This plant portrait post features the family of wallflowers, Erysimums, sometimes labeled as Cheiranthus, growing in the Fairegarden. They are shown in the above image on a foggy morning with dripping Nigella, Nasella tenuissima and red Salvia greggii.
Added: There has been some interest in the photo shown above. It was first featured in an early post that can be seen by clicking here-Blogger Visitors-In The Garden. It was about the day Tina of In The Garden came to visit the Fairegarden. We had never met, but hit it off immediately. There are a couple of other images showing the sunny fog that morning. Those conditions have never been duplicated since. It was a magical day.
Some might remember a whiney pants post about losing the files of photos saved for plant portraits recently. Among the lost images were a group of Erysimum shots taken over several months. The photos shown in this post were found in some previous posts about the Wallflower roommates, the Dianthus. Along the middle terrace of the slope behind the main house is a path of concrete step stones that has been colonized by dianthus seedlings. We wanted a planting to join in the sea of pink and extend the color before and after the Dianthus. Wallflowers have proven up to the task in the sunny, poor soil with excellent drainage in these beds. While bright orange mixed with the pinks might not be to everyone’s sensibilities, our belief about mixing color is the more the better. All are welcome.
Also growing hither and yon are seed started plants that have self sown in the gravel paths and been moved to the terrace among other spots. We feel fairly confident this is E. cheiri ‘Cloth Of Gold’ progeny.
Information on these perennial/biennials was sparse. This information comes from the BBC plant finder site:
Bowles’ perennial wallflower
Common Name: Bowles’ perennial wallflower
Cultivar: ‘Bowles’ Mauve’
Skill Level: Beginner
Exposure: Full sun
Soil type: Well-drained/light, Clay/heavy, Chalky/alkaline, Dry
Time to take cuttings: May to July
Spring bedding is synonymous with wallflowers, which make a bright and very fragrant accent in beds and borders early in the year, and are discarded after flowering. Less familiar are the perennial wallflowers such as ‘Bowles’ Mauve’ and its lesser known relative ‘Bowles’ Yellow’. These are beautiful and floriferous, woody-stemmed small shrubs. Unfortunately they are short-lived as perennials, but easily replaced with young plants raised from cuttings.
Reading the above helps me understand why some of these are so short lived, for our soil is acid, not alkaline and that is just the nature of the beast. But the fragrance and color are outstanding in the garden, and some do manage to survive to seed about. They will continue to be grown here, with new plants added in spring and treated as annuals if need be. The Dianthus would miss them if we didn’t. Me too.