There’s a lot of really bright pink in my garden at the moment; a rhododendron (probably ‘English Roseum’) a Crataegus laevitgata ‘Paul’s Scarlet’ and clumps of the amazing everlasting wallflower Erysimum ‘Bowles Mauve’.
All of them are giving great joy, but I need to talk to you about the everlasting wallflower. If you leave it to do it’s own thing, the plant will soon become leggy and will soon lose its charm. However, if you’re quick, you can keep it compact, and the flowers will just keep coming.
The everlasting wallflower is a very useful garden plant; it’s a bushy evergreen perennial that can grow to 75 cm high, with narrow, dark grey-green leaves and erect racemes of rich mauve flowers 2cm in width.
The issue is that the flowers develop from the bottom, which means that the top of the spike continues to produce more and more buds.
As a result, it’s often a temptation to allow the flower stems to grow long and leggy. I would suggest that you allow about five of the faded flower stems to develop (seen as little white stumps) and the nip the stem back to where new growth is visible.
And then when you have cut these off to encourage new growth, you can then stick them in a vase where they will last for a whole heap longer.
The freshly snipped plant outside will then go on to produce another mass of these rich mauve flowers. Double bonus!
BTW, this hard working plant was shortlisted for the Chelsea Plant of the Centenary for the decade 1973-1982.