Perennial wallflowers have been a favourite among gardeners for many years; along with the old stalwarts there are some excellent new varieties which are more compact and with a good fragrance. Erysimum Red Jep is a super variety which flowers for months on end. It forms a bushy plant with its deep purple-red scented flowers fading with age giving it a two-tone effect.
E.Fragrant sunshine is another good compact scented variety. Its bright yellow flowers really shine out at the front of the border but a slightly taller variety is E. Apricot Twist, with fragrant bright zingy orange flowers which fade to a soft orange as they age. I can’t enthuse about Erysimums without mentioning one of the old favourites, E.Bowles Mauve. Although not scented like the varieties above it can flower from spring to autumn, its mauve flowers beautifully off-set by its grey-green foliage.
Erysimums grow best in poor to moderately fertile, well-drained soil in full sun although they will tolerate partial shade. If left untrimmed some can become leggy and woody over time, so giving them a mid-summer trim will sacrifice some flowers but help maintain a compact bush plant. Cuttings can be taken at the same time and can be used to replace any old plants which have become untidy.