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Verbascum phoeniceum 'Violetta'
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Verbascum phoeniceum 'Violetta'

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Verbascum phoeniceum ‘Violetta’ and Gladiolus Byzantine

It's our most favourite time of the year in the garden, when all kind of treasures are emerging and in particular the self seeders: poppies, kiss-me-over-the-garden-gate, and perhaps best of all, the mulleins.

Self seeders are the explorers, they find the cracks and corners best suited to themselves, and as such are always the happiest in the garden as compared to those weened off windowsills and transplanted. Mulleins aka Verbascum are no exception, and we try and leave them where they fall, only modestly thinning this time of year to give them a little extra elbow room.

While the tall and aggressive biennial Great Mullein (Verbascum thapsus) is considered an invasive, our favourite garden type is Verbascum phoeniceum "Violetta." It likes a sunny dry spot (perfect in our warming climate), and happily flowers for months. Chopping the flower stalks to their base before the last flower fades will encourage a second and third flush, and the recessive nature of Violetta's colour adds depth to our flower bed.

Best of all are the puffy star shaped flowerbuds. Their potential fills our green hearts with joy and we are counting the days until we see them again!


Verbascum phoeniceum ‘Violetta’

Verbascum phoeniceum ‘Violetta’ with Banquet Triangles Tea Towel

* Also on our wish list are the giant yellow candelabras of Verbascum olympicum, and Verbascum roripifolium's clouds of acid yellow dots. Have you grown these?