gardens everywhere. Falls over a lot.

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