This summer, you’ll be much more likely to see me out trying to capture different forms of verbascums on my iPhone than to see me playing Pokémon Go.
I added this one, Verbascum ‘Caribbean Crush’, to my virtual collection at the recent RHS Tatton Park Flower Show. The flowers open upwards as the sturdy spire lengthens, starting off a soft, peachy yellow, gradually deepening to a burgundy copper as they age. The effect is of two cultivars in one: very striking.
The verbascums were combined with those sweet, miniature red hot pokers (kniphofia) that seem to be everywhere I look at the moment; flat, creamy heads of achillea; and floaty purple verbena bonariensis. ‘Caribbean Crush’ would be a great choice if you like experimenting with colour combinations and don’t mind one plant stealing the show.
I often find myself gazing at the centres of the verbascum flowers. I can’t put my finger on what these ones remind me of – perhaps baby chicks with boxing gloves and boots? Don’t tell me I’ve found nature’s version of a Pokémon gym despite myself!