The Most Infuriating Plant in My Garden.

BeardtongueFP (1)

Introducing The Most Infuriating Plant in My Garden™: Penstemon barbaratus ‘Coccineus’ (Beard-tongue)! I don’t know if any of you grow this beast – and perhaps it is so well-behaved in your garden that you can’t figure out where I’m coming from – but it drives me bananas.

I love the vibrant colour of the coral-red flowers and I love the mounding foliage. If they were not parts of the same plant, they’d be even better. I can’t stand the way the reedy flower stalks flop and plop above the tiny, neat clump of leaves, how it just lolls all over the plants growing around it like it owns the place.

Did I mention how much I dislike staking plants?

I would have torn it out years ago, but for the fact that the bees go gonzo over P. barbaratus! It’s so hilarious and sweet to watch them attack the blossoms, wiggling right down into the tiny tubes until you can barely see their striped backs. I can’t bear to remove a plant that is so beloved of pollinators, no matter how junky it looks.  Staking certainly helps, that’s for sure!

Have you ever made a planting mistake that turned out to be a good idea?