Ceratostigma plumbaginoides

This hardy sub-shrubby perennial from Western China has wide lance-shaped mid-green leaves that become tinged with red during autumn. The terminal clusters of blue flowers appear from late summer onwards, and it is a usefu plant for bringing late colour to rock gardens and mixed borders. Height: 25-30cm (10-12in) Spread: 30-38cm (12-15inJ Cultivation: Light soil and an open but slightly sheltered position suit this attractive plant. Propagation: it is easily increased by lifting and dividing ciumps in spring, just before shoots appear

Above Centaurea cyanus Tall Double Mixed

This hardy annua! isvery reliable and seldom fails to create a dominant display with its striking flowers in shades of blue, maroon. red rose and white from early summer to autumn It rises to about 90cm (3ft) high if the soil is kept moist, slightly less than this in dry conditions. In England it is known as the Cornflower, and in North America as the Bluebottle.

Below Ceratostigma plumbaginoides

A pretty, hardy sub-shrub, ideal for late blue colour in a rock garden. Its foiiage is a delight in autumn, when tinged with red. and it looks superb positioned at the base of a wall

Centaurea moschata s a delight In an annuaf border where its flowers can be used alongside many other hardy annuals without any fear of its colour dominating its neighbours It is good for cut flowers, so plant it" within arm's length of scissors.

Ceratostigma wiilmottlanum is a half-hardy deciduous shrub with diamond-shaped stalkless leaves. It bears lermmal clusters of small rich blue flowers during mid-summer, and is ideal in a mixed border or even in a herbaceous mixture.

Left: Chelone obliqua

An attractive herbaceous perennial with snapdragon-like flowers during late summer This Nodh American plant can often be invasive when established spreading rapidly

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