Blue and Yellow

by Matt


One of the rows in the cutting beds that I’ve been anxious to see flower this Summer comprises two perennials I grew and placed last year. Both the globe thistle (Echinops ritro ssp. ruthenicus) and fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) were sown from seed last Spring, and grown on into 3 litre pots before planting into a row before Winter for cutting this year.

I have, like many gardeners, always been drawn to yellow and blue planting combinations, but hadn’t seen these two particular plants together before. They make an unusual choice as cutting-bed plants however, even though both flowers last well in a vase. So my intention was to have a go and put them in, and if they didn’t work they’d make a welcome addition to the long border in the following year.

Now that the two plants are out in flower together I’m actually very pleased. I think the colours are fantastic; both off-brilliance and of similar height, size and hue. My only regret is perhaps planting so many of the echinops! But they’re all destined for the long border now anyway, so nothing lost, and the bees love them. In fact its a good way of temporary growing for border stock in general; doing a thick row of a particular perennial in the cutting beds one year, bulking them up while removing top flowering growth, and then moving them all out into the borders for the next.


Another good, strong and reliable yellow also loved by bees is this form of Buddleja globosa, which I grew from a cutting a couple of years ago. It’s already enormous.