~ by Mhairi

ANTIRRHINUM or SNAPDRAGON (half-hardy annual)
The most obvious choice of plant with a Tolkienesque name and fortunately, one which is easy to grow. Snapdragon is a popular cottage garden plant, with lipped tubular flowers in a massive array of colours. Sam would enjoy this!

AQUILEGIA or COLUMBINE “Red Hobbit” (hardy perennial)
Aquilegias are an exquisite, old-fashioned plant, with beautiful spurred flowers of a delicate appearance. Again, they are available in a wide variety of colours, but this particular one boasts blooms of carmine red and white.

BROWALLIA or BUSH VIOLET “Blue Troll”, “White Troll” (half-hardy annual)
Originally a houseplant bu now grown outdoors, Browallia is a bushy plant, often with slightly sticky leaves and vaguely star-shaped flowers of up to two inches. “Blue Troll” and “White Troll” are both dwarf varieties – a Tolkien irony?

CLEOME SPINOSA or SPIDER FLOWER (half-hardy annual)
Especially for Shelob and so called because of it’s spider-like flowers. White, red and blue are the most common colours.

DRACAENA DRACO or DRAGON TREE
Actually a plant, rather than a tree, with sword-shaped leaves of a grey hue.

GAILLARDIA or BLANKET FLOWER “Goblin” (half-hardy annual)
A colourful border plant, with large, somewhat daisy-like flowers. “Goblin” is a dwarf variety, producing red flowers with yellow-tipped petals.

LOBELIA (half-hardy annual/hardy perennial)
Demanding as an annual (who does that remind you of?!) but nevertheless, a producer of pretty, almost iris-like, flowers. Most commonly blue, white and red.

PETASITES HYBRIDUS “Butterburr” (hardy perennial)
A streamside plant, producing early red-violet flowers and large leaves.

RUDBECKIA OCCIDENTALIS or CONE FLOWER “Green Wizard” (half-hardy annual)
A colourful, late-flowering plant, with plentiful, daisy-like blooms of yellow, orange and red. “Green Wizard”, however, produces green petal-like growths, hence the name.