Romneya Coulteri

Tree Poppy, with crepe papery petals and egg yolk centre.



Commonly called matilija (ma-tila-huh) poppy, this California native wildflower is perfect for the dry, rocky, sun-baked west- or south-facing territory that is so difficult to make presentable.

Flower Portrait: Rudbeckia ‘Sputnik’

‘Sputnik’ is a short-lived perennial, usually grown as an annual, to 45cm in height with bristly stems and lance-shaped leaves. The classic daisy flowerheads have bicoloured ray florets, each with a brown base and middle changing to yellow at their tips, clustered around a dark-brown cone of disc florets. Flowerheads appear from mid to late summer. Perfect for ‘hot’ themed borders, they also mix well with ornamental grasses in a prairie-style planting scheme.

hot bed

Rudbeckia hirta ‘Sputnik’

Source: RHS

Coneflower and bees

Today’s flower is obviously attractive to bees – this was taken in the beautiful double borders of Blickling Hall, Norfolk


Echinacea purpurea (Eastern purple coneflower or Purple coneflower) is a species of flowering plant in the genus Echinacea. Its cone-shaped flowering heads are usually, but not always purple.

Echinacea comes from the Greek word for hedgehog ‘echinos’ which alludes to the prickly spines of the central cone.

Blue Poppy / Meconopsis

Meconopsis produce large disc-shaped flowers in early summer, most famously in deep intense blue, but also in many other colours. They like a cool sheltered site, out of the strongest winds, and a rich woodland soil, in sun or part shade. They are best planted small, in autumn or early spring, so that they are well-established before flowering. They are difficult to grow unless you provide them with the ideal location, but well-worth it if you can.