gardening at home with sarah | favourite wallflowers

In this video Sarah shares her favourite wallflower varieties for growing almost anywhere in the garden.

I’ll never forget my first clocking wallflowers, I walked into the Cottage Garden at Sissinghurst, and on the south face of the south cottage there was a big block of a bronze wallflower and a dark red wallflower and the whole place just smelt absolutely delicious, just completely swoon-worthy, and I have truly loved wallflowers ever since.

In terms of varieties I thought I’d show you all of the ones we’re growing in the garden. This is a new family called the ‘Sugar Rush’ series, this is ‘Sugar Rush Orange’, and the good thing about them, is that they flower in the autumn and then they sort of have a bit of a down time in December/January and then in February they start to flower again and it’s still flowering prolifically now in May so you’ve got autumn, and spring, so that’s a real bonus of those.

This is one of my real favourites, this is called ‘Ruby Gem’ and it’s this beautiful colour, incredible scent, much better than ‘Giant Pink’ which is one we used to grow which had very little scent, if not none, and then that’s Erysimum ‘Sunset Primrose’ so that’s another series, the ‘Sunset’ series which includes these two as well which are two of my real favourites at the moment and I’m just about to sow lots of these because I want lots of these in the garden next year. This is ‘Sunset Apricot’ and that’s ‘Sunset Purple Bicolour’, and what’s amazing is that this opens kind of quite a rich saturated purple, but it fades, almost to this colour in the end, and so when you have the two planted together it looks really subtle and beautiful and still smells incredible.

And then these two that I’ve got together are the more traditional ones and this is like the ‘Blood Red’ but it’s actually a new replacement, and then this is like ‘Fire King’ but it’s in fact called ‘Bronze Shades’, but can you see those are taller, and so those are really good for borders, whereas these which are slightly more compact, the ‘Sugar Rush’ and the ‘Sunset’ are really good for pots.

And you can honestly sow wallflowers pretty much however you want, they’re really easy. You can sow them in a seed tray and prick them out, you can sow them direct into the ground and then move them to their final flowering position in late summer, early autumn, or you can do as we tend to do here sow them into a gutterpipe, and the reason for that is that it’s really quick to do, you can germinate them inside, and then the beauty of it, is you can just, if you sow them well spaced down the gutter, you can then just push seedling one out to its final position, move along, put your hand between one and two, push two out, between two and three, push three out and so on. So it works incredibly well.

How I sow always is I sow well-spaced, I always think of seed like gold dust because that saves you time later on, and actually these hybrid wallflowers are in fact quite expensive, so you want to be really careful with your seed, but what I do is I sow all the way along, and then I cover or poke them down, because then if someone comes and asks me a question or my phone rings or whatever, it means I don’t think “oh gosh was I there or was I there”, so it really helps not to over sow, and again that doesn’t gain you anything, so I carefully sow them like that, and then, and only then do I poke them down, and then water, label and I’ll put them in the polytunnel for a month or so before they germinate, and then out they’ll go to their final flowering position. That’s it.

you might like