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Advice need please

Hi All. I recently moved into a property where the previous owner had spent some time and money on a raised border with plants in that I am unfamiliar with. I wondered if you could help me identify the following? Sorry if the images are not as good as they can be.Picture A). Its about 3 feet high (the one that appears to be leaning out of the border) and had blue flowers on in August - October. Does this need pruning/cutting back?

Picture B). This is the bigger wavy type plant in the forefront. It is about 5ft high and had purple flowers throughout the summer. Do I prune/cut this back?

Picture C). some sort of reed/palm? Are these perennials? Do I prune it?

Many thanks in advance



  • Pete.8Pete.8 Posts: 10,897
    Pic 1 looks like Thalictrum (Meadow Rue)  - a lovely plant that dies back over winter and pops up again mid Spring. You can cut it right back if you wish, but I usually leave a few inches so I don't dig it up by mistake when I plant stuff out in the Spring.

    Pic 2 Verbena Bonariensis - same as above. They also self seed easily, so you may find lots of seedlings around May time

    Pic 3 ?? not sure Crocosmia possibly..

    Billericay - Essex

    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • LynLyn Posts: 22,852
    Picture one is eryngium (Sea Holly) cut it right to the ground now.  There may be some seeds in those heads if you want to save them. 

    2 is verbena bonariensis  you can cut it down if you want to tidy up or leave the seed heads on for the birds, when it start to shoot in the Spring you can cut it back to wher very you want.

    3 is crocosmia, I like to give those dead bits a tug, they will then come away clean, rather than cutting where you will be left with a tatty stalky bit. They will soon be shooting up again.  In fact in a closer look, they already are, the lovely bright green shoots to the left of the photo. 

    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • RubytooRubytoo Posts: 1,353
    Can't argue with Pete.8.
    Except 3. Could possibly be a small type of Gladiolus or Acidanthera?
    I think he is right and probably a Crocosmia.

    Do you have a picture of the top of the flower stalks, we can see the stems but no top details. that might help someone confirm the identity.
    Or can you remember the flower colour?
  • Pete.8Pete.8 Posts: 10,897
    Maybe to clarify pic 1
    The very tall plant leaning right over is likely Thalictrum wich will have clouds of tiny blue flowers late summer, the spiky one below is the sea holly

    Billericay - Essex

    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • RubytooRubytoo Posts: 1,353
    Oh I missed the eryngium :D
    You have inherited some nice plants there Andy.
  • Pete.8Pete.8 Posts: 10,897
    In pic 3 the shrub with the purple flowers just to the left of the brown plant is Leycesteria formosa (Himalayan nutmeg)

    Billericay - Essex

    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • Kitty 2Kitty 2 Posts: 5,150
    The crocosmia leaves look very much like my "Lucifer" ones do at the moment. I'd guess they're not the common orange type which have slimmer leaves and a denser, clumpier growth habit.
  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 11,915
    I agree with crocosmia- l have pulled the dead leaves from mine this morning, and they looked exactly the same. As Ruby says, you have inherited some nice plants @andy.mchugh. Welcome to the forum  :)
  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 22,588

    I agree with Pete, taller blue one Thalictrum, shorter spiky one sea holly (Eryngium).

    I think also agree with Kitty that the crocosmia looks like Lucifer. Careful when pulling of the leaves, they are tougher than the thinner varieties so may pull the corm up.

    Dordogne and Norfolk. Clay in Dordogne, sandy in Norfolk.
  • Thank you all so much for your help. I am a novice but wanting to improve as a gardener. I must have spent £300 on plants in my last house but need people like you to help with expert advice etc. Thanks again and hope to speak soon
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