So what if it’s just June, I’m calling verbascum bombyciferum my plant of the year. This means nothing as far as fancy decals or mass marketing campaigns go but it means I’m smitten with this plant. It’s tall, it’s pet-able, it’s cheery yellow, it grows like it doesn’t care, and it’s always good looking.
Verbascum haters will point out it’s a biennial and will die after blooming but I say “be gone” and enjoy it for what it is….. and I could list a bunch of perennials that never made it past year two for me and had much less interest. They were started from seed last year and suffered the entire summer in a four pack. While their brethren died from drought and neglect these two managed to root into the soil and survive. Around September I desperately ripped up the plants, pulled them out of the four pack and shoved them into a poorly prepared garden bed. They survived an autumn of stomping and whacking courtesy of the children and still came through for me. What’s not to love about that?
I think my abuse was rooted in the doubt of their identity, I thought again these would grow up to be the common roadside mullein… which has happened three times already…. but apparently fourth time’s the charm. You can bet I’ll be starting a more respected batch of seedlings this summer. I’m hoping to top six feet with a better, less weedy and neglected upbringing.
I’m already looking forward to my seedlings and their fat fuzzy rosettes of pale grey winter foliage… kind of like a lambs ear on steroids…. now if I could only get rid of the rich purple weed that’s invaded the bed behind them. Campanula glomerata, the clustered bellflower. Nice but it really spreads.