A Shakespearean inspired garden

William Shakespeare was a playwright, actor and poet during the renaissance period of 1585-1613, who wrote up to 39 plays of comedies, tragedies and romances including Hamlet, Romeo & Juliet, Othello, King Lear and Macbeth.  He was born in Stratford upon Avon, Warwickshire, in the west midlands, England where he a grew up and later was said to have attended the Kings new grammar school of King Edward 6th where he studied Latin and classical authors. By  the age of 18 William married Anne Hathaway 26 and they had three children together, later Shakespeare purchased a house known as New place, originally built in 1433 by Sir Hugh Clopton and constructed using both brick & timber with impressive gable roofs, ten fire places, two gardens, orchards and  barns.
The gardens at New place was believed to be beautifully presented with intriguing and precise formal features filled with trees, herbs and flowers, It is not certain if Shakespeare grew plants in his garden or if he had any influence in the design, but he certainly had a great understanding of plants as well as their significance & symbolism possibly from studying folklore and classical studies.  The popularity of Shakespearian style gardens have increased greatly over the years and is now recreated all over the world, brimming with flowers and plants which have been interpreted and defined in the works of William Shakespeare such as roses, tulips, poppies, crocuses, daisies,daffodils, fritillaries and violets, lilies,anemones, hellebores and many more, the layout is usually geometric and based on Elizabethan architecture and garden designs of the period such as boxwood dividers, pathways and seating.
Shakespeare often used plants to represent special meanings in his plays, using up to 175 herbs and flowers depicted throughout his works such as in the comedy ‘A midsummer nights dream’  as follows :
“ I know a bank where the wild thyme blows, where oxlips & nodding violet grows, quite over canopied with luscious woodbine, with sweet musk roses and eglantine, there sleeps Titania sometime in the night, lull’d in these flowers with dances & delight.”
also Nick bottom a humorous character with a head of an ass is approached by the fairy queen Titania and four fairy attendants, their names symbolize the healing power of plants that are used in herbal remedies and its connection to the mysterious magical illusion of the moonlight which caused many superstitions during the 1500-1600’s.

Mustard flowers Image by Vincent Keiman-unsplash.com

The names of the fairy servants and their connection to traditional medicine include pease-blossom (pea) a low growing or trailing plant and pod shaped vegetable used to make pease porridge or pea soup during medieval period, the seeds are dried or made into a powder and was applied to the skin to help with skin conditions like acne, it is also cooked as a vegetable or added to salads, bread (powder form) and as a coffee substitute.  Mustard seed – mustard plants are commonly used as a spice and to make mustard when mixed with vinegar or other ingredients, it is also used to ease arthritis & muscle pain and to help against the common cold. The two other names include moth also at the time used as a remedy in the home and the other cobweb.
Also in the play Shakespeare uses the phase “Love in idleness” which is the folk name for the wild pansy and its ingredients is believed to make up a love potion mainly for the purpose of Titania to fall deeply in love with the first person she sees, Nick bottom.

wild pansy Image by Coralie Rentz-unsplash.com

Wild pansy (botantical name Viola tricolor) is a low growing creeping plant that grows  amongst the wild grasses and countryside of Europe, the flower petals vary in colour from purple, blue, white or yellow usually in two or three toned colours. This plant is also used medicinally to treat epilepsy, problems with the lungs such as bronchitis and the common cold & skin conditions. Wild pansy symbolizes ‘love in Idleness’ because according to Roman mythology Cupid intentionally shoots an arrow towards a virginal priestess of Vesta but missed, instead hitting a pale flower to which the love spell changed the petals to three colours.
In the romantic play Romeo and Juliet, William Shakespeare uses the interpretation of plants to symbolise certain aspects of the story, the rose for instance represents Juliet’s love for Romeo such as “ what’s in a name ? , that which we call a rose by any another name would smell as sweet”   her love is restrained when she discovers that Romeo is a Montague and has a long standing feud with her family.

roses mage by Peggy Zinn -unsplash.com

Roses are not only known for their beauty but also grown for their fragrance in perfumes, skin care and as cut flowers. Rose petals and rose hips have medicinal properties and are often used to treat wounds, bruises and rashes when applied to the skin, the tea also helps to soothe a sore throat and ulcers. Their wide range of  varieties also make them attractive in the garden, such as the old classical roses, shrub roses, climbing and modern roses, to which there is believed to be up to 300 species and possibly many thousands of  cultivated varieties.
In King Lear William Shakespeare refers to a plant by the name of a cuckoo flower, an alternative name for a Ladies smock flower which was used in describing the scene when the daughter of King Lear announces his return from France. “ Crowed with rank fumitor and furrow weeds with burdocks, hemlock, nettles, cuckoo flowers, darnel and all the idle weeds that grow in our sustaining corn.”  (fumitor-fumeria officinalis)

cuckoo bird Image by David Clobe-unsplash.com


Ladies smock, Cardamine pratensis grows wild all over Europe and in parts of Asia usually in meadows and close to streams, the flowers are light purple, similar to the colour of lavender on long spikes. Ladies smock is also used to decorate garlands on the 1st of May when celebrating the coming of Spring. The leaves are used medicinally as a remedy for indigestion, to increase hunger and is also good for those with asthma or skin conditions. It was given the name Cuckoo flower because it is believed that this flowers blooms at almost the same time as when the Cuckoo bird appears in Spring.
Rosemary is also used to symbolize love and remembrance in the play Hamlet, Ophelia the daughter of Polonius a chief counsellor is driven to madness after her Fathers death.
Ophelia describes the meaning of plants through her grieving – “there is rosemary that’s for remembrance, pray you, love, remember and there is pansies that’s for thoughts, (Laertes  her brother- “a document in madness, thoughts and remembrance fitted”.) there’s fennel for you & columbine, there’s rue for you and there’s some for me, we may call it a “herb of Grace” O’ Sundays, Oh you must wear your rue with a difference.”

Rue, Ruta graveolens symbolizes regret and can be grown as a herb or as a garden plant or hedge, The leaves are bluish green with a strong musk like scent which can be used as a flavouring in cooking and placed within small flower bouquets, it is also believed that cats dislike the smell. Rue has been gathered & grown since ancient times for its medicinal properties such as to reduce flatulence, improve eyesight, menstrual issues and when added to the skin to aid arthritis, sprains, bone injures and swollen areas.
Other plants, flowers and trees mentioned in Shakespeare’s plays include: Flowers- cornflower, camomile, carnation, crow flower, fritillaria imperialis, honeysuckle, violet, iris, marigold, peony, narcissus, daisy, daffodil, cowslip, primrose, buttercup, daisy, lavender, lily, orchid, musk rose. Herbs and plants- aloe, balm, blackberries, burdock, bilberry, caraway, fennel, bay, flax,mint, marjoram,clove,gooseberry, nettle, parsley,hemp, ginger, dog berry, hyssop, leek, grape, camomile, ivy, mustard, radish, rhubarb. Trees- almond, apple,apricot, ash, birch,box, cork, date, cedar, hawthorn, holy, lime,mulberry, myrtle, olive, pine, plum, pomegranate, quince, walnut, willow, wormwood, yew.

Advertisement

PELARGONIUM OF THE MONTH-PELARGONIUM NEPHROPHYLLUM

Pelargonium nephrophyllum has delicate pastel pink to salmon pink flowers and peachy red lines and blotches, with two larger upper petals and three smaller lower petals containing 5 stamens with orange pollen and long pink anthers, the flowers usually come up before new growth appears after being dormant in Summer.
It has unusual kidney shaded leaves with scalloped leaf margins & a turnip shaped tuber which can grow to approximately 2 cm and grows during the winter which is native to Southern Namaqualand, South Africa in sandy shrub land areas, stony reddish pink soil or in between hills.
This plant was given its name in 1992 by Elizabeth M, Marais and is of the Hoarea section also its national status is endangered.

image by Dimitris Kiriakakis-unsplash.com

Mediterranean garden

The very essence of Mediterranean garden style not only creates spectacular surroundings with its classical warm colours of pale beige, deep browns, bright yellows, reds, terra cotta, yellowy pinks and bluely greens included within the combination of trees, shrubs, succulents and cacti which can portray any garden style using plants such as the olive tree, pomegranate , lavender, bay tree, rosemary, eucalyptus, citrus and yucca which can be used as herbs in cooking, to inhale the heavenly aromas or to provide shade from the hot sun during the summer.
The Mediterranean can cover several areas of the globe which include Australia, California, coastal areas of Chile, countries that border the Mediterranean sea, Spain, Italy, Greece and the Western Cape of South Africa which have dry high temperatures in summer followed by mild winters usually with strong winds and heavy rain, but in some areas frost can also occur. Other countries which have cooler conditions, can easily imitate this environment using a greenhouse.
One of the most important part of the Mediterranean garden is to create shade from the extreme heat of the sun outdoors during the Summer months, whether for relaxing, dinning or to protect your plants. This can be in the form of a courtyard with tall palms or trees, a patio with a pergola shaded by vines or climbing plants or a structure attached to the house with terra cotta tiles or other material, Shade roll up blinds can also be added at the sides to protect from the wind and sun.
Trees and shrubs can also provide shade but may take a few years to reach a suitable height, also adding colour and fragrance to your garden, these include Hakea also know as pin-cushion, Hakea is a beautiful shrub or five metre tree with exotic flowers pinkish red in the centre with spikes which turn to an orange pink tone over time which attracts honey bees, and with long thin blue green grey leaves. It is native to Western Australia where it is known for its stunning appearance and there are approximately 150 species and also a few hybrids. Robinia pseudoacacia also called the black locust is a hardwood tree that can grow to 12-30 metres in height with highly fragrant graceful clusters of cream white flowers with a splash of yellow in the centre, it produces a high amount of pollen which attracts wildlife and is native to United States but has also adapted and grown naturally in North America, Europe and Southern Africa. Carpenteria californica is a shrub or bush like tree with lovely anemone like flowers which have a sweet fragrance, white in colour with soft yellow in the centre, it is considered rare and is only native to limited areas of California and is a species of the hydrangegeaceae family.

Image by Francisco-J-Villena-unsplash.com

Boronia heteropylla is an upright shrub native to Western Australia and has striking brightly coloured magenta pink bell shaped flowers each containing four petals and mid green trifolate needle like leaves. This shrub is also called red boronia and can grow to about one to three metres in height ,both the leaves and flowers are fragrant, an excellent plant for adding colour to your surroundings. Genista aetnensis is a charming bright yellow flowering tree or shrub that is native to Sicily and Sardinia, the flowers resemble a pea in shape and are fragrant similar to a jasmine scent. It can be grown as a shrub but over time can grow into a tree up to 8 metres in height.
Syringa pubesceans – an attractive shrub with stunning fragrant tubular lilac flowers and ovate leaves, it attracts bees and butterflies and can also be used for hedging or borders.
Callistermon has striking bottle brush like flowers in various colours, although the most usual is bright red, with long thin leaves. This shrub is native to Australia and Tasmania, the plants name Callistermon is derived from Greek meaning ‘ beautiful stamens’.
Anisodontea also called the rough leaf African mallow is a woody shrub with light to bright pink showy flowers which resemble a hibiscus and grows to about two to three metres, the three lobed leaves are scented and is native to South Africa, this species is of the Malvaceae (mallow) family.
Freylinia lanceolata has attractive and colourful orangey yellow long bell like flowers which are fragrant and smells similar to that of honey, it blooms all year while attracting bees, insects and birds.
Hebe is a bushy shrub native to New Zealand, some types have decorative leaves in various colours of greens and white which has clusters of reddish purple flowers. The name of this plant ‘Hebe” is also a name of the goddess of Youth from Greek myth, who could restore mortal beings back to their youth to which this plant is named after her.

mage by Philip-Larking-unsplash.com

Climbers and vines are also excellent way for creating shade which can be grown in a container or in the soil to cover a pergola, archway, wall or fencing. The most usual vine in the Mediterranean is most certainly the grape vine Vitis and there are many varieties to choose from so you can enjoy the delicious fresh grapes in Autumn, make wine or raisins/sultanas. Passiflora is a lovely vine with tendrils and flowers with up to 9 petals and long thin wavy corona filaments, there are many varieties which range in colour from pale – dark purple, blue and pink-red which attracts honey bees, carpenter bees, butterflies and humming birds. The passion fruit of Passiflora edulis can also be eaten and added to yogurt and with other fruit. Clematis cirrhosa has beautiful elegant bell shaped flowers, creamy white in colour with pale green in the centre, sometimes with dark splotches.
Thunbergia gregorii has showy and very bright orange flowers also called the trumpet vine, it is an evergreen vine native to Africa which is similar to the black eyed Susan vine. Ipomoea purpurea also know as the morning glory has striking bright purple trumpet shaped flowers in Summer with large heart shaped leaves. Solandra maxima is a lovely woody vine with large white, yellow to toffee coloured cup shaped flowers with dark lines which are scented at night. It is native to Mexico and central America but some parts of this plant is poisonous. The strong sweetly scented white flowers of Jasmine officinale or common jasmine is another amazing vine for providing shade, it is a delicate plant which can grow to four to nine metres in full sun.
Palms,Succulents and cacti plants with sculptural, geometric shapes and colourful flowers are great in dry arid conditions, such as Kalanchchole luciae, paddle plant that has impressive rounded leaves with bright colours, yellowy green outlined with red which form a rosette and is popular in California. The flowers are also scented and deep yellow in colour which bloom in spring from its second year of growth on long flower stalks. Cereus a cactus with unusual sculptural shapes, Phoenix canariensis a date palm from the Canary islands, its trunk grows up to 30 ft. Chamaerops also called Mediterranean dwarf palm, a hardy plant that can withstand short cold periods. Cycas revoluta a slow growing palm native to Japan and Washingtonia robusta a tall palm tree also known as the Mexican fan palm.

Destination- Dr Yat Sen Classical Chinese garden

Photo by Paul Matheson-unsplash.com

The Dr Yat Sen classical Chinese garden was constructed in 1985 in Vancouver, Canada in the China town district in order to create an interpretation and insight into the Chinese and western way of life & is said to be the first Chinese garden overseas.
It has frequent tours, concerts, festivals, tai chi classes and also a museum, The layout of the gardens was designed by Joe Waihitect an architect and activist who came to Canada during the late 1980’s and Donald Vaughan an American landscape architect, the central areas of the gardens were created by Wangzu-Win along with an architect company from Suzhou China.

The garden design is based on the Ming Dynasty garden of the city of Suzhon a period from 1368-1644 also with some features of Taoism and Feng Shui emphasizing the seasons Spring & Autumn, the balance of natural elements, yin & yang (masculine & feminine), while adding more colour to the surroundings. The Winters in Vancouver are very much like that of the West of Shanghai, so the Oriental plants could be grown in the Gardens especially in Spring when they come into bloom. Mythical animals and other creatures are also placed around the gardens.The grounds have a continuous display of delightful hidden scenic views which are revealed to you as you walk around the winding paths, there is also zigzag pathway to reduce your walking speed so you can calmly admire your surroundings in more detail.
The Dr Sen classical garden consists of lime stone rocks- which were brought over from Lake Tai Hui in Shangai, China which are said to be one of the biggest freshwater lakes.
A pond- which has a beautiful clear reflection of the surrounding scenery within the waters because of the opaque clay liner which givens the impression of calmness and peace.

There is also a moon gate followed by courtyards, pavilions and bridges included in the gardens as well as decorative floor tiles of various flora and fauna. Plants are not an important feature in the overall layout of the garden but are planted in a simple way to add balance and bamboo, ginkgo, pine, maple and plum are featured in the gardens.
There is also a collection of Penjing plants which is an ancient art of miniature landscapes filled with trees, rocks and small statues.

Flower of the month- Pelargonium echinatum

IMG_20200725_095602_520

Pelargonium echinatum also known as the prickly stemmed pelargonium has lovely showy white, pink or purple flowers with darker markings on the upper petals on long flower stalks which contains around 3-8 flowers and encourages bees and other insects, The leaves are slightly hairy, greyish green and heart shaped. This plant has a tuberous root and a greyish swollen stem with a number of grey branches with thorny stipules and if cared for well can have a 20 year life span.

The name echinatum is derived from the Latin for spiny stipules which are on the stems of this plant and is native to South Africa mostly from the Northern Cape and in areas of the North of Clan William in dry rocky, stony and sandy areas. P. Echinatum is deciduous in Summer and during this time can absorb the sunlight through its stems instead of the leaves. There are a number of different flower colour types in its native habitat and also a few new species or hybrids derived from them such as “Miss Stapleton” which has purplish pink flower petals and suggested to be a cross between P. Echinatum and P. cortusifolium.
Pelargonium echinatum is said to be one of the loveliest pelargoniums to flower during the winter which also grows well in a pots or planted in the garden. It prefers sandy, loam & clay soil, PH neutral in semi shade or full sun.
This plants flowering times can vary depending on if it is grown in the wild or in cultivation, in the wild it can flower from May to November and in Cultivation from June to October.

Destination-Jewel Changi airport, Singapore

jansen-yang-z72SvGyp9Cc-unsplash

Photo by Jansen Jang unsplash.com

The Jewel Changi airport connects our urban surroundings with the beauty of nature. It contains the largest indoor gardens in Asia which features a Shiseido forest valley containing 3,000 trees, 60,000 shrubs and 120 tropical plants, The rain vortex which is the worlds largest indoor urban waterfall at 40 meters in height created from rain water, a topiary walk & petal garden and many more features.
It was designed by the Safdie architects which covers an area of 3,5 hectares with a dome shaped facade made of steel and glass in order to bring together a market place and a urban park in one building.
Moshe Safdie also designed the Marina bay sands, the Asian university for women, and the national gallery of Canada, Moshe is an Israeli Canadian architect and urban designer who studied at Mcgill university in Montreal, Canada and later became a director at the Harvard university graduate school of design 1984 to 1989. Peter Walker and Partners were the landscape architects for the Changi airport, who worked along side Moshe Safdie and also with the creation of the Marina bay sands.

The breathtaking Shiseido forest valley contains four levels of 3,000 indoor trees, so people can do their shopping or eat food surrounded by a magnificent urban forest, it covers an area of 22,000 sq ms and also has two foot paths to the East and the West to admire & explore until you come to the impressive waterfall and mist. There is also a multi sensorial project known as “sense” which is to reconnect your mind to the senses such as with touch, smell, sound and sight and part of the project is combined with the forest valley in which each level is associated with a different sense, during the night colourful glowing lights of bright purples, blues and greens are lit up among the trees with the sound of the forest breathing and other music, this is to create a calming and revitalizing experience for visitors.

The amazing waterfall of the Rain vortex is the tallest and also the largest in the world in which rainwater is recycled from the stunning toroid shaped glass dome roof and then flows through a circular opening to a pool below at the basement, which looks fantastic as one enters the airport. There is also an automated driverless sky train close to the waterfall with wonderful views which travels to seven different stations including border gates for easy access for passengers.

The canopy park contains a topiary walk and a petal garden followed by mazes, bouncing nets and mist for enjoyment and entertainment within the top level of the airport which covers an area of 14.000 sq m. The topiary has trees which have been clipped into realistic animal shapes such as apes and chameleons in bright colours around the garden.
Also in the canopy park is the petal garden with beautiful all year round flowers in many shapes and colours from different regions of the world. There is also a canopy bridge in this area which is 23 metres high with glass floor panels in the centre for lovely views of the waterfall and mist at the start and the end of the bridge.
The rest of the park has a hedge maze in which the hedges reach up to 1.8 metres high, a mirror maze with surrounding and overhead mirrors, a bouncing net and a walking net for activities for children and more.

Creating a Wildlife Garden

vincent-van-zalinge-umTMnQOALSE-unsplash

Photo by Vincent Van Zalinge-unsplash.com

A wildlife garden can bring beauty and tranquillity to your surrounds with butterflies, birds, bees, and other wildlife.

Bringing wildlife to your garden has many benefits, we have a better connection with nature where we can learn to co-exist with the natural environment and encourage insects such as butterflies, dragonflies, bees, birds, reptiles and amphibians to your surroundings while creating a peaceful and relaxing retreat.
Making a wildlife garden supports the local flora and fauna while providing them with a nature inspired habitat such as a sanctuary for solitary bees, ladybirds, & beetles made out of bamboo canes, old logs, bricks, twigs and straw or a wildflower meadow, a rock garden, a pond, bog garden or a water feature to encourage frogs, birds and dragonflies.
Flowers & nectar rich plants not only look attractive in the garden but can also appeal to insect pollinators such as bees, butterflies and moths which collect pollen and for birds which eat seeds and berries.

A bird house, bird table, hanging feeders or a bird bath can also help encourage birds to your surroundings especially if they are close to the house where you can view them from your window.

Trees, shrubs, hedging and wall climbers are also great for providing a hiding place or an nesting area for birds and also lizards.
Earthworms are great for aerating and improving the quality of the soil and can also provide food for various wildlife.
Leaving in weeds such as dandelions, daisies, thistles, poppies, bell flowers, doves-foot, bind-weed and wild carrot not only encourages bees, butterflies and other insects but can look amazing in a wild flower meadow with long grasses in a small area of your garden or mixed with plants within a raised border, Ants are also good for gathering and dispersing seeds.

Adding a variety of different shaped flowers to your garden can encourage several types of insects.
Flower shapes include tubular, bell, funnel, saucer, rosette and funnel shapes which come in many colours and sizes.
Some bees, wasps, moths and butterflies have long tongues known as proboscis which feed on pollen and nectar and can reach far into the flower, Some flower types are also only pollinated by hummingbirds.

Other ideas to encourage wildlife include: Creating a home for solitary bees, creating a wild flower meadow, bog garden, water feature or a pond, attracting more butterflies and creating a haven for birds.

Mixed borders

erda-estremera-0ZxdAGG4aWU-unsplash

Mixed borders-advice for maintaining or planning your border

Mixed borders have gained popularity in the coming years, moving away from the more traditional herbaceous borders which were grown tightly together in large rectangular beds based on their colour and height with tiny flowers at the front, medium in the centre and taller 6 ft plants at the back.

Mixed borders are easier to keep and are usually mixed together with annuals, perennials, biennials, shrubs and low growing trees of similar heights but the density of the plants are chosen more carefully, more airy plants like delicate ornamental grasses and flowers on long stalks can look striking mixed with more dense plants in the flower bed and also with deciduous trees, flowering shrubs, rosebushes,lilies and hedges.

Airy plants include: Cimicifuga (feathery spikes of white flowers), Delphinium (long flower spikes of various colours), Eremurus( foxtail lily ), Echinops (globe thistle), Kniphofia (colourful flower spikes), Lobelia, Allium, Armeria, Aquilegia. Camassia, Fritillaria, bottle bush types such as pennisetum& pennisetum(fountain grass).

Dense shrubs include : Button bush, Butterfly bush, Rose of sharon, Azalea, lilac, Quince, Dentzia, Forsythia, Weigela, Cinquefoil, Shrub rose, Potentilla, Rhododendron, Viburnum, Lavender, Sage, Mallow, Phlox, Geraniums, Campanula, Hemerocallis(day lily) and tall upright pelargoniums such as P. Vitifolium & P. Denticulatum.
They can also be mixed with simplistic and architectural shaped foliage to make your border more interesting, brightly coloured or Zoned leaves can also look effective.

When planning or improving your border think about the colours, height, density, growth size and season of flowering thought the year.
The style of the border is also important so that that it blends well with the rest of the garden, such as a wild natural border, a border with similar colours such as gold-yellows, purple- blue, dark-pale pinks. A natural woodland garden with ferns, hollyhocks and bluebells, rock border with succulent type species or a border mixed with roses.
They can also be based on a certain theme as as modern, contemporary, traditional, romantic, sculptural,or based on a theme such as a rustic, Japanese, Zen, European, Mediterranean or Asian gardens.
The edging of the border can vary, the traditional brick & stone edging is the most popular because it last longer than other edging types and is usually cemented to keep them in place, although some types do tend to be more expensive and can also be part of a patio design, They can also be positioned in different ways, they can be laid diagonally, as stone edging such a flagstone and cobble stone, a natural stone wall, or you may prefer a border with hedges, wooden edging, logs or sleepers.
Wooden edging can look effective in the garden but doesn’t usually last so long as it tends to rot, but this can depend on what style you wish to achieve. Or for a more simple approach you can use cinder blocks as edging which can be cemented and painted or small metal border fence edging ,wattle fencing if you like an more rustic look.
Mixing in an organic matter such as from a compost bin into the soil of the border can help improve its quality , this can be done once a year in Spring or Autumn which can also help with drainage in the soil. You may also think about lifting plants out gently, removing any dead leaves & stems and dividing plants to stop them growing too close together every four to five years.

Ideal plants for border perennials 

Perennials are typically Spring and Summer flowering plants which die back in Autumn and Winter & then re growth occurs again in Spring, although this is not always the case. Some types still thrive throughout the Winter and can live for many years but this can also depend on temperature and location.
Perennial types include evergreen, deciduous, monocarpic, woody or herbaceous.

Evergreens are great for adding colour to the garden during the winter months such as the blue flowered Brunnera, Helleborus in various colours, Nepeta with blue grey aromatic foliage and the Stachys pink flowers on long stems.
Deciduous-When you read the word deciduous you immediately think of trees dropping their leaves in Autumn but in fact there are a few plants & shrubs which also shed their petals & fruit. Deciduous perennials include the bright yellow flowered Goldrod, the highly fragrant honeysuckle, white flowered viburnum, Grapes, wisteria & poison ivy.

Monocarpic are perennials which are short lived, they grow only to flower, produce seed and then die, these include the Acanthacease group of flowering plants, Apocynaceae, Asteraceae, Agavaceae, Araceae and Fabaceae.

Woody perennials have woody stems and roots that continue to grow after each season, these can be trees, shrubs or wood climbing plants know as lianas.
Woody perennials include rosemary, mulberry, blackberry, honeysuckle, and apple.

Herbaceous perennials have fresh green stems which are not woody and is usually a herb that is used in food or for medicinal properties, these include grasses, ferns, vines, trees, shrubs and some bamboo types.
Such as Peonies, Salvia, Poppies, Aquilegia(columbine), bananas, cone flower (echinacea), daffodils are examples of Herbaceous perennials.
Other perennials ideal for borders include: Acanthus Achillea-yarrow, Agapanthus-African lily, Anemone, Catananche-cupids dart, Cimicifuga-long flowering spikes,Eremurus-foxtail lily, Centaurea-cornflower, Chrysanthemum-daisy, Delphinium, Echinops-globe thistle, Evigeron, Lupin,Linum,Physostegia,

Photo by erda-estremera-unsplash.com

Pelargonium curviandrum

Pelargonium curviandrum has lovely white to cream coloured flowers with dark red feathery marks on the upper narrow petals containing 4 stamens on a long flower stalk.

It is a tuberous plant which is dormant in the Summer months with soft hairy leaves which are oval in shape and grow at ground level forming a rosette of leaves at the base of the stem.

P. curviandrum is native to the Southern Cape in areas of the Little Karoo on mountainsides, sandstone, clay slopes and hill sides

pelargonium curviandrum painting