• Mark Parker


Ah the wallflower, not one I personally associate with brick walls or drystone walls, as a matter of fact not one I personally associate with any walls all together. Wallflowers are not particularly common from my travels along many private gardens, in fact like a lot of winter plants they tend to be few and far between.

If however you are indeed a fan of Sarah Ravens’ protégée Arthur Parkinson, then you would know all about these imperious plants! Well, that’s exactly what they are Imperious.

I must admit quite readily here that I did indeed come across the ‘imperious’ wallflower through one of Sarah Ravens gorgeous books, the use of fabulous text and glorious pictures really grab ones attention! The uses of the wallflower allow one to create a beautiful bustling border at a time of year when quite frankly the average gardener will have the odd dotted, sad, miserable plants here and there.

Late winter / early spring is an odd one unfortunately, we don’t tend to want to give up space for the dazzling perennials or for some folk the sheer lunacy of having plants cover all the soil! The whole obsession with bare soil is quite old British and of course what was once 'good taste' in the 50's is now seen as sheer lunacy. It’s true us brits can like a good bit of tidy soil with a manicured lawn however in all retrospect it is rather bland let’s face it and what way to jazz it up than with wallflowers at a time when our pack of 5 tulips are showing off their total inadequacy and lack of imagination (I am actually guilty of this please note). They bring life to the cold bare soil and bring extra fire to the garden where the structural plants have been holding the fort for the last few months, the joy, uplift and of course that utterly irresistible smell that early plants have.. heaven.

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