Fatsia japonica 'Spider's Web' - This new fatsia is primarily grown for its handsome foliage, which looks as though it has been variously been dusted with icing sugar. It makes a wonderful specimen, particularly when planted near white-flowering plants that compliment the leaf variegations. It can also be used to help add light and colour to areas or lightly dappled shade.

Fatsia japonica 'Spider's Web' - This new fatsia is primarily grown for its handsome foliage, which looks as though it has been variously been dusted with icing sugar. It makes a wonderful specimen, particularly when planted near white-flowering plants that compliment the leaf variegations. It can also be used to help add light and colour to areas or lightly dappled shade.

blue Nigella, also called Love-In-A-Mist  Lovely shades of blue with lacy, fern like leaves and stems. It develops a lantern-shaped seed pod that is used I dried arrangements or simply to reseed this coveted annual. I first saw these at Longwood Gardens(10 yrs. ago) where I saved a few seeds to plant in my garden!

blue Nigella, also called Love-In-A-Mist Lovely shades of blue with lacy, fern like leaves and stems. It develops a lantern-shaped seed pod that is used I dried arrangements or simply to reseed this coveted annual. I first saw these at Longwood Gardens(10 yrs. ago) where I saved a few seeds to plant in my garden!

Top 10 self-seeding plants for a low maintenance cottage garden

Top 10 self-seeding plants for a fuss-free cottage garden

Cerinthe major purpurascens. Works beautifully with bright orange flowers - such as Geum Princess Juliana' - or deep purple leaved plants such as Sedum 'Purple Emperor'.

Cerinthe major purpurascens. Works beautifully with bright orange flowers - such as Geum Princess Juliana' - or deep purple leaved plants such as Sedum 'Purple Emperor'.

1 Salvia nemorosa 'Caradonna’ from the mildly aromatic silvery green leaves to the violet flower spikes with purple stems. Bees love the flowers that stay looking sharp long after the petals fall, thanks to papery bracts that hold their colour. Dead-heading – either little and often or in one go – encourages new flowering side-shoots till October.  'Caradonna’ loves sun; use it as a purple ribbon through late season grasses or, at 18in (45cm), it is the perfect centrepiece for a pot.

1 Salvia nemorosa 'Caradonna’ from the mildly aromatic silvery green leaves to the violet flower spikes with purple stems. Bees love the flowers that stay looking sharp long after the petals fall, thanks to papery bracts that hold their colour. Dead-heading – either little and often or in one go – encourages new flowering side-shoots till October. 'Caradonna’ loves sun; use it as a purple ribbon through late season grasses or, at 18in (45cm), it is the perfect centrepiece for a pot.

Bells of Ireland - An annual in our area, but an unusual plant to have in the garden. I quite like them.

Bells of Ireland - An annual in our area, but an unusual plant to have in the garden. I quite like them.

Astrantia major. shade-tolerant, long-flowering and very long-lived perennials in the garden and cut for a vase - cottage garden favourites.

Astrantia major. shade-tolerant, long-flowering and very long-lived perennials in the garden and cut for a vase - cottage garden favourites.

Award winning garden performance, Crimson Flame truly stands out in all garden applications.

Award winning garden performance, Crimson Flame truly stands out in all garden applications.

Polemonium reptans 'Stairway to Heaven' - Forming a low mound of ferny leaves, each mid-green leaflet is strongly edged in creamy white and is flushed with pink during the cooler spring weather. In mid to late spring this foliage is crowned with upright stems bearing clusters of light blue to white flowers. This delightful and colourful perennial is ideal for edging a partially shaded border, or for growing beside a woodland path.

Polemonium reptans 'Stairway to Heaven' - Forming a low mound of ferny leaves, each mid-green leaflet is strongly edged in creamy white and is flushed with pink during the cooler spring weather. In mid to late spring this foliage is crowned with upright stems bearing clusters of light blue to white flowers. This delightful and colourful perennial is ideal for edging a partially shaded border, or for growing beside a woodland path.

Persian Shield, so irridescent aqua green and vivid purple. Sadly, an semi-tropical and thus an annual for us but beautiful in the shade garden.

Persian Shield, so irridescent aqua green and vivid purple. Sadly, an semi-tropical and thus an annual for us but beautiful in the shade garden.

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