I love all Phlomis. I love the way the stem soar up from the big hairy, bluish-green heart-shaped foliage and I love the way the flowers arrange themselves so neatly on the stems. The dark yellow flowers of the Phlomis russeliana add so much to a hot border and each bloom looks like the hooked beak of a parrot. They arrange themselves in regular clumps up the stem encircling it so neatly. The Phlomis is in the Lamiacea family – the mints – and hails from the Mediterranean, china and central Asia.
But best of all I love the dried stems with their dried seed heads still neatly arranged and standing strongly through the wild winds of autumn and into the deep cold of winter. They are the epitome of architectural plants. I am limited to how many Phlomis plants I can have though as the “Under Gardener” doesn’t like them at all.
In the autumn we planted two different varieties, tuberosa and cashmireana, so we look forward to them to see if they perform as well as russeliana. Their flowers although similarly structured to russeliana differ in colour as they are both pale mauve.
At Trentham the groups of Phlomis planted in the borders of Tom Stuart-Smith’s Italian Garden, give vertical accents in the mixed seedheads still standing in the winter.
All of the following photos have been taken in our own Shropshire garden in Plealey.