I will finish with the grass that is the first to flower in the new season – Ampelodesmos mauritanicus
. And, amazingly, it keeps its flower heads right through the winter until you have to cut them down as the new ones start into growth. I first saw it at The Sir Harold Hillier Gardens & Arboretum and then grew it from seed. All references that I have found sing its praises and John Grimshaw
made it his Plant of the Year in 2016. It is native to the Mediterranean region and forms a mound of evergreen foliage from which rise tall pale stems, to about 2 metres, carrying long drooping flower heads, which are pale green flushed purple at first but fade to beige. Admittedly, it is quite large so does need space but, until it gets too big for my garden, it is a beautiful thing that I can appreciate all year long.