Paul’s Plant of the Week

Verbena Hastata

I love a bit of Verbena.  Who doesn’t?

We all know of Verbena Bonariensis, it’s been on every gardening programme and in every magazine for the past couple of years.  It is everywhere.  And to be fair, we love it too.  We have a load of it in the garden.

Every garden centre we’ve been to has Bonariensis in full show, it became the must have plant for the garden.

But it’s part of a bigger family.  And a beautiful family it turns out.

We only have one of these plants in the garden currently as we weren’t sure what it would grow to look like and how best to use it in our space.

Well now we know and we also know that you need more than one plant to create an effect.

This is a glorious plant.  It brings height, structure, texture and a sea of purple to the border.  Well, more of a puddle then a sea in our case, but next year…

It’s over a metre in height at it’s tallest and has been in full flower throughout the end of June, July and is still going at the end of August.  Most of the flowers have faded but it’s hanging on in there.

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It’s long, serrated-edged, green leaves form a decent tall bush of foliage out of which bursts the long flower heads.  Like many flowers that are this long the small flowers open from the bottom to the top, so by the time the top ones are open the bottom ones are dying off.

The spray of purple flowers is just stunning.  No noticeable scent, it’s only as I’m writing this I realise I haven’t stuck my nose right in to them, however having been up close and personal whilst dead-heading I haven’t noticed any sweet perfume coming from them.

So, assuming they don’t smell particularly,  what else do they bring – well, I’ve already mentioned the sea of colour and the height.  They also look lovely as they sway gently in the breeze which almost makes them seem bigger than they are.

The insects also love them.  They have been covered in Bees, Butterflies and Hoverflies.

I have thoroughly enjoyed having this wonderful plant in the garden.  Infact, I’ve taken several cuttings from it in the hope that next year I will have more of a lake, if not a sea, of this glorious purple flower.  I’ve taken a few so far but they have new shoots coming out of the soil so I’m guessing that’s a good sign and it has encouraged me to take some more cuttings.  I’d like to end up with a 12-15 of these as I have three beds where I can use these to bring the garden together.

(Don’t tell anyone, but I actually prefer it to verbena bonariensis!)

Garden July 17 -4977 x 1200
Verbena Hostata
Garden July 17 -4973 x 1200
Verbena Hostata
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