One website I like to visit on a regular basis is Bob Brown's Cotswold Garden Flowers. He maintains an extensive "encyclopedia" that contains many new and upcoming plants, including in most cases, his witty and insightful comments and a rating out of ten based on his experience with the plant. Here's several that caught my eye (thanks to Bob, via Diana, for permission to borrow and post pics).
First are a couple of new seedlings of Aconitum carmichaelii, the Autumn Monkshood, with outstanding foliage colours (he lists almost a dozen varieties, all with cultivar names that begin with "river"). Below is 'River Dee' that emerges with orange leaves that turn to yellow-green with a green edge as they mature.
Another somewhat similar plant is 'River Lugg' (below) with foliage that emerges a bright, golden yellow colour, greening-up as it matures. Both this one and the previous one, are relatively dwarf at approximately 30-40cm (12-16") in height, and produce the typical purple-blue Monkshood flowers in the autumn.
Here is Angelica 'Ebony' of unknown origins, at least as far as I can tell. According to other sources, it comes almost 100% true from seed, and caused quite a stir at the Chelsea show when it was first shown. It grows to 75cm (30") in height.
Next is Astrantia 'Comptom Lane Strain' with brilliant crimson flowers, and seemingly large and extended, bristly bracts.
Below is an outstanding, but still unnamed, yellow-leaved form of Euphorbia amygdaloides, the Wood Spurge. Bob states, "so far, no mildew and a good garden perennial", that the plant is thriving, and rates it a 8.5 out of 10. What a beauty!
Next is Geranium phaeum 'Séricourt', another yellow-leaved plant, in this case the foliage nicely contrasting with the dark, reddish-brown flowers. Bred by Yves Gosse, Séricourt, Pas de Calais, France. Bob rates it an 8.
Geum 'Bell Bank' is a variety raised in the 1980s by Geoffrey Smith of the U.K., likely from a cross between G. rivale and G. coccineum. The pink colour is unique, and the deckled (love that word) edges an interesting feature.
Next is Iris sibirica 'Roaring Jelly', a 1992 introduction from Marty Schafer and Jan Sacks. It was awarded the Morgan Wood Medal in 1999, and consistently ranks highly in the annual Siberian Iris Society's 'Favourite Cultivars List'. The colour is outstanding! Why it is not being more actively propagated in North America is beyond me.
Finally for this post (the first of two featuring plants from Cotwold Garden Flowers), are a couple of Kniphofia (Red Hot Poker, Torch Lily), 'Barbie' immediately below with large, round heads of yellow, orange-tipped flowers (very lucent), and then 'Barton Fever' with tawny buds that open to a fine apricot.
Here's to dirt under your nails, and more of these plants becoming available in North America!
Mark, the coolplantsguy