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If you are looking for a mid to late-summer architectural statement plant, then look no further than Agapanthus.

These long flowering, drought tolerant plants are perfect for the summer garden. Sometimes called Lily of the Nile or the African Lily, there are around 600 different varieties to choose from that range in colour from pale and indigo blue to dark purple.

The name Agapanthus is derived from the Greek words ‘Agape’ meaning love and ‘anthus’ meaning flower, which is why it is affectionately known as the flower of love.

Agapanthus are easy to grow, perfect for containers or as specimen plants in a summer border or planted on mass to edge a pathway for that exotic look. These adaptable plants are often seen growing in nooks and crannies near to the coast, being wind and salt tolerant, makes them perfect for a coastal garden.

Agapanthus fall into two main groups semi-evergreen and deciduous. One of the best semi-evergreen varieties is Black Pantha with its deep blue/black flowers that burst from almost black buds and grows to about 40cms tall but will need some winter protection.

The deciduous perennial varieties of Snow Crystal or Windsor Grey make a good choice if you fancy a white flower, or if you prefer the blue purple colour varieties then Royal Velvet with its purple bells and a near black stripe along the length of each petal on sturdy upright stems is the one for you.

Or how about something different? Golden Drop has lilac blue flowers that emerge from a dense clump of green foliage edged in yellow.

All varieties like to be in free draining soil, and when planting young plants into containers restrict their roots by adding 2 or 3 plants to each. During the growing season feed plants regularly with a high potash liquid feed to encourage more blooms and apply a liberal layer of mulch in the autumn to protect from frost.

These trouble-free plants really are a good choice to add to your garden, even the pests leave them alone! Snails, slugs, deer and rabbits will leave these gorgeous specimens to get on with what they do best, which is to bask in the hot summer sun.

Until next time
Julie

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