This silver and purple duo provides all season interest but is especially striking in early summer when the wallflower blooms. The purple color of ‘Bowles Beauty’ could be garish but is softened by the silvery foliage of ‘Silver King’. The foliage of ‘Silver King’ provides a pleasing background for the heavily flowered spikes of ‘Bowles Beauty’ differing in texture as well as color. All season long the white sage and foliage of the wallflower look attractive and add to the garden. Both plants do well in full sun and lean, well-drained soil.
White Sage (Artemisia ludoviciana) ‘Silver King’
Grown for its silvery foliage “Silver King’ is a compact, bushy plant with white well branched stems. Unlike other artemisias, ‘Silver King’ does not have dissected leaves and they are 2-4” long, wooly below, and almost hairless above. Small inconspicuous grayish flowers are produced in late summer and turn red in the fall. Plants form large clumps and can also become invasive.
- Bloom Time: Late summer but inconspicuous
Size: 2-4” H x 2” W
Hardiness: Zones 3-9
Wallflower (Erysimum linifolium) ‘Bowles Beauty’
Popular in England, wallflowers are beginning to catch on in the United States and are seen more frequently in nurseries. ‘Bowles Beauty’ is an upright, shrubby perennial that does best where winters are mild. It is often planted in fall, like pansies, and enjoyed in cool weather. The leaves are narrow, gray-green, and evergreen in areas where winters are mild. The flowers are held in dense racemes well above the foliage. Unfortunately, plants are short-lived.
- Bloom Time: Cool weather (similar to pansies and snapdragons)
Size: 12-15” H x 12” W
Hardiness: Zones 5-8