Penstemon 'Sour Grapes'
A smoky mixture of pink and blue with an almost metallic silver sheen on the back of the purple-streaked slender trumpets make this long-flowering plant shine in any light
- Position: full sun or partial shade
- Soil: fertile, well-drained soil
- Rate of growth: average
- Flowering period: July to October
- Hardiness: frost hardy (will need winter protection in cold areas)
Elegant spikes of small, tubular, foxglove-like flowers appear from July to October among lance-shaped, bright green leaves. This easy-to-grow perennial will quickly form large, leafy clumps and is perfect for adding a splash of colour to the middle of a sunny, well-drained border. If you deadhead regularly, the flowers will persist until the first frosts. The magenta-blue flowers of this penstemon have a metallic sheen, reminiscent of black grapes, which contrasts particularly well with deep purples and blues.
- Garden care: Remove the faded blooms regularly to prolong flowering. Apply a dry mulch around the base of the plant to protect the roots from frost damage and cut back in spring when new shoots appear low down on the stem. Lift and divide congested clumps in spring.
Many flowering plants can be encouraged to produce better and longer-lasting displays with the minimum of effort. A plant produces flowers in order to reproduce and ensure the survival of the species. Once a plant has flowered and fertilisation has takenRead full article
The traditional cottage garden was an intensive, yet carefree mixture of fruit, vegetables, herbs and flowers all crowded into a tiny space. Today, this informal charm can be recreated using modern varieties that largely take care of themselves around anRead full article
Create an ‘outside room’ that overcomes the three challenges of shade, exposure and lack of space using uplifting, shade-tolerant shrubs, perennials and bulbs. A sense of seclusion can be achieved with decorative screens and trellis covered in deciduous,Read full article
Tender perennials, such as pelargoniums, fuchsias, osteospermums and marguerites look great all summer, but unless they are given protection from the harsh winter weather, they will need to be replaced each spring. If you can do this, they will last for yRead full article