Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Verbena bonariensis

Here's another guilty planting...

Years ago I started adding Verbena bonariensis to grassy plantings on roof tops. I liked the way it looked, held high and lightly above the cascading grass blades and later, their seed heads. It fixed the wildness in a way, gave it anchor and form. But it self seeds vigorously and is a pest. In my tiny space, it is easy to control by dead-heading before it sets seed. But I am suspicious of it en masse. You cannot control it on that scale.

It's a cliche now, this verbena, and tends to date a garden's design, in the way that lavender used to. I almost like lavender again. Actually, I've always liked it, but couldn't resist rolling my eyes and snorting a little if it was designed into yet another lavender and rose or lavender and boxwood combination.

I lean towards agastache now, for this tall blue effect. Though more substantial as a plant, it still carries tall flowers spikes above the fray, lasting long and late into the season. Its leaves are fragrant and edible and bees adore it.


  1. I have all and love all. Tho' that verbena is a bane of my existence. I start out vigorously weeding handfuls. By July I just give up and let it have it's way with me. And the rest of the neighborhood!

  2. Blimey, complaining about Verbena B! It costs an arm and a leg over here, and it never self-seeds!

  3. I love Verbena Bo, and I've never found a single volunteer. What am I doing wrong!?

  4. Ellen and Rachel - the seedlings are very late and slow to start, and very insignificant to look at, but then, like flwrjane, I find they are prolific. I don't know why, in some cases, they don't do this?

  5. It's a weed here and I suspect it is probably on THE LIST. I'll check. It came up at the bottom of my garden one year and not again. And I've just bought 4 more lavenders.......


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