One man’s (or woman’s) favourite perennials may not be to the liking of everyone, so while rudbeckia may be regarded as a must-have in one garden, it won’t get a look-in in another.
And that’s probably a good thing – who wants to see nothing but eye-catching masses of rudbeckia? So, each to his or her own.
Thankfully, there are plenty of perennials from which to choose, and as long as they are given the right soil and situation, they should thrive to bring weeks – sometimes months – of sunning colour and shape.
Take salvias, for example, particularly S nemorosa, whose bright purple flower spikes make a bold statement from summer to autumn. The aromatic foliage is a bonus. These salvias love hot, dry areas so they can thrive where many plants struggle to survive.
Dianthus are another family of plants with a lot to offer any garden. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes – from stately carnations to miniature rockery pinks, but they all produce superbly scented flowers and lovely silvery-grey foliage.
Most are very easy to grow and, again, prefer to be in full sun. The smaller varieties are incredibly tough little things and are even happy to live their lives in the salt-laden air of the seaside.
Phlox are loved for their colourful, often fragrant flowers which are produced from late spring through to autumn.
Phlox paniculata is a particular favourite and one of the easiest to find in nurseries and garden centres. It’s happy to make its home in herbaceous borders.
Phlox tend to come in pink, purple or white and there are varieties for most sites.