Louise Sims

JULY:
Sphaeralcea incana ‘Sourup’.

I just love mallows, and can’t understand why they are not more popular; they have so much going for them.

As a genus, sphaeralceas are sun loving, mostly hardy and very free flowering from mid-summer through to late autumn. They are undemanding but need well drained soil. We are on clay, so I often add a couple of spadefuls of grit at planting time … organic matter is good but grit is better!

Sphearalacea 'Newleaze Coral’
Sphearalacea ‘Newleaze Coral’

Many sphaeralceas make superb specimens in a pot ( ‘Newleaze Coral’ is beautiful), but I have found that Sourup prefers to be in a border where its strong, upright (90 cms) growth holds its own against over enthusiastic neighbours, and where its clear orange flower colour is unmatched. I bought my original plant from Graham Gough at Marchants Hardy Plants, and noticed its transition there, from pot to border.

It associates well with so many other late border perennials including sanguisorbas, actea simplex (especially those with deep purple leaves), tall perennial verbenas, some salvias, asters and almost all grasses.

A quick word about pruning; if the frost hasn’t done it for you over the winter, a hard prune in early spring is necessary.

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