This perennial dies back to below ground level each year in autumn, then fresh new growth appears again in spring. Position: full sun or partial shade; Soil: fertile, moist, well-drained soil; Rate of growth: average; Flowering period: June; Hardiness: fully hardy Jacob’s Ladder gets its name from the arrangement of its leaves – pairs of opposite leaflets resembling a ladder. In early summer, erect stems rise up from the bright green foliage carrying clusters of bell-shaped, lavender-blue flowers. A cottage-garden favourite, Jacob’s Ladder is happiest in partial shade, and looks equally at home in a wildlife garden setting or in grass. Although it is short-lived, it self seeds freely; Garden care: Cut the plant back after flowering to encourage a second flush of flowers. In autumn cut the faded flowerheads down to the ground and compost the dead stems.