PENTSTEMON

P. Both for the border and the rock garden the pentstemon, in one or other of its many varieties, is admirable; a tall and handsome plant with spikes of drooping bell-like flowers. They thrive best in a warm soil with some protection during winter, for the bedding varieties. These are really better grown as annuals about 8 in. apart. Any reasonably fertile soil and a sunny or slightly shaded position will do. Many gardeners interplant with gladioli. The taller varieties grow to about 2 ft. Plants can be wintered in a cold frame or cuttings 3 — 4 in. long taken in September.

Recommended Varieties (nearly all have a white throat).

Alice Hindley: pale blue and rose with white throat.

A. McLean: pale lavender with white throat.

Castle Forbes: warm scarlet with white throat. Long spikes, Countess of Dalkeith: rich purple with white throat.

Dazzler: crimson-scarlet, throat edged cinammon.

Elsie Bailey: pink, rose and maroon.

Howill Pink Bedder: salmon-pink.

John Forbes: violet-purple edged chocolate.

Lady Monckton: pale lilac with white throat.

Mrs Jobling Purse: rose-pink. Throat white with rose markings.

Mrs Noel: dark maroon with white throat.

Myddleton Gem: carmine-rose with white throat.

Robert Astley: dark purple with white throat.

White Bedder: pure white.

The Border Pentstemons include Pentstemon barbatus (Chelone barbata), an ideal plant for the middle of the herbaceous border. The glossy, grey-green foliage forms a pleasing contrast to the long spikes of tubular pink or red flowers. (There are several colour forms.) It grows to 3 ft., is in bloom all summer and can be divided in March.

P heterophylliis True Blue reaches 15 in. and P. schonholzeri about 20 in. with deep red flowers. Garnet is another red about the same height but the colour is less vivid.

P newberryi is a deep pink species for rockeries to about 6 in. which blooms in May and June. Weald Beacon is rose-crimson, a little taller and rather later. All the above are impatient of winter wet. They are increased by cuttings in August.

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