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Centaurea montana 'Lady Flora Hastings'

Archive entry 29.05.11

18th September 2011

I have been revisiting a lot of old favourite perennials recently as I fill up the new herbaceous border. I wanted some Centaurea to add some variety to the shape of the Hemerocallis that inevitably have to fill much of the space (I have an awful lot, and they have to go somewhere).
'Lady Flora Hastings' is said to be the best of the whites, with larger flowers than 'Alba' and I have been pleased with the way it has established and continued to produce occasional flowers through the summer. I still need a blue one, and the pink 'Joyce' doesn't seem to have survived. In the meantime, I have been very happy with this, and it manages to grow faster than the rabbits eat it so I think it is a good prospect for the long term.

4th June 2012

19th June 2015

Lady Flora Hastings was lady-in-waiting to Queen Victoria's mother, the Duchess of Kent. She died in 1839 of a liver tumour following a period of rumours that she was pregnant (unmarried). Queen Victoria lost a certain measure of public approval following the scandal that was regained by her marriage in the following year.
A volume of Lady Flora's poetry was published posthumously and well received.

I will hasten to the mountain,
To bring thee wild thyme from the fountin;
I will mark the breath which steals
From the violet, and reveals
What leaf that fading gem conceals.

exerpt from 'The Fairy King' by Lady Flora Hastings.