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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