Soil: moist, well-drained, humus-rich, acid soil or ericaceous compost
Rate of growth: average
Flowering period: May and June
Hardiness: fully hardy
Tight, rounded trusses of frilly lavender-blue flowers, each with a prominent purple flare add colour to the woodland garden or partially shaded border in early summer. The large, dark green leaves are retained all year, so even when not in flower, this beautiful evergreen will help add structure and visual impact to the garden. It's robust and easy to grow, provided you have soil with an acidic pH (simple test kits are available), otherwise a large pot filled with ericaceous compost will suffice - just make sure it is kept well watered.
Garden care: Apply a generous 5-7cm (2-3in) mulch of leaf mould around the base of the plant each spring.