‘I dare you to look me in the eye and call me a bastard! Come on, I dare you! One look and a brief intoxicating whiff of my lemon-honey scented foliage, and you’ll be dropping to your knees in supplication! Bastard indeed!’
This is one of those ‘what is that, what is that?’ plants that leave people speechless! I discovered it four odd years ago on the same visit as I learned that Oregano could be very eye-catching as well! Meet Origanum ‘Kent Beauty!’
Back to the topic at hand…. Combine its wonderful snapdragon-orchidesque flowers with that beguiling pouting bottom lip with foliage that is slightly tomentose to the touch, emitting the most intoxicating lemon-honey fragrance, and you have a wonderful entrant to the partially shaded woodland garden. Melittis melissophyllum ‘Royal Velvet Distinction’ remains relatively unknown to most North American gardens, likely as when it is revealed to be a member of the dreaded ‘mint’ family, most gardeners tend to drop the pot and run, but I am here to state most emphatically that mine has been a well behaved [too well behaved in my opinion!] plant that in four years might have doubled its size! It is now a delightful size, smothered in late May, early June with literally dozens of delightful blooms! With an overall height and spread of between 30-35cm it makes a wonderful addition to the mid or front of a border, and I am here to say that it creates a staggering effect when used to line a woodland pathway! There is every reason in the world to tout the beatific glory of this dazzler, and as such I am proud to offer it as May’s selection for ‘Barry’s Picks’ at LittleTree Garden Market. Stop in and get yours today!