Once the back of the border has been chosen, the fun bit can begin – the colourful flowers! For purples, I love Agastache ‘Violet Vision’, Iris ‘Sable’, Lavender angustifolia and Salvia ‘Caradonna’. My favourite dark pinks are Knautia macedonica, Astrantia ‘Claret’ and Rosa ‘Munstead Wood’ (which also has the most beautiful scent!). Vibrant oranges can be found in Geum ‘Princess Juliana’ (which flowers heavily for weeks!) and Helenium ‘Moerheim Beauty’ (which is such a deep orange it can be almost red – there is quite a bit of colour variety from one flower to the next).
After the evergreen structure and colour scheme have been chosen, it’s time to add a bit of texture. This could be created by using plants with interesting foliage, but my personal choice is to add a bit of a summery ‘prairie’ feel with grasses. Stipa tennuissima has the softest, fluffiest texture, so I always try to squeeze a bit of that in – it just invites you to run your fingers through it whenever you walk past. Another grass I favour is Anemanthele lessoniana – this will add to the rusty colours in the palette, but also has the bonus of being semi-evergreen (which is almost entirely evergreen in the current climate, unless you have a very exposed garden).