St Johns Wort (Hypericum ‘Hidcote’) is a plant I didn’t use a lot initially. Then we were asked to quote a landscape installation for a client in Great Falls. They had just completed a major addition, and the county required that they add a LOT of plants to offset the construction. The engineering firm’s drawings called for a whole lot of Hypericum ‘Hidcote’. 134 of them, in fact.
Hypericum ‘Hidcote’ (I’m not using the common name in this post because way too many plants fall under the umbrella of ‘St Johns Wort’) is a low growing deciduous shrub that grows to 2 to 4 feet tall and wide. It blooms yellow, with pretty showy flowers. It likes well draining soil, and we’ve had a lot of success with it in deer-heavy areas. In fact, in the project I mentioned above the deer completely ignored them.
If, like me, you’ve wondered what Saint John had to do with all this, some cultivars of Hypericum (probably not this one) were used to treat wounds and nasty infections for centuries. Presumably because it was such an important plant, the leaves were gathered and burned to help protect against evil spirits. This was done on – wait for it – the night before St. John’s Day. As someone for whom many prayers have been made to St. Jude (the patron saint of hopeless causes – no mom, no offense taken), this makes sense.