Gardening tips: plant verbascums in a sunny border

A close up of Verbascum ‘Clementine’

 Verbascum ‘Clementine’: spires of flowers above felted leaves. Photograph: Alamy

Plant this Verbascums are underrated. They’re drought-tolerant, with spires of flowers above a rosette of felted leaves. My favourites are V phoeniceum‘Violetta’, with dark purple blooms, and ‘Clementine’, which is apricot with purple centres. Try planting in a sunny wildlife border.

Click this If you are sick of giving your money to the big chains, find an independent plant nursery near you through the Independent Plant Nurseries Guide. The, set up by Hill House Nursery in Devon, offers a county-by-county guide to your local growers.

Try this Wick water delicate houseplants if you are away. Take a 10cm length of nylon cord and poke one end into the bottom of the pot so it touches the soil; put the other into a hole in the lid of a plastic pot filled with water. Sit the plant on top of the pot and it will drink up what it needs.