‘Fern Cottage’ is the cultivar of Euphorbia griffithii I prefer for its unique terracotta flower colour. I find it more pleasing than the harsher toned Euphorbia g. ‘Dixter’ that is more often offered for sale. This is a Euphorbia for moist soils rather than dry and when really happy it can become invasive. It has been growing in this small border for some ten years and has gradually spread here and there amongst its planting partners.
When such a plant spreads too far I simply pull it out from where it is not wanted.
This simple border has been a delight over many years and requires hardly any maintenance. Epimedium pinnatum ‘Black Sea’ is the main ground cover and it is interplanted with Astilbe chinensis var. taquetii ‘Purpurlanze’. These planting partners work well together. The Epimedium needs its still attractive foliage removed at the end of winter to allow the effect of its delicate, pale cream flowers to be fully appreciated. The Euphobia foliage arises attractively in spring and its flowering in early summer is spectacular in this semi-shaded corner.
Astilbe foliage weaves between its planting partners and in summer this variety sends up tall, dramatic, violet-purple flower plumes. Colourful over many weeks, these flower heads become seed heads that remain a bold feature of this border throughout autumn into winter.
Along the edges of this border a selection of interesting ferns and Heuchera villosa ensure a scheme that seems to have something to offer throughout the whole year.