Lychnis coronaria is often called Rose Campion. This is one of our most beautiful and popular summer flowering garden plants and it’s easy to grow from seed. It’s a perennial plant producing tall silvery stems topped by deep pink flowers. Each plant grows to 60-90cm (2-3 feet) tall and spreads to around 50cm (18 inches).
I saw a stunning planting combination today that I wanted to share with you. I wish I could say that this was in my garden. But it’s not… it’s in a neighbourhood garden. Who would have thought that bright pink and yellow could look so good together? The pink flowers with silver foliage are Lychnis coronaria and the yellow spires are Verbascum nigrum. Both are very easy to grow from plants bought from your local nursery or garden centre or they can be grown from seeds. Sowing seeds is the best option if you want a lot of plants to create an amazing display like this.
I love the pinky purple haired stamens at the centre of each tiny Verbascum flower which picks up the vivid pink of the Lychnis petals.
Unlike most other Verbascums this one doesn’t have silver felted leaves but softly hairy green leaves.
Bees and Hoverflies love this Verbascum as it is rich in nectar and pollen… and so does the Mullein Moth. If you grow a patch of these it’s likely you’ll attract flocks of Goldfinches to feed on the seeds in autumn. It makes sense to grow plenty! Strictly speaking Verbascum nigrim is a short lived perennial but they are often treated as biennials with a fresh batch sown each summer for flowering next year.
Now is the time to sow biennial seeds.
There are several advantages to growing your own biennials:
- The amount of flowers they produce is amazing and they are great for cut flowers.
- Early flowering from April onwards
- Extremely easy to grow and great for massed planting schemes
- Inexpensive.You can sow several packet of seeds for the price of just one plant in spring.
It’s worth planning ahead especially if you are starting a cutting patch or simply improving your spring garden. Early flowering plants such as Honesty, Wallflowers, Foxgloves, Forget-me-Not, Sweet Rocket and Sweet William can be sown this summer as well as Verbascum nigrum. If you have space for a seed bed outdoors they can be sown there and left to grow on until autumn. Alternatively they can be raised in modules then moved to small pots ready for planting out when your summer display is over.
So that’s what I’ll be doing this weekend. Sowing biennial seeds Woo Hoo! It’s good to have a plan!
You are most welcome to join in with Looking Good this week.
Do you have gardening plans for this weekend? Hope it’s dry for you! Gillian 🙂