This planting plan is suitable for an area of 10x2 m that receives a generous amount of sunlight during the day. The selected plants prefer an average, well- drained soil. Add compost and mulch for perfect growing conditions.
Flower colours include blues, purples, fuchsia pink and white. A combination of dark green, lighter green shades and grey foliage is used to increase the sense of depth in this border. The reddish purple leaves of the purple sage tie in with the flower colours.
For Ageratum houstonianum it is important to use the species itself rather than dwarf (bedding) cultivars or hybrids so that the flowering stems will reach up just above the Coleonema pulchellum ‘Sunset Gold’ if the latter is kept compact by yearly pruning.
Delphinium, Ageratum houstonianum, Echinacea purpurea and Penstemon can be cut down to ground level in autumn. Spent flower stems of Lychnis coronaria should be removed to leave a rosette of grey leaves.
During the winter months structure is provided by evergreen shrubs. The rounded shapes of Pittosporum ‘Golfball’, Convolvulus cneorum and clipped Buxus sempervirens contrast well with the spiky leaves of the Astelia ‘Silver Spear’ The dramatic silvery grey foliage of Cynara cardunculus will become more dominant and act as a strong focal point. Delicately fragrant flowers of Viburnum tinus ‘Eve Price’ appear from late autumn.
Plant list for a sunny border (10x2 m)
Ageratum houstonianum (flossflower) (hh) (2)
Armeria maritima (thrift) (h) (9)
Astelia chathamica 'Silver Spear' (hh) (2)
Buxus sempervirens (English box) (h) (3)
Choisya ternata (Mexican orange blossom) (h) (1+2)
Coleonema pulchellum 'Sunset Gold' (hh) (3)
Convolvulus cneorum (silver bush) (h) (3)
Cynara cardundulus (cardoon) (h) (1)
Delphinium hybrids (blue) (h) (3)
Echinacea purpurea (purple coneflower) (h) (2)
Lavandula stoechas 'Major' (French lavender) (h) (3)
Lychnis coronaria (dusty millar, rose campion) (h) (6)
Penstemon hybrids (purple, magenta or wine red) (h) (4)
Pittosporum tenuifolium 'Golf ball' (hh) (3)
Pyrus salicifolia 'Pendula' (weeping silver pear) (h) (1+1)
Salvia officinalis 'Purpurascens' (purple sage) (h) (6+6)
Scabiosa caucasica (pincushion flower) (h) (6)
Stachys byzantina (lamb's ears) (h) (4+4)
Viburnum tinus 'Eve Price' (h) (1+1)
(f= frost tender; hh= half hardy; h= hardy)