Favourite garden plants: a garden guide

Here are some particularly useful garden plants and tips on how to grow them and where to plant them.

Architectural Plants

Agapanthus

Canna

Crocosmia

Euphorbia

Fatsia japonica

Hosta

Kniphofia

Mediterranean Plants

Acanthus mollis, bear's britches

Iris

Lavender

Perennials

Aquilegias

Dahlias

Echinacea

Helenium

Salvias

Grasses

Phormium Tenax

Prairie grasses

Shrubs and Hedging Plants

Roses

Sambucus nigra (Common Elder)

Garden Bulbs and corms

Alliums

Liatris spicata

Climbing Plants

Bougainvillea

Campsis (Trumpet Vine)

Humulus lupulus 'Aureus' (Golden Hop)

Wisteria sinensis

Clematis

Trees

Acacia dealbata (Mimosa)

Toona sinensis (Chinese Cedar)

My favourite plants in France are on the whole the same favourites I had in England.

Every garden needs a structure which can be given by hedges, shrubs and shaped box. A wide selection of perennials can then give seasonal interest and keep the garden looking beautiful throughout the year. Grasses are one of my particular favourites and stay beautiful even in the winter.

A few well placed architectural plants can then add the wow factor. I tend to use exotic looking plants near my patio but these could form the basis of a tropical or exotic garden. Living in the south of France I use Mediterranean plants extensively.

Water is a problem in my garden but I can grow bog plants and water loving plants at the output of the septic tank.

Shade is also a problem in my garden but I am planting trees in order to give us some much needed shade and to allow me to grow more shade-loving plants in the future.