Verbascum 'Cherry Helen' (PBR)
- Position: full sun
- Soil: poor, well-drained, alkaline soil
- Rate of growth: average
- Flowering period: July to September
- Hardiness: fully hardy (but short-lived)
An award winning variety, producing tall stems covered in intense wine-red florets above rosettes of deep green leaves. Perfect for the middle of a sunny border or cottage garden it prefers poor, well-drained, alkaline soils.
- Garden care:Apply a 5-7cm (2-3in) mulch around the base of the plant in autumn to protect from winter extremes, taking care not to cover the crown. Stake in spring with bamboo canes or twiggy prunings before the flowers appear. Mullein moth caterpillars can be a problem, pick off the insects in early June as soon as they appear. Remove faded flower spikes.
It is worth keeping in mind that these plants are mainly biennial, so although they usually self-seed freely, the plant will only live for two years.
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
Cordylines are tufted evergreen shrubs that originate from Southeast Asia and the Pacific rim, where they mature to form awkwardly shaped stubby trees with tufts of spiky leaves that resemble huge pineapple tops at the end of each branch. In this countryRead full article
Rosettes shine against the bare soil, whether it’s verbascums pulmonarias, orprimroses. Given a tidy in the autumn they will make this time of year look fresher. Pulmonarias will have plenty of time to settle in if planted in the autumn, and the apple-Read full article
Early flowering roses tend to come in shades of white, pink or purple-pink and most forms of the biennial foxglove, Digitalis purpurea, have toning flowers in similar colours. These appear in rose time, but carry on after the first rose flush has finishedRead full article