Purple Leaf Blackthorn shares her Suffolk garden, on a rural windswept site, with chatty cats, free-range chickens and ducks as well as a rich local fauna of birds, rabbits, rats, moorhens and deer.  With a focus on diversity, scent and colour – foliage or flower, whilst competing with the strong prevailing winds … it’s a survival of the fittest approach to gardening.


Buddlejas are rather tough hardy strong plants, so when this tiny twig arrived, Buddleja davidii  ‘Colour Fountain Blue’, I didn’t hold out much hope for its survival.  So the plug was planted into a 7cm pot and overwintered in our cold greenhouse.


Come spring 2014, I did not know what to do with this ‘twig’, which certainly didn’t look tough enough to make it into our garden let alone a blackbird’s nest!  So I planted it in a patio pot along with some Lobelia ‘Ultra Cascade’ … another delicate plant.  Needless to say the lobelia took off, as they say with a little help from their friends (fertiliser Incredibloom ®) and the buddleja grew at a steady pace, though initially overshadowed by its’ half-hardy but butterfly-friendly neighbour, the lobelia .  Thanks to this year’s fantastic early summer weather ‘Colour Fountain Blue’ burst into flower … well certainly before any related garden-planted Buddleja davidii cultivars.  Not only that, the beautifully disproportionally-sized racemes accentuated a naturally weeping habit.  The name ‘Fountain’ could not be more appropriate.  Who would have thought a butterfly bush could be used as a patio plant extraordinaire!


If you don’t have this one growing in a patio pot … you’re butterflies are missing out!  Current research still places Chinese Buddleja davidii cultivars at the top of the butterfly a-la-carte buffet on account of their high sucrose content.  And Butterfly Conservation says butterflies are in decline.  We can help!


Buddleja ‘Colour Fountain Blue’ – petite and posh, could this be the new patio hanging basket plant?  Perhaps!  Now I wait in anticipation for any new colours to join the ‘Fountain’ range.


Purple Leaf Blackthorn

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