LINUM Perennial Flax

Compared to the leafy stems and long-lasting flowers of many herbaceous border plants, Perennial Flax has a fleeting delicacy. The wiry stems with their narrow leaves bear 5-petalled blooms which open and then begin to fade within a day. But during the summer months there are always more buds to open – a pretty blue picture which is seen at its best in sandy soil and hot weather. Mulch in spring and water during dry spells in summer, but no matter how careful you are the plants will be short-lived. Fortunately, fresh stockcan be raised easily from seed or cuttings.

VARIETIES: L. narbonense produces 1 in. flowers with rich blue petals and white centres. The basic details are height 1 -2 ft. Spacing 1 ft.

Flowering period: June-August. ‘Six Hills’ is a popular variety – the shortest is ‘Heavenly Blue’ (1 ft). L. perenne produces paler flowers – a delightful sky blue. This type is perhaps the best one to grow. At large nurseries you might find its white, pink or red varieties.

SITE AND SOIL: Any well-drained garden soil will do – thrives best in full sun.

PROPAGATION: Sow seeds under glass in spring or plant cuttings in a cold frame in May.

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