Aubrietia in full flower cascading over a wall or covering a sloping bank is one of the heralds of spring. In the average-sized rockery it certainly has a place, but it should not be allowed to takeover. Cut it back once flowering is over so that choicer but more delicate specimens can expand and show their full beauty.

VARIETIES: The basic species is A. deltoidea (height 3 in., spread 2 ft.

Flowering period: March-June) but the wild form is not grown. The garden varieties are hybrids of this species – pale purple and pink are the usual colours, but both blue and red are available. A few of the more popular Aubrietias are ‘Dr Mules’ (violet), ‘Riverslea’ (mauve), ‘Dawn’ (pink), ‘Crimson Bedder’ (red), ‘Triumphant’ (blue) and ‘Barker’s Double’ (pink).

SITE AND SOIL: Any well-drained, non-acid soil – full sun is required.

PROPAGATION: Sow seeds under glass in spring. With named varieties either divide clumps in autumn or plant basal cuttings in a cold frame in summer.

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