Astrantia major 'Claret' - This is one of the darkest-flowered astrantias, with deep, ruby red pincushion-like flowers with a ruff of longer bracts than many other varieties. The leaves are pretty too; deeply lobed and dark green. Although it is an old cottage-garden favourite, this astrantia works equally well in contemporary-style plantings. Use towards the front of a sunny, yet moist border, where the flower colour can be fully appreciated.
Eryngium × zabelii 'Jos Eijking' (PBR) - This delightful sea holly has long lasting, flowers that arrive in mid- to late summer, turning bright metallic-blue as they age and usually lasting well into the autumn. They have a strong architectural shape, so are best in uncrowded borders where they can really stand out on their own. Honey bees love their flowers so they are a perfect for adding to a sunny, wildlife-friendly garden.
alliums, with heads about the size of tennis balls, come in a vibrant deep purple, (Allium hollandicum ‘Purple Sensation’), or a softer mauvy shade, (Allium hollandicum aflatunense). both are spectacular in bud, full flower, in the seedhead stage, and long lasting in the vase too. what is more they seem to naturalise and bulk up well.