JUST as they finish flowering, I jump in with a short piece on the wonders and delights of our dearly beloved Wallflowers.
It is, of course, time to sow new ones for next spring and to take cuttings of any perennial wallflowers that you might have, so it seems to me to be a perfect time to talk about them.
The whole group now comes under the new name of Erysimum and includes our traditional bedding types such as Erysimum cheiri and E. x marshallii, both of which are grown from seed sown in trays for lining out in July for growing on or sown direct into the garden for lifting and transplanting later in the summer.
As these are part of the brassica family you should provide protection from cabbage root fly and cabbage white butterflies during the summer months.
The resulting young plants can be planted out in beds and borders in October where they will flower in spring.
The range now includes some cultivars that flower in early spring such as ‘Treasure Mixed.’ Check out the seed displays in garden centres now.
For those of you with the perennial types such as E. ‘Bowles Mauve’, E. x kewense ‘Harpur Crewe’ and E. linifolium, now is a good time to take short stem cuttings from behind the old flower spikes so that you can plant out some new ones in autumn to replace the worn out older specimens.
Remember that these perennial types are only short-lived and their flowering potential deteriorates after five or six years.
The whole group of wallflowers are excellent plants for bees and early flying butterflies and many of them have a delightful scent that adds another dimension to the spring garden.