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Herbaceous Perennials favourites at Downside Nurseries


The ‘Inticancha’ series of Alstromeria has been around for a year or two now.  They are propagated by tissue culture and are very vigorous and dependable, with profuse flowering and non-invasive, compact habit.   Sometimes called ‘Peruvian Lily’ or the ‘Parrot Lily’, they have a wonderful colour range and are long-flowering from late spring until the first frosts – unlike the well-known ‘Ligtu Hybrids’.  This year we have Dark Purple, Indigo and Navayo (Pink).  Their only drawback is that they are relatively short (40 cm) – though the plus side here is that the stems look wonderful bunched in short vases!

New this year is the ‘Summertime’ series.  We have Summer Party which is pink with a yellow throat and a useful 60 cm high and Summer Time which is white with a pink blush but short again (35cm).


Delphiniums are a must for a traditional cottage border.  The new F1 hybrids are very good- robust and long-flowering.  One was still covered in blooms in September at the Nursery.  Again they have been rather short – 60 cms.  New this year is the New Millennium Series – 1.2m tall, bed by New Zealander Terry Dowdeswell.  They come in five colours and are making some lovely chunky plants on the nursery and promising to be real winners.  The image is  of the “Delphinium Magic Fountains Sky Blue with Whie Bee” taken in October!


Hollyhocks are another back of the border staple.  The only problem is rust.  It does not kill them but spoils their beauty.  We send to Germany for the seed of the single ficifolia type – much more rust resistant than the more usual rosea.  The only visible difference is the leaf shape.  We spray on the Nursery to give you a clean start but they generally stay pretty clear in the border.

Eryngium giganteum Silver ghost

Everyone knows the story of Eryngium giganteum Miss Willmott’s ghost.  Now there is a new version. Silver ghost which the breeder promises will establish.  I think it would be wise to deadhead and feed a bit in the first year.  Well worth a try.

Check out the Herbaceous Perennials list on our website – as always, as was ordered at the beginning of the season…  from Abutilon to Zantedeschia aethiopica and a mere 760 others between these two!
Lorraine Young
Downside Nurseries

The left and centre images below, as well as the display shown as the featured image, show Hollyhocks taken at Loseley Park in Surrey by Lisa Cox Garden Designs, as well as the Delphinium Magic Fountains Sky Blue with White Bee – still flowering in October

Pink-hollyhock-at-Loseley-Park-Lisa-Cox-Garden-DesignsHollyhock-single-at-Loseley-Park-Lisa-Cox-Garden-DesignsOne of the many Herbaceous Perennials at Downside - Delphinium Magic Fountains Sky Blue with White Bee


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