If I had to list plants based on their architectural merit, Melianthus major would be up there with a Grade 1*. No other plant, in my view, has such fine deep cut, pinnate leaves. A gorgeous, glaucous bluey green in spring, they look like they have been freshly cut with pinking shears.
These are followed by long-stemmed crimson-maroon flowers, usually borne in mid to late summer, but this year flowering now after the very mild winter.
Some say the Melianthus is not a reliably hardy perennial but, with a little care, it can live long and perform well year after year. The trick is to plant it some 10cm deeper than in the pot, mixing in some grit and bark chippings if necessary to help drainage. Planted that deep, it will be at less risk from frost. A dry mulch around the base of the plant can also help protect from excessive winter wet. Situate the plant in full sun and sheltered enough from cold drying winds.
Melianthus major is really an evergreen shrub, but for best leaves and to stop it getting leggy cut the stems back to about 10cm in early spring. It will grow up to 1.5m in a single summer.
Lastly, a little something to delight anyone you show round the garden, try rubbing the leaves between your fingers. You'll get an unmistakeable whiff of peanut butter. Not peanuts, but Sun Pat. Interesting!