One of our ladies has asked about this plant – her daughter has it in her garden in France. I've been reading up on it and it looks a bit fickle, Can anyone tell me if it's worth trying in the mid UK?
Here's one quote I found:
Gaura lindheimeri – 'Whirling Butterflies'
I'll never forget the enthusiasm with which Roy Lancaster described this plant to me when I was a student. It was a sight I did not experience at first hand until last summer, when I saw it planted in a great swathe around the edge of a natural stone swimming pool in Provence. The slender stems and leaves are grey-green, and the many flowers really do dance above the plant like a host of butterflies whenever the breeze catches them.
Hi Pete, it is lovely (and the white ones such as 'Whirling Butterflies' much nicer than the pink varieties). It doesn't like cold wet winters at all. But it gives such good value - flowering from summer right through til autumn - would be worth using even if it doesn't survive the winter. Works well with grasses, verbena bonariensis etc.
I grow it in the garden here and accept that in some years it won't come through the winter even in a sunny well drained border. Easy from seed , most of the firms list it.
A bit of wider reading here :
And the plant we're describing is still aive after the last 2 (hard!) winters!
I use it, - and my mum has it in her garden in France, where it has got thorugh some very hard winters and self seeds prolifically.
However it is only the named lindheimeri varieties that reliably seed, and it does need sunshine to be at its best.
A great plant for movement in the borders, and requires very little
deadheading, it survives most winters in South Devon, but we now
cover the base with a thick layer of dead bracken, after the two really
cold winters we had a while back.