Take the garden I was doing earlier this week, for example. I was doing my usual weed round, dead-head and tidy up and one of the things I had to pull out was a spent Verbascum bombyciferum. It comes up all over the place in lots of the gardens I do – it likes chalky soils, generally speaking, which accounts for at least one of my clients’ gardens, including this one. But in my own garden it’s conspicuously absent – probably because my acid sandy soil isn’t entirely to its taste. It’s a source of sadness for me as I love this statuesque plant with its woolly, silvery leaves and huge spires of lemon-yellow flowers.
Never mind this right plant, right place baloney – I’ve convinced myself the reason it’s not self-seeding might just be that there isn’t any growing here in the first place. So I’ve been after a chance to get some to kick-start a colony for a while now. It’s not one you can find easily in the garden centres (unless you fork out for an established plant, which I kind of resent doing for what’s basically a weed). And I can’t be bothered to mail-order some seeds.
So it was a bit of a gift to find this one I had to pull out was just bursting with ripe seeds. I snipped off a head or two and found a bowl in the car to put them in – and here we are. I’ll pop them in a seed tray and see what happens. Here’s to having to weed out lots of lovely mullein seedlings for years to come.