Hypericum is a great summer shrub - it flowers right in mid-summer and brings yet more sunshine to the garden with its bright yellow flowers. Sometimes my Hypericums will flower spasmodically in Autumn, too.
Hypericum in Flower
The type that I grow is the normal work-horse shrub - nothing fancy, just an incredibly strong doer. I can turn into the pruner from hell and my Hypericums don't even whimper. In fact they seem to appreciate my severe cutting expeditions (which I try to embark on in the correct season, immediately after flowering). One of my shrub books suggests cutting Hypericum down to the ground every three years!
Hypericum in the Garden
Shrubs and Ground-Covers
Both my original Hypericums were in the garden when I first arrived. I've grown a few extras from cuttings, which have been useful helping to fill out new gardens. This year one of the plants is covered in flowers in autumn - I think I gave it a gentle prune after its first summer flowering.
I also grow a ground-cover Hypericum which I am not very impressed with - this is semi-invasive, and although it is covering some rather dry and uninspiring ground I fear I've made a big mistake. It's hard to keep it contained, and every year I am full of plans for totally removing it.
It's still there in the Pond paddock waiting execution, sending its roots ever outwards. Of course those same beautiful yellow flowers are welcome when they turn up mid-summer.
But the foliage is scruffy, and the leaves seem to get burnt in the sun. I wonder how difficult it will be to remove? As bad as my indulged, totally naughty Golden Hop or Clematis Montana? Eek!
A common name for Hypericum is St John's Wort, which makes it sound rather odd.