Plant of the day

There are so many beautiful flowers in the garden at the moment but my plant of the day today is the dainty Gaura lindheimeri. There are many white and pink forms of Gaura and I have both but prefer the tall, plain white variety called ‘Whirling Butterflies’ because of it’s simplicity and visibility. Sitting here in my kitchen I can see the plant gently waving it’s wiry stems covered in small white butterfly shaped flowers a good 20 metres away.It seems to like my alkaline clay soil and grows up to 150cm high in full sun and, being on the edge of the footpath, is much admired by passers-by. The pink flowerbuds start opening progressively in June and continue up the lengthening stem into autumn with the last few at the tips still around in November. No scent unfortunately, but you can’t have everything!

I find Gaura to be quite hardy here but it is so easy to grow from seed that it wouldn’t matter if you lost some in a cold winter. They flower in their first year and grow into a good sized clump if they are happy. They seem to work well in a mixed border and act as a foil for other bolder colours and leaf forms. They don’t need deadheading and I wouldn’t be without them.