Earlier this year I vowed to make my garden more wildlife friendly by adding a succession of plants to provide nectar for butterflies, bees and other pollinators as we pass through the seasons. With sunshine and warmth dominating the summer months here in France, the garden has been full of butterflies and bees, and my Verbena bonariensis, has without a doubt, been the greatest attraction for them.
Throughout July, August and now into September, the variety of visitors to my Verbena bonariensis has been nothing short of amazing. With clusters of tiny purple flowers delicately perching atop tall, slender stems, they form perfect feeding stations for a plethora of pollinators but with an added bonus for us humans; you don’t have to crouch down to fully appreciate their visitors!
A hardy annual, Verbena bonariensis is easy to grow from seed. The seeds are minute, but grow at a rate of knots. Sown in March or April in pots, under cover, they will spurt forth and bloom for you come late July. Growing to more than a metre high, their slender stems are perfect for planting in drifts throughout your borders; they’ll tower statuesquely above other flowers and shrubs whilst hardly taking up any soil space. They are best planted in full sun, and well-drained but moist soil. Mine has survived the last three months with hardly any watering, in blazing sunshine and constant temperatures of nearly 30c, so it’s undoubtedly a robust flower that can survive with little fuss. Come autumn Verbena bonariensis will freely self seed, but I’ll be making sure I collect plenty of its seeds to sow in the greenhouse early next spring.
So what are my 10 reasons why everyone should grow Verbena bonariensis? I’ll leave that to my photographs from the last three months to explain.
Through the summer months I’ve loved every moment of watching the visitors to my Verbena bonariensis, and I hope that my photographs have convinced you that it is an invaluable plant to include in your garden for wildlife. If you’d like to make your garden more wildlife friendly please do read my earlier blogs about the best plants for butterflies and caterpillars.
This has been my favourite plant for attracting pollinators this summer, what has been yours? I’d love to know so please do leave your comments in the box below