Garden Heroes

Over the last five years, as I’ve gotten to know the garden a little bit and gained confidence, there are a few plants that are rock stars. These are the ‘good doers.’ The ones that keep coming back. The ones you can move and they couldn’t care less. The ones that produce a tonne of seed that always germinates and you don’t even have to make an effort, just chuck it on a flower bed, done. These are the plants that make more effort than I do and make the borders look great.

Rose Campion

Should be called Rose Champion as far as I’m concerned. That picture has no filter on it, it really does pop like that. The colour is hot, hot pink, mega fabulous. They produce an easy peasy seed head you can shake about and having done that a lot (I love rattling seed heads), I’m pretty sure they’ve taken over one entire border down the driveway. This is fine by me. It’s a tricky one being as dry as a desert for a lot of the year. I’m looking forward to a hot pink river snaking all the way up the drive this Summer.

This diamond of a plant is so epic and I now have so many, I’ve been digging up little plants and giving them to friends as presents. I really hope it is Rose Campion after all, otherwise that is going to be embarrassing!

Wild Geranium

This garden hero is like the perfect t-shirt. You don’t really notice them, but they look great. Wild Geraniums come in all sorts of colours and types in the UK. They provide brilliant ground cover and fluff out in the border with really pretty flowers. We have a couple of different colours here and once I started digging out huge clumps and moving them around I realised these plants are liquid gold. All you need to do is roughly dig up a clump and pull it apart, then plant elsewhere and they thrive. I moved some next to our barn in a scrappy part of the garden. My husband mowed over them!! I said hey plants there. The following week he mowed them again!!! They just grew back again, and again. Nails!

Pot Marigold

These flowers are crazy. They grow absolutely ANYWHERE here, in pots, in borders, in the veg patch, they don’t care. They have lovely, bright flowers, which come in droves and keep flowering for weeks on end. The seed heads are awesome with large scythe shaped seeds that are easy to collect and sow. (I have no dexterity, I may as well be wearing oven mitts permanently). You can throw seeds down on a bare patch and they will practically grow before your very eyes. We’ve had the orange ones here so far, but I just bought white and chucked the seeds in the strawberry patch. I’m looking forward to seeing if they are as feisty as the orange versions. Apparently you can make tea out of them, but I’ve not been brave enough to try that yet.


Sedum is great as a border backbone. It comes back every year. Once the clump is large you can easily divide it and make more plants. It is interesting all year around as you can see from the pictures to the left. This is the same series of clumps in the Spring, Summer and Winter. What’s not to like.

Bearded Iris

These plants are sooooooooo fancy and yet pretty easy to care for. Plus you can dig them up and divide them without too much bother. You can feel like a proper gardener doing fancy things with your fancy plants and it’s all a ruse. It’s so easy to divide them and replant them and they not only live after the rough treatment, quite often you can go into the garden the next day and they are already growing! Spooky and brilliant. These are plants on steroids.

“I’m OK!!!”
Spot the wild geranium…

Red Valerian

As you can see it also comes in white. These are perennial in our garden and bloom for months on end. They also self seed like mad and in tricky spots, so against a wall in gravel and other hard to grow areas. They are really easy to pull out if you find them going overboard. I cut them right back after the Summer and look forward to seeing them again the next year.


Hebe’s are like a sweetie shop. There are so many to choose from and they are really good eggs with abundant flowers. They are compact, establish pretty quick, need minimal care and will plop a fetching shape into the borders that will grow, flower and generally be very cheerful. We have them in borders and in tubs here. If I’m dithering about what to treat myself to in the garden centre, I’ll often grab a Hebe. The last one we bought was called candy floss and that says it all.