Agastache 'Blue Fortune' is one of the perennials I am most excited about using this spring. It has a unique flower texture, perfect for mixing into a meadow palette of grasses and perennials. (Has anyone else been really inspired lately by the wild landscapes Piet Oudolf is creating?) By the end of this March Plant Spotlight, I'm betting you'll be eager to plant some Blue Fortune Anise Hyssop in your garden too.
Blue Fortune Anise Hyssop is a perennial with evergreen foliage that smells like licorice when crushed. The scented foliage we love is unappetizing to deer, just like lavender and rosemary. This variety has fuzzy blue flowers in spiked clusters from early spring through
summer. Hummingbirds, butterflies and bees (can't forget the bees! Save the bees!) enjoy the nectar. To help them rebloom easily, dehead spent flowers. Blue Fortune Anise Hyssop will grow to a 3' by 2' mound with fairly dense leaves. It has low water needs, which is a huge plus in our drought-conscious book! In extreme heat, give it a little extra water if you want prime performance. Anise hyssop grows well in USDA planting zones 4-9 in gardens with part to full sun.
Plant Blue Fortune in drifts (a plant grouping of 5 or more of the same species, usually arranged in an organic form to mimic nature) with grasses and other summer bloomers. Try pairing Blue Fortune Anise Hyssop with Eryngium planum 'Blue Glitter', Echinacea purpurea 'White Swan', Rudbeckia 'Goldsturm', Festuca mairei, Perovskia atriplicifolia, and Miscanthus sisnensis 'Little Kitten'.
If you come up with any other great plant companions, please share them in the comments below! I think hyssop makes a great addition to low-water gardens, and can't wait to see what other flowering perennials you find for your drought-tolerant landscapes!