Erysimum 'Bowles' Mauve'
Earlier this year this small shrubby perennial was a contender in the 'Plant of the Centenary' at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show in the UK, so when I saw it recently at a plant market I thought I had better give one a go. I have grown these perennial wallflowers before and they are very hardy shrubs which are good over a range of climates as long as they are given a spot in full sun and have free draining soil. The trouble with them is that they never know when to stop flowering and though their peak flowering time is mid winter to spring the flower stems hang on into summer and become quite elongated. I gave the flower heads the chop yesterday and am pleased to say that the form of the growing plant is very pleasing , it being neat and compact with its grey green foliage. If it grows to a metre by a metre as indicated on the pictorial label it could make a nice low hedge or path edger and would certainly be a welcome addition to any garden for its mid-winter flowers. The other mauve variety is called 'Winter Joy' and this is possibly a select form of that one. 'Bowles' Mauve' has been around since the 1980's and was named for the great gardener E.A.'Gus' Bowles