Verbascum (Cotswold Group) 'Gainsborough'
Leave to self-seed for vertical accents through a gravel garden or Mediterranean border; very attractive to pollinating insects
- Position: full sun
- Soil: poor, well-drained, alkaline soil
- Rate of growth: average
- Flowering period: May to August
- Hardiness: fully hardy (but short-lived)
Statuesque spires of saucer-shaped, soft yellow flowers from May to August above rosettes of grey-green leaves. This delicate pale yellow verbascum is perfect for a sunny border or cottage garden. The pale yellow flowers and grey-green foliage look excellent next to the thistle-like blue flowerheads of Echinops ritro. Thrives in poor, well-drained soil.
- 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 if you do not want them to self-seed.
It is worth keeping in mind that these plants are mainly biennial, so although they usually self-seed freely, the plant will usually die off after flowering.
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 an...Read 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, fragrant...Read full article