My garden is a bit breezy, blow-y, frankly in need of a bit of protective hedging on the open field side, but I can't bear to lose the view. So, I really have to stake tall plants if I want them to remain on their feet. But, I hate the faffing about with poles and string and twiddley bits of twine and wire, it is just too boring for words and takes ages. So I love and adore the 'Popeyes' of my flowerbeds, the tall, strong plants that need no help at all, shun support and wouldn't be seen dead tied to a hazel pole. I love 'low-maintenance' - I have a life to lead dammit...I am LAZY!!
My realdeal, 'keep standing whatever the weather does' plants this summer are:
Verbena bonariensis, tall (6ftish), wiry, willowy, gorgeous and glam, basically Elle Mcwotsit with a iridescent purple hairdo. Like Elle, she was walking the Shows, (Chelsea, Hampton Court et al), at least 10 years ago, and is, dare I say it, perhaps a little, "yesterday". But I couldn't care less, she has style and attitude, looks good front or back of a flower bed (losing the metaphor here!), looks magnificent for weeks on end, sways and sashays about in a breeze and mixes beautifully with grasses in particular. Also selfseeds promiscuously. Sorry, Elle.
And I'm not the only fan,
Grasses such as Calamagrostis Karl Foester and Stipa gigantea - are tall, statuesque and architectural without being clumpy and coarse. They also rustle in a merest zephyr which I find strangely lovely and very soothing.
Hollyhocks - mandatory by the garden gate of any self respecting English cottage garden - and saved from utter tweedom by, in my case, selfseeding in moody purpley- blacks, maroons, magenta and sexily grubby pinks. I never sow any seeds, they do it all on their own. Brawn and brain, amazing, non?
...just one more, woo hoo!!
Bronze Fennel - now this really is a rampant beast and will seed itself everywhere, so be warned. But all is forgiven for its effortless height combined with the softest, prettiest foliage.
Cosmos, in purest white and shameless magenta, almost makes it into this list and I love it so much I might have to devote a whole post to it sometime. If you don't grow this classiest annual PLEASE do, you will love it forever!! Truly though, in very windy areas it might need a weeny bit of help, but not much more than a twiggy pole here and there, so not much to complain about really.
So if you want height and glamour in your garden, grow these. Or get Colin Firth round.