The ubiquitous edging lobelia, or Lobelia erinus, is not usually heralded as something outstanding in the garden, merely a dependable, jolly foot soldier to fill a gap or hang down elegantly from a hanging basket. I would beg to differ; I believe it to be one of the champions of the summer. It can be trailing or bush in form; white, pink, blue, red or purple in colour; will flower its perfect little blooms off all summer long. If you are lucky it will over winter (it is actually a tender perennial) or seed itself around. As far as I’m concerned, that all adds up to an impressive CV.
I have in the past, much to the amusement of The Bosses, grown the largest bush lobelia in the world. This monster swamped all the other plants in the border. It had ideas much above its station (the packet said height 10cm!). This Lobelia “Crystal Palace” is planted in the urns at the front of the house and with its co-patriots has also grown well beyond their predicted height. A central boss of royal blue, surrounded by pink gazanias and inter-planted with the black grass-pretender, Ophiopogon planiscapus ‘Nigrescens’. Looks pretty good too.