Today I start a new series in Britain’s best selling gardening magazine, Gardener’s World. Starting in the May issue, on sale in Britain today (and also in the US soon), Plant For All Seasons takes up the theme of my new book, Powerhouse Plants, and each month reveals the many facets of a plant that looks good at two, three or perhaps even four seasons of the year.
Choosing plants with multi-season beauty is the way to create the maximum impact from every inch of your garden.
So in Gardeners World magazine this month, I show the many seasonal appeals of Fothergilla ‘Mount Airy. And here I’m offering you another plant to consider, this time a hardy perennial peony which looks good both in spring and in summer.
The rich red shoots of ‘Sarah Bernhardt’ are colorful and bright from the moment they peep through the soil in spring. As they expand, their impact increases and as the flower buds form they still look bright and fresh. Plant blue flowered Anemone blanda around it for a sparkling spring picture.
Then in June the big and blowsy, super scented, dark centered, rose pink flowers open, sometimes with a few dark flecks, and give us the sumptuous treat for which peonies are so much loved.
OK, it’s true, it’s not perfect: the flowers are often too big and heavy for the stems, so discreet support is advisable. And they don't last for ever - that's why an extra, earlier foliage display is so valuable. But this is nevertheless a sumptuous flower, introduced by Victor Lemoine in France back in 1906. It must be good to still be so popular after so long.