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Centranthus ruber 'Albus'

21st August 2011

Red Valerian is a common weed from southern Europe, naturalised in the UK and prospering best in warm dry conditions. It is a common weed in walls locally and adds a bright splash of colour to the roadsides through the summer. I have never grown it before, though I have always intended to. I found a variegated seedling many years ago, but never quite got around to propagating it.
Over the last two years I have been building a new herbaceous border (it is a slow, weed filled project) as a home for all of the Hemerocallis, but it all looks rather "grassy" when they aren't in flower so I have been looking for other things to add easy contrast and extend the season of interest.
Those are the background thoughts in my mind as I wander aimlessly round the supermarket with my attention wobbling as erratically as the wheels on the trolley. This was sitting in a display of plants and it came home with me. I wish I could claim that the border was carefully planned, but it isn't so.
It has been in since spring and this is the first flower. The white form is very beautiful but I think it may deserve a little care in positioning. The next step will be to find one of the seriously scarlet forms!

17th June 2012

28th June 2014