Plant of the Week: Astilbe

A snowy, wet winter can often reveal damp spots in the garden where trying to grow anything of any particular note is virtually impossible.

But help may be at hand with the astilbe family; lovers of damp but not heavy soils, so they are ideal for shady or even sunny borders where the drainage is a bit iffy.

There are numerous varieties, even some really lovely dwarfs with delicate pink or cream plumes of flowers.

Old favourites include the larger but no less lovely 'Fanal' with gorgeous deep red blooms.

A superb family of perennials.

YP MAG 22/1/11