Garden charmers and see-through delights
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Garden charmers and see-through delights

SOME of the most charming and reliable plants that consume the summer garden are what I term see-through delights.

These are choice varieties that foam with thin delicate blooms and spidery heads of inflorescence.

The queen of these is a perennial form of meadow-rue sold as Thalictrum, especially the form sold as Hewitt’s Double.

This boasts magnificent maidenhair-fern-like foliage, modest and genteel in stature, and in late summer, blooms of feathery spires holding clouds of innumerable small mauve blooms with contrasting white centres.

Held aloft on four-foot stems (and mixed perhaps with blue delphiniums) the sight would take a tear from your eye.

Thalictrum Delavayi Hewitt's Double never fails to impress and is completely hardy in all situations.

Its height at four feet will hardly present a problem even when sited at the front of a border. It’s a classic in anyone’s list of see-through plants.

Increase can be by division, but it will also sow itself mildly.

An established specimen would look good in any setting but especially so in the foreground of the splendid yellow daisy sold as Inula magnifica.

Ensure both are suitably distanced for there is nothing delicate about this companion plant. Its coarse leaves expand to fill a large area and would soon engulf the thalictrum if planted too close. However, at just a modest distance one compliments the other.

The Inula flowers are held aloft at nearly five feet and are remarkable for their long, spidery petals which are a bright, clean shade.

Red Crocosmia Lucifer would also associate well with this pair for it mingles easily and spreads charmingly - when allowed to do so.

Eventually some control of Lucifer will need to be undertaken but it should not stop anyone from adding its contribution.

Natives of tropical North and South America, Thalictrum naturally prefer a sunny place but will entertain a certain amount of shade.

I am always grateful to plants like this that (will) consent to grow in an awkward corner where the sun penetrates only for a few hours each day.

Staking is seldom necessary though growers who garden in windy or high open areas would be well advised to take some preventative measures.

As to pests and disease, be assured that they have neither.