Wyevale Garden Centres

x-Gypsophila paniculata 'Festival White'

Echinacea purpurea Echinacea purpurea

Much loved by florists and flower arrangers, gypsophila, or baby's breath, is well known for its delicate sprays of tiny, white flowers. 'Festival White' is a new variety for the garden that has a tidy rosette of narrow, grey-green leaves supporting frothy sprays of pure white semi-double flowers.

Sensational as an edging plant, grown en masse to spill over a path or lawn, 'Festival White' brings an ethereal edge to borders, whether it's the main act or a hazy backdrop to bolder looking plants. Clouds of flowers appear in midsummer and can be left to dry on the plant or snipped off to encourage a second flush of fresh, clean blooms.

No cottage garden would be complete without these graceful plants and they are the perfect foil for stronger foliage perennials such as ligularias and heucheras. Plant in groups, allowing it to wind gently amongst iris and roses for a fairy tale effect, or contrast their mounding, cloudy habit with more architectural plantings for a modern twist.

'Festival White' is an easy plant to grow, thriving in light and well drained soil. Dig in plenty of grit or sand if drainage is a problem in your garden as plants can be short lived otherwise - winter wet can be fatal. A hardy plant it can tolerate the cold but will suffer in freezing winds so plant in a sheltered spot.

Water plants well in the summer although once established plants have good drought tolerance, and don't attempt to move clumps once they are settled as gypsophila have long taproots which will snap if disturbed. However, assuming they were planted in the right place initially, they are not invasive plants, and will not spread where you don't want them.