The Dianthus genus has over 300 species of plants mostly perennials. These Dianthus species have also been heavily hybridised and cultivated for both our gardens, and also for cut flowers, and there are thousands of varieties now available. Dianthus have been loosely divided into two main groups:
Overall Dianthus is a wonderful addition to the garden for the cottage garden or to allow for those scented pinks to be cut and brought into the house.
Borago officinalis, or just Borage to you and me, is a fully hardy perennial with small blue flowers and rough leaves with silvery hairs. Although from the Mediterranean where it flowers throughout the year, in the UK it flowers from June to August. Apart from the colourful flowers, there are two principal uses of the Borage:
The genus Anemones are a large group of flowers (around 120 species), many native, and many that have been hybridised into a variety of flowering colours. They are all hardy and tend to prefer full sun or semi-shade in well drained soils.
The native Woodland Anemone (Anemone nemorosa) is one of the joys of spring with its masses of star-shaped white flowers. There are many other forms such as 'Robinsoniana' with pale blue flowers and 'Alleni' with it's large cup lavender-blue flowers.
Another popular Anemone, is the Anemone × hybrida 'Königin Charlotte' (or Queen Charlotte) which flowers in late summer and autumn in semi shade, and it's tall too at 1.5 metres high. The flowers are a delicate pink (pictured).
The genus of Amsonia is a slow-growing summer flowering perennial, which forms clumps of flowers. Although not native to the UK (they mostly come from North America), it is hardy, though it does prefer sunshine and well drained soils.
The most common form you'll come across is Amsonia orientalis (pictured), which actually is of Turkish origin, and is a great "filler" plant for your borders rising to a height of around 45 cms.
Another popular Amsonia is the larger mouthfull of Amsonia tabernaemontana (pictured) with it's pale blue summer flowers atop willowy stems. If you're looking for more feathery foliage with extraordinary autumn colours, then try Amsonia hubrichtii ("tii" at the end) (pictured), which is generally taller and bigger in size.