Thursday, 31 December 2015

Plant of the Year 2015: Monarda 'Gewitterwolke'

Monarda 'Gewitterwolke', October, with Miscanthus 'Yakushima Dwarf'
Last year my friend Jimi Blake, from Hunting Brook Gardens in Co. Wicklow, brought me a selection of Monarda cultivars that he had found to be good additions to his regularly changing garden assortment. Among them was the German selection 'Gewitterwolke' - the name means "thundercloud", which he particularly rated. This spring space was found to accommodate the small plant in the main border: it motored ahead and with a judicious pinching-out of the shoots quickly formed a nice multi-branched plant, nestling between Miscanthus 'Yakushima Dwarf' and Aruncus 'Horatio', which between them have given it the perfect setting for the rest of the year. It is perhaps because it worked so well with the surrounding plants that it caught my eye repeatedly through the season, and thus has become my Plant of the Year 2015.

The dusky flowers and bracts must have suggested the name; here 'Gewitterwolke'  is seen in August with Dahlia 'Freya's Paso Doble' behind, another candidate for Plant of the Year.

Evening light just catching the flowers. Aruncus 'Horatio' behind and Dahlia 'Twynings Revel' beyond (Plant of the Year 2013)

Another very pleasing combination was formed with Persicaria amplexicaulis 'Orangofield'
Another excellent Monarda also deserves a mention - 'Scorpio', a Piet Oudolf selection that plays a big part in his plantings at nearby Scampston Hall, where I got the plant from, in fact (promptly split and shared with Jimi). It's a slightly brighter purple and stood a bit higher than 'Gewitterwolke' this year (next year may even them out), and made - and makes - a superb contribution to the garden. Both are supposedly mildew resistant, though they both had some mildew by late September or early October, but insufficient to be unsightly or cause diminished growth. Such mildew-resistance is essential in any Monarda I'll choose in future.

Monarda 'Scorpio' in August

'Scorpio' (bottom right) still looking great in early October.

Seeding heads of 'Gewitterwolke' standing firm this week, alongside (though not visible) the Miscanthus and Aruncus, despite best efforts of Storms Desmond to Fred over the past month. 'Scorpio' is also still in good vertical condition.


  1. Would love to grow Monardas, particularly as they're so attractive to bees etc, unfortunately the slugs seem to adore them too!

  2. Would love to grow Monardas, particularly as they're so attractive to bees etc, unfortunately the slugs seem to adore them too!

  3. Hi John- Ive just found your blog and look forward to having a read through! As always- my interest is slightly skewed towards the wildlife friendly plants- so can I kindly ask were you aware of if this Monarda was a hit with the bees etc? As looks gorgeous! Many thanks Owen R

  4. Hi, i would like to comment on Doctor Osemu Okpamen and his dealing with my need. I contacted him in desperation over my girlfriend of a year that broke up with me and went back to her EX-boyfriend. Consequently the break up has been devastating so much so that I've considered and still consider suicide as my only option to relieve the pain and agony in me. I felt heart broken and it affected me that i couldn't concentrate properly at my place of work for i very much loved her and need to get her back and my last chance was getting a love spell. I entered on the website and made contact with the Doctor for i read that he has a lot of positive feedback with his spells. I’m not disappointed because my lover came back to me within 24 hours after getting a love spell from the Doctor called Osemu Okpamen. We are happy couples now and if you need any kind of help, Email him on ( or whats-app +2348135254384 ). Michael Snapp, +1 (305) 647-6660 USA.

  5. Testimony On How My Ex Come Back.
    My life is back!!! After 2 years of Broken marriage, my husband left me with two kids . I felt like my life was about to end i almost committed suicide, i was emotionally down for a very long time. Thanks to a spell caster called Dr Mako, which i met online. On one faithful day, as I was browsing through the internet,I came across allot of testimonies about this particular spell caster. Some people testified that he brought their Ex lover back, some testified that he restores womb,cure cancer,and other sickness, some testified that he can cast a spell to stop divorce and so on. i also come across one particular testimony,it was about a woman called Sonia,she testified about how he brought back her Ex lover in less than 2 days, and at the end of her testimony she dropped Dr Mako's e-mail address. After reading all these,I decided to give it a try. I contacted him via email and explained my problem to him. In just 48hours, my husband came back to me. We solved our issues, and we are even happier than before Dr Mako, is really a gifted man and i will not stop publishing him because he is a wonderful man... If you have a problem and you are looking for a real and genuine spell caster to solve all your problems for you. Try High anytime, he might be the answer to your problems. Here's his contact: or call him :+2347054263874