Herbaceous perennials

Herbaceous plants are wonderful, reliably coming up from the ground year after year. Their foliage dies back in autumn with fresh new growth appearing in spring. Herbaceous perennials are undemanding plants that simply need cutting back to ground level any time between autumn and early spring. Some, such as Heucheras, will hang on to their colourful leaves all winter.

Herbaceous perennials are usually grown in borders, where they look great mixed with roses and other shrubby plants. Smaller varieties look great grown in pots too. Grow them in pots of moist, but well-drained compost.

Here at The Mains of Drum there are lots of herbaceous plants to choose from including these hardy favourites:

Achillea

Agastache

Astilbe

Campanula

Hardy geranium

Hosta

Monarda

Nepeta

Persicaria

Salvia

Sedum

Veronicastrum

Enjoy our glorious display of herbaceous plants in our beautiful Bee Garden at the front of the building.

Conifers: ‘How big does it get? How fast does it grow?’

The Mains of Drum has one of the best selections of conifers around. Many of our customers are looking for a conifer that is suitable for smaller gardens – one that doesn’t get too big. Here is a selection of slow-growing conifers that generally grow no more than 4m (about 12ft) tall in 20 years:

Chamaecyparis lawsoniana ‘Ellwood’s Gold’

Chamaecyparis pisifera ‘Sungold’

Juniperus chinensis ‘Stricta’

Picea pungens ‘Blue Diamond’

Picea pungens ‘Hoopsii’ 

Picea pungens ‘Super Blue’ 

Picea glauca var. albertiana ‘Sander’s Blue’ 

Picea orientalis ‘Aureospicata’ 

Pinus cembra ‘Glauca’ 

Pinus nigra ‘Pyramidalis’ 

Pinus sylvestris ‘Watereri’

The following are classed as medium, growing 4-12m tall in 20 years: 


Cedrus atlantica (Glauca Group) ‘Glauca Pendula’ 

Cedrus deodara ‘Aurea’ 

Cedrus deodara ‘Pendula’ 

Chamaecyparis lawsoniana ‘Ellwoodii’ 

Chamaecyparis lawsoniana ‘Yvonne’ (or ‘Ivonne’) 

Chamaecyparis pisifera ‘Boulevard’ 

Picea orientalis ‘Aurea’

Our award-winning team of plant experts are always happy to help you with your plant choices. Also, look out for our very own Mains of Drum bespoke plant information signs, which have all the facts you need to make the best-informed choices for your garden, quickly and easily.

Please note: The size and rate of growth of any plant variety is affected by environmental factors such as soil type, depth, nutrition, moisture and drainage, sun/shade, climate and weather conditions, pest, diseases, weeds, pruning and whether the plant is grown in a pot or in open ground. For best results, always choose good quality, healthy and robust plants from a reputable supplier, like The Mains of Drum.

Garden Clinic: Dr Jane Bingham explains the importance of watering correctly.

During dry spells in summer, watering becomes the most important job in the garden, but there is more to watering than meets the eye. Many plants die each summer because they have not been watered properly. Plants in pots and containers and newly-planted specimens in borders are particularly vulnerable to drying out. Pay special attention to new plantings for the first 12 months, keeping the soil moist but never soggy.

Too little water, too much water or erratic watering are all bad news. Inconsistent watering causes leaves to dry and curl, and flowers and fruits to drop off. It weakens plants and makes them more prone to pests and diseases.

A little and often approach to watering can be disastrous. If you constantly just wet the soil surface when you are watering you will encourage plant roots to grow too close to the surface, which dries out quickly in the heat of the sun. The young roots will shrivel and die, and roots at deeper levels will be starved of water and unable to take up nutrients.

It is much better to soak the soil thoroughly, maybe just once a week, ensuring water reaches the deeper levels in the soil. Try to avoid wetting the leaves and flowers when watering as this may lead to fungal diseases and sun scorch.

Don’t wait until you see your plants wilting, regularly check the soil for dryness.