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Sweet rocket, Hesperis matronalis, is a pretty annual, bearing white or purple flowers similar to honesty. A packet of sweet rocket seeds is likely to produce flowers varying in colour from deep rich purple, through all the paler lilac shades to white – leave them to seed themselves and they will maintain this diversity indefinitely, gradually naturalising over a large area. The flowers' fragrance is as sweet as a violet's, and most pronounced in the evening. It looks good when allowed to drift, naturally through an informal sunny border, especially in a cottage garden or wilelife garden scheme.
Sow Hesperis matronalis seed in late-spring where you want it to flower. Deadhead spent blooms to prolong flowering, but allow some flowers to develop seeds so plants can self-seed around the garden.
Plant type: Hardy perennial
Flower colour: Lavender, White
Foliage colour: Mid-green
Sun exposure: Full sun, Partial shade
Soil: Well-drained/light, Dry
Skill level: Beginner
Time to plant seeds: May to June
Before I married my mum and I used to have this in our garden and I always loved it, the scent is glorious. 25 years on I have just pricked out seedlings of it which I sowed in early April, I can't wait for it to naturalize, a beautiful plant, its loved by pollinating insects too.
I have bought two plants to grow with my vegetables as I heard they are good for deterring pests. Are there any vegetables that are not compatible with the Hesperis?
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