I adore the scent of wallflowers, especially on an early Spring evening when it is most intense and often takes me by surprise with its amazing strength and loveliness. Wallflowers are among the earliest spring flowers, certainly the best scented, and very easy to grow. For me that makes wallflowers a ‘must have’ flower in my mainly edible garden. I don’t know how I’d failed to notice the uniqueness of wallflowers’ perfume until about 3 years ago! Until then I’d just dismissed wallflowers as traditional but rather so-so flowering plants. Shame on me!
Anyway, September is the traditional time to plant out wallflowers in your beds and containers, usefully filling gaps that have been left by the summer’s flowers.
You can buy bundles of bare-rooted wallflower plants on markets at this time of year, with their roots wrapped in damp newspaper and tied up with string. This is virtually the only way of buying them, and it’s fantastic that this traditional, fuss free, eco-friendly style of packaging hasn’t been superseded by plastic. As with other members of the cabbage family, wallflowers are perfectly happy to be dug up and transplanted as bare-rooted plants. Just keep them well watered for a week or two after planting out and they’ll thrive. Although they do sometimes seed themselves successfully in poor soil in cracks in walls, they appreciate good soil and will grow much bigger and bushier in it, so enrich their soil with home-made compost, or rotted manure or a few chicken pellets, before planting if you can.
I’ve grown a lovely row of wallflower plants to sell this year, so as well as buying from the market, you can buy them from me if you choose: £1.50 for a bundle of six big strong plants.
I also have good perennial herb plants which would do well planted out now – sage, rosemary and mint, and soft fruit bushes – currants and gooseberries, which will establish well for next spring if planted out this autumn.