Linum narbonense

Flax (UK and USA)

This well-known hardy perennial has narrow, lance-shaped, grey-green leaves and graceful, arching stems that usually die back in winter in colder climates but may persist throughout winter in milder regions The 2-5-3cm [1 -11/4in) wide rich b'ue flowers, borne at the tops of the stems, appear throughout the summer months. Linum perenne is another hardy and perennial flax, rising to 30-45cm (I '»!i; It has narrowlance-shapedgreyish-green Ieavesand2-5cm(tin) wide sky-blue flowers during mid to late summer. Like Linum narbonense it is also short-lived, but can be easily raised from seed. Linum usitatissimum the Common Flax or Linseed is a pale-blue-flowered hardy annual It rises to about 60cm [2ftj, with slender stems bearing 12mm [/¿in] wide saucer-shaped flowers during mid

Above. Linum narbonense

Although tall this Fiax is suitable for a rock garden. The /lowers, borne at the ends of long stems, appear throughout summer:

summer, Linum austnacum is anothersoft-b!ueflowered plant, but is a hardy perennial and has 2-5cm (lin) wide heads In mid-summer Height: 30-60cm [1-2ft) Spread: 30-38cm (12-15m) Cultivation: Ordinary well-drained garden soil and a sunny position suit Flax best. It will tolerate both slightly acid and limy soil. Propagation: During early summer sow seeds 6mm [liin] deep in a prepared seed bed. When the seedlings are large enough to handle, thin them to £0-23cm [8-9in) apart In autumn transfer them to their flowering positions The plants are quite short-lived, so if is best to buy tresh plants every three or four years and replace old ones.

Above: Liriope muscarl

This hardy perennial displays deep green, arching grass-like leaves throughout the year The lilac-mauve tiowers appear from late summer through to late autumn. They bear some resemblance to those of Grape Hyacinths As an added bonus, the leaves remain attractive throughout the year.

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