Reference: Do you have Lavatera 'Lilac Lady'? If you feel some of the rosy-pink lavateras a bit overdone ―poor plants, it's our fault if we feel that way- then you might like to try it. Just now with renewed growth with cooler weather, all my Lavatera make a most welcoming entrance to the garden ―as do several bushes I enjoy when I drive through the village. But Lavatera 'Lilac Lady' is more upright, with less vigorous growth. Its narrow, maple-shaped leaves are felted grey-green, with smaller, flat-faced flowers about 5cm (2in) across, are translucent, silk-textured and pale lilac-blue, held in upright spires. Last year I was not too impressed, but this second year they have made handsome, shapely bushes, and are still in flower long after the colony of purple atriplex seeded beside them has gone.
Dear friend & gardener: letters on life and gardening
By Beth Chatto, Christopher Lloyd
Published by frances lincoln ltd, 1998