Verbena x hybrida 'Flagship' (Verbenaceae)
During the 'hottest October on record' I thought it best to choose and plant out summer annuals which are better able to cope with dry and hot conditions. One of the most adapted to these conditions is Verbena. I am nostalgic for the old spreading kind with the highly perfumed flowers which I used to grow in my youth but the best on offer these days is the compact growing sort such as this variety 'Flagship'.The disappearance of the spreading kind once sold as bedding plants in punnets may have more to do with economics and fashion than anything else. Verbena can be slow and difficult to grow from seed and as they are susceptible to mildew if they stay congested in a container for too long, they have been perhaps passed over in favour of the more reliable Petunia.
It is the flower colour range of Verbena which holds a lot of appeal for me. Most of the blooms have a white contrasting eye which makes the surrounding colour stand out even more and included in the range is a navy blue, though this deep dark blue is probably closer in reality to a dark purple.