Bergamot's whorls of two-lipped, tubular flowers start on the plant in July and continue into August providing a blaze of colour. It is a rich source of nectar so attracts a variety of bees, butterflies and other small flying insects. You can find it blooming en masse on the Main Borders of Harlow Carr where it looks striking along with other large perennials and grasses.
It’s such a useful herbaceous perennial. Monarda 'Gardenview Scarlet' (left) grows up to 90cm (3ft) tall, with bright red flowers above pink-tipped, pale green bracts which age to bronze. It prefers full sun to partial shade and rich soil but it is tolerant of damp heavy clay soils. M. ‘Gardenview Scarlet’ is also more resistant to powdery mildew than other cultivars.
You can use it in a variety of situations. As well as a stand-alone plant, it is also well-suited for cottage and herb gardens. Try it in mixed plantings with Sanguisorba albiflora and Sedum ‘Purple Emperor’ (right). The best part of M. ‘Gardenview Scarlet’ is its wonderfully sweet aromatic leaves which can be used in teas, salads and potpourris!