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June's plant of the month at suburban-garden is Achillea 'Moonshine'. Perfect for sunny places, I adore the bright canary-yellow heads that tower above silvery fern-like foliage throughout the summer.

Quick facts

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Bred by Alan Bloom in 1954 and awarded the RHS Award of Garden Merit in 1993, this achillea is long-flowering and drought-tolerant. All achilleas are butterfly friendly and can be used as cut or dried flowers.

 

Achilleas generally are short-lived perennials. Achillea 'Moonshine' lasts for around three years before becoming 'woody' at its base and flowering less prolifically. So you can either take cuttings in the spring from young growths or lift the clump, split and replant it in fresh soil. Achilleas prefer free-draining soil although they will manage in heavier soils; just cut back dead stems in the autumn to help the plants through the winter. The only real pests are the occasional greenfly in dry summers, or slugs in early spring while young shoots are emerging. I remove the greenfly and slugs by hand and the plants are fine.

 

Achillea 'Moonshine' can be grown with Geranium 'Johnson's Blue', Crocosmia 'Phillipa Browne' or 'Zeal Tan' or grasses such as Chasmanthium latifolium.

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Family: Asteraceae

Average height: 0.8m

Average spread: 0.6m

Flowers between: Jun-Sep

Soil type: fertile, well-drained

Sun/shade: Full sun

Hardiness: Hardy

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