We hope you’ve been enjoying your walks around the walled gardens at Charlton House! This month, look out for:
Catchfly (Silene armeria ‘Electra’)
Blue-grey leaves and hot pink flowers for weeks on end. An annual which self-seeds prolifically. It is called catchfly because there is a sticky area on the stems just below the flowers, which greenfly and small insects get stuck to. Feel it gently with your fingers!
Lamb’s ear (Stachys byzantina)
Lamb’s-ear or woolly hedge nettle, is a species of flowering plant in the mint family, native to Armenia, Iran, and Turkey. Very drought tolerant. Loved by the wool carder bee, which combs or ‘cards’ the leaves to make a hairy nest to lay her eggs.
A hardy geranium whose open, blue flowers are loved by bees, hoverflies and other beneficial insects. It was voted ‘Plant of the Centenary’ at RHS Chelsea Flower Show in 2013 and is very, very popular with gardeners as well as pollinators!
Anise hyssop (Agastache foeniculum ‘Alabaster’)
A cool white-flowering hyssop, that produces its slender bottlebrush-like spikes for several months from midsummer. The flowers smell of liquorice – have a sniff! The flowers are loved by pollinating insects and the later seedheads are a feast for birds.
Turkish sage (Phlomis russeliana)
A herbaceous perennial in the Mint family, native to Syria and Turkey. The name ‘Phlomis’ comes from the Greek word meaning ‘flame’. Heart shaped leaves of some species were used as lamp wicks in ancient times. The stiff upright stems carry yellow flowers, which look good as seed heads in winter and provide shelter for insects. (Looking to learn more ways our borough is connected to Turkey and the Ottoman Empire? Be sure to visit our new Ottoman Journeys: Life and Afterlife in Greenwich exhibition!)