‘The devil is in the detail’ is the type of doom laden cliche one fears hearing in the lawyer’s, suveyor’s or accountant’s office.

It means bucks!

But there is delight in detail too.

And if you look after this aspect of your plant selection, then to some extent the show within your borders goes on, even when it doesn’t, so to speak.

Five weeks after flowering thus:

this Thalictrum seedling still impresses with lime green seed heads, vieing for attention with anything else in this stock bed: 

its ferny foliage is a glaucous ‘look at me!’ in a sea of plain green perennials which like it have flowered and done their stuff:

and there is a hint in those mauve suffused verticals of the deep mulberry colour at the base of the stems:

I don’t dwell over much, you will be relieved to hear, on what Bishops and Popes wear beneath their robes! But this here is certainly a suitable colour for a pair of clerical boxers.

Moving swiftly on, because it is a fearsome thought, if one placed a plummy coloured hemerocallis within eyesight and grounded the verticals with some of Gertrude Jekyll’s beloved Megaseas there is the building of a combination.

It is this development: selection of form and development of use which stock beds assist. A live, 3D notebook.

Thalictrums, if you discount the devils, such as the weedy minus, do also merit use within the border for their very upright narrowness and see through-ableness, which enables you to place them well to the fore  and yet see round and behind.

Tall at the front, if it does not obscure then, delivers an intriguing height dynamic and a visual juxtaposition which can satisfy.

The show does go on because certainly the flavums and the aquilegifoliums of the genus die well.

So grace carries on well into the winter if they are left alone.

Robert

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