Sue Biggs: my favourite plant

Sue Biggs, RHS Director General, ponders several plants, before settling on lavender 'Hidcote' as her favourite.

Sue BiggsIt took me days to decide on my favourite plant. My first thought was Lavandula angustifolia 'Hidcote', which is a spectacular violet colour that makes me gasp every time. Then it was pink Echinacea purpurea 'Kim's Knee High' which has the same name as my sister and makes me laugh with its hard central cone...

But then I remembered the seemingly ever-flowering clematis 'Perle d'Azur' which is the most beautiful shade of pale blue. Which reminded me of David Austin's rose 'Gertrude Jekyll' whose scent wafts everywhere and whose rich pink goes so perfectly with 'Perle d'Azur'. Which led to me thinking of beautiful Stipa gigantea whose architectural beauty waves in the wind and lasts so well into winter...

And then finally I thought, if you were on a desert island which plant would you take? It had to be lavender 'Hidcote'. The colour, the scent, the bees and butterflies that love it, and the memories of our garden in Italy. So (for today only, because I'll be on to Euphorbia, Pennisetum setaceum 'Rubrum', cornflowers and wild chicory before you know it!) lavender 'Hidcote' wins it!

Lavender 'Hidcote'My favourite places to see it: Hidcote itself, and RHS Garden Wisley of course.

Two plants that look good with it: Any lime green grass, for example Milium effusum 'Aureum'; Verbena bonariensis

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