Although we are regularly at our house near Southwold, we don’t have to wield secateurs and spades the moment we arrive. Plastic plants aren’t an option so, over the years, I have been trialling various plants that I love (specifically that remind me of holidays) and that don’t mind a bit of neglect. In fact, more than not minding, they must actually thrive on neglect!

I’m gradually whittling the list down – ruthlessly taking things out that don’t make the grade and trying out others. Our clients also benefit from this exciting exercise. Equally important, planting combinations have become simpler – with large bolder clumps working effectively. These hollyhocks outside a bathroom window have passed the test – months of flowers, insects and interest. Since this photo, I’ve selected and kept the plants and colours I most like, as well as adding selected seeds of other interesting colours.

Out! With the fleshy pinks and wishy-washy yellows – in! with the clear, intense, almost iridescent showstoppers. Double flowers are also definitely off the guest list. One day, I’ll set to with my finalised list… and hope that the new garden furniture will get more use than the spade.

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