Do it yourself

Verbena 2 (1024x683)We have our share of self seeders; many are welcomed with open arms into the bosom of the garden, a few aren’t.  Foxgloves, verbascum, california poppies, polemonium and verbena are greeted with enthusiasm although some culling is necessary for the over prolific.  Dandelions, sisyrinchium and, bizarrely, tomatoes are mainly just irritating.  They are not always strictly “self” seeders, they occasionally get a little help from their friends.  Sometimes the seed is lurking in our garden compost, we are not always as strict as we should be about sensible ripe seed head disposal (“Let he who is without sin cast the first stone”); sometimes we help them on their way, breaking open the pods and scattering the contents on the warm bare soil.  A recent addition to the list of desirables is Verbena hastata which with its cousin Verbena bonariensis has its sights set on garden domination.  Much visited by butterflies and bees, it is a valued addition to the borders adding height and colour and, even better, all for free.

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8 responses to “Do it yourself

  1. I also like VB,but last year with the very bad winter of 2011/12 I had none come up….I even asked at our local nursery and they were the same…but this year they are like mustard and cress …I’ve never had so many…I just wish they would behave and seed in the right spot…haven’t had a lot of success with VH but will still keep trying.

  2. Verbena bonariensis is a favourite of mine, but I have not grown Verbena hastata. Thanks for this reminder: I think both these verbenas would be a very good addition to my new garden! Speaking of invasive plants, I have just identified one of the vines on the fence as Campsis something or other (Trumpet Vine), and I’m a bit worried about how big it’s going to get. Do you have any experience with this one?

    • Eeeek Campsis! Only joking, I have just planted one and am willing it to a) grow and cling to the wall and b) survive the winter. Wonderful plant, not sure it gets too big, certainly not in our climate, but haven’t any experience except with our baby and I don’t think that counts. I want to visit your new garden, it sounds wonderful.

  3. rogerbrook

    One of my own favourite self seeders is variegated honesty. I also recommend Nemophila Penny Black to self seed each year. I also have Verbena hastata which is really lovely and not so thuggish as Verbena bonariensis – which is of course still a really superb plant

    • You are lucky to have variegated honesty self seeding. We had some this year and I’m not sure where it went ……. perhaps it will come up somewhere else, hope so. Just googled the Nemophila and it looks just my kind of plant, will try and find some seed for that one. Thanks for hot tips!

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