VERBASCUM ‘Firedance’


This Verbascum is bred by Claire Wilson and Vic Johnstone, it has EU Plant Breeders rights and produces flowers of a dusky red a unique colour in Verbascum.

It show what can be created by plant breeding and simple selection.
I trialled the plant prior to it being introduced.

So now is the time to be busy looking at your flowering plants and those that are flowering from your selections and breeding work and making further crosses and selections.

As you can see from the picture above new cultivars can be from plant breeding and crossing.

Keep records of any crossings you make.

Get the camera ready to take photos to record your work.

For developing your new plant breeding selection or new plant discovery I can offer full trialling and new plant development service more details available on my website.


Well the weather has now turned very dry and hot, in my area at my garden we have had no appreciable rain for most of June.

Plants to look for in June.

All bedding should be planted out and you will need to keep all baskets and tubs watered and checked each day.

Apply liquid feed regularly once a week is ideal
Look out daily for slugs and snails check your local garden centre for best controls, an idea I have seen is to place an old roof tile on ground, snails go under here during daytime just turn over and pick them off each day.

Pot up any plug plants, that have come in or still left, water in well. Will need regular checking for watering each day.

Coleus plants make ideal patio plants there are many new varieties with many different leaf colour combinations.

Combination planting in containers is becoming popular look out for them in your local garden centre
Ideal plant for container planting is Geranium Rozanne.

When planting containers use a gel in the compost this will help retain and save water, always water in late evening even better is to use trickle/drip irrigation on a timer.

Regular weeding and hoeing whenever you can will keep weeds under control.

Dead heading will help to prolong flowering, and for some plants like Aquilegia cut back after flowering to prevent seeding in garden, otherwise they tend to take over.

You can take still take softwood cuttings.

Fill any gaps in borders with summer like Pelagonium.

Cut back spring flowering plants like Helleborus, Pulmonaria encourages fresh foliage.

You can trim evergreen hedges now, but beware of birds nesting you must not disturb.

Look out for Aphids and other pests, black spot on Roses, check with local garden centre for best controls.

If you grow Lilies pick off any Lilly beetle seen.

Look out for Vine Weevil damage, damage shows when plants start to wilt, on inspection roots will have been badly eaten
you may also see white c shaped larvae, apply a biological control, plants in containers are unlikely to recover.

Sedums and Geraniums can be badly affected.

Mow lawn regularly, mulch clippings or recycle, keep edges neat, don’t mow to short as we are now in dry period, don’t worry to much about brown lawns they will soon come back at the first rain.

Apply summer fertilizer, follow instructions, slow release is best, do not apply in drought conditions, if using feed and weed avoid getting onto ornamental plantings as it will cause damage.

Use a selective weed killer to kill weeds not grass, better than using feed and weed most professionals do it this way.

If you have wild flowers in lawn and want to keep them then do not use feed and weed.

During the dry period if you are watering the lawn do this at night when evaporation is low, better still don’t, the lawn will come back use water wisely.

If you have a pond then keep water circulating, if you have a fountain or water fall keep running during night during hot periods to keep oxygen levels up, clean filters as needed, remove blanket weed and skim off floating weeds such as duckweed, feed fish as needed.
Remove any debris leaves etc reduces toxin build up.

Open greenhouse and increase ventilation on sunny days, extra shading like shade paint applied to outside may be needed during hot periods, don’t let greenhouse get to hot.

Damp down the floor of the greenhouse on hot days this will control Red Spider mite.

Tomatoes will need tying in as they grow and remove the side shoots that grow from leaf joints, when flowering you may need to give plants a little shake to help will pollination.

Give plants space as they grow.

Tie in roses and other climbers.

Remove large clumps of forget me nots as they can get out of hand and take over large areas.

Check for pests like Aphids, red spider mite, white fly, regularly, biological controls are available look online.

Pick off any dead leaves, keep floor and pathways free of plant debris this will assist with pest and disease control.

In the vegetable garden continue weekly sowings of lettuce, radish, peas etc to get a continuity of crops
Continue to earth up potatoes as they shoot through soil.
Support peas as needed.

Harvest Rhubarb, but leave 2 thirds to grow on.

You may need to cover some plants to protect against bird damage , fleece is ideal.

Cover carrots to control carrot fly
Plant out leeks and cabbages.

Take time to relax in garden at some time each day time for barbecues and enjoying the fruits of you hard work.

The garden should be an extension of your house an extra room if you like and now it will be looking at its best.

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