Herbaceous Perennials was the subject of a talk given to Littleton and Harestock Gardening Club by Rosemary Hardy, horticulturalist, owner of Hardy’s Cottage Garden Plants, and winner of many Chelsea Gold Awards over 25 years. In her book of that name Rosy tells the story of those years, showing how she and husband Rob, “and wonderful people who have helped,” have learned about plants and created their displays at Chelsea.
Rosy’s talk ranged far and wide, as well as on the lovely plants she had brought for illustration. Colour combinations, soil, planting in different situations, creating new forms, using grasses creatively, taking account of wildlife, shape, scent, plant height and longevity, these aspects and many more were shared with a fascinated audience, appreciating Rosy’s knowledge, humour and enthusiasm.
We were shown forms of some favourite perennials, for example Aster amellus “King George”, Anemone “Dreaming Swan”, Coreopsis stellata, Michaelmas Daisy “October Skies”, a pretty blue, Nepeta subsessilis “Blue Dreams”, (Rosy says “not liked by cats)”, Salvias, Hardy Chrysanthemums, for example “Ruby Mound”, Persicaria “Pink Elephant”, Kniphofia, “Red Hot Poker” a form with a round, orange head, – architectural, Stipa tenuissima, Penisetum (Phantom Grass).
A memorable meeting indeed.