Let’s be honest here, establishing a border takes time and a little bit of patience, of which I have neither! So, I’m always looking for shortcuts… and there’s where ‘stitching plants’ come in to play. They’re the cool dudes of the border; growing swiftly, and just seeping into those gaps not yet filled by the big boys…!

You might see ‘stitching plants’ as the ‘support act’ for your border… they’re kinda there to help your other plants look good! However, there are some particularly showy specimens that are in real danger of overshadowing the acts they support… here’s a few of my favourites… some of you may already know, some you won’t!


Gosh, look at this! Coreopsis ‘Incredible’ lives up to it’s name in every way! Looking fantastic in this year’s trials, these plants look delicate, but they’re actually hardy and never stop flowering! Dot it through borders to fill them gaping holes!



Now, here you go, predictable but a winner- good old Verbena bonariensis…! The ultimate definition of a ‘stitching plant’, adding an accent to your full display. Floaty, mauve, wiry, unashamedly untidy…!


Now this is Phlox ‘of Sheep’ (best plant name ever huh!!), which is an annual, so adds as more of a quick fix for your borders, like dosing it up with Red Bull. Annual Phlox simply aren’t grown enough in my opinion. So easy, throw and sow, you can even leave the sowing as late as June, so perfect if you’re a bit disorganised like me!


NEW Foxglove ‘Illumination Raspberry’ is perhaps an unexpected ‘stitching plant’.. but give it a go. These unique hybrids are the perfect marriage of Digitalis and Isoplexis, which gives a ‘shrubby’, branching habit, much unlike usual Foxgloves! It’s sterile too, so keeps on blooming and blooming. Fills gaps with ease! 


Another surprise one, Clematis- this is ‘Blue River’. A delightfully informal Clematis, which weaves through borders with gay abandon, producing streams of cheerful, sky blue flower heads. Why worry about it climbing, when you can let it scramble!?



So, that’s just a few suggestions, do you have some ideas… leave a comment below!

  • Verbena bonariensis is brilliant for butterflies. I like to allow Love-in-a-mist to drift into the in-between spaces. It has pretty blue flowers surrounded by a mist of slender green leaves and attractive, generous seed heads too.

    August 23, 2014
  • I use Alchemilla mollis ,the downy leaves hold rain water like pools of mercury ,the flowers are fluffy acid green & can be picked to show off my sweetpeas which are in shades of purple & maroon ,it grows anywhere ,can be cut right back this time of year when flowers have gone over to provide fresh new green leaves ,slug dont seem to like it unlike most of the other plants in my garden & it even seems to grow in shade ! It can seed over enthusiastically but you can always pull up those you dont want & give to a friend!

    August 23, 2014
  • Karen

    Verbena bonariensis everywhere in my garden!
    Fancying the foxglove, have lots of self seeded ‘wild’ ones.
    Just ordered the purple carrot flower (forgotten it’s name already!).
    Thanks for all your inspiration x

    August 23, 2014

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