Looking across my garden, I cannot help but be cheered-up by the plentiful snapdragons (Antirrhinum majus cvs.) that are coming into flower at the moment. The display really is quite impressive.
The selection that I bought has five different colours as part of the mix and I am impressed with the even distribution of those varieties in the display.
Historically, snapdragons have been prone to rust diseases but modern breeding seems to have virtually eliminated this problem.
This year, I planted rows of mixed snapdragon along with alyssum (Lobularia maritima), stock (Matthiola incana cvs.) and cineraria (Pericallis × hybrida). All have come into bloom in the last couple of weeks, but I expect a couple more months worth of display.
There is a perennial snaprdragon (Antirrhinum hispanicum ‘Roseum’) available too. I have one of these in a hanging basket near my back door and like its annual cousins, it’s also looking stunning at this time of the year. The leaves of the perennial snapdragon are grey-green and hirsute; quite different to the annual species. Of course, the perennial snapdragon is well-suited to the garden, too.
Whilst A. hispanicum is called “perennial”, my experience has shown that they seldom live beyond three years and die at a moment’s notice. The only reason I have managed to keep this species is because I strike cuttings periodically and keep a second one in stock. There is a bit of an art to this and it’s fair to say that such an approach is beyond the capabilities of the average home gardener.