Monday, 28 August 2017
In Scotland we haven’t had much in the way of a glorious summer this year but we can still make sure that we still have late summer garden colour as we slip towards Autumn. From hot herbaceous to glorious grasses there is plenty to keep your garden a riot of colour in late summer. Here are our Top 10 late summer plants…
The common name for Helenium is sneezeweed which we think is the cutest plant name ever! “Ruby Tuesday” has deep red to copper-red daisy-like flowers with prominent, red and saffron centres and widely spaced and fluted petals. This beautiful, perennial sneezeweed makes a wonderful, late summer companion for ornamental grasses and red, white or earth-toned flowers. More compact than many varieties, it also looks fabulous is a container. Bees and butterflies love it and it makes an excellent cut flower too.
Helianthus are perennial sunflowers, adding a sunny splash of colour to the garden every year. “Lemon Queen” has masses of large, lemon-yellow, daisy-like flowers up to 15cm (6in) across from July to September. These radiant sunflowers are ideal for providing a splash of colour towards the back of a sunny border. Ideal for the novice or young gardener, gathered while still in bud they make long-lasting, contemporary cut flowers.
“Goldsturm” has large, golden-yellow, daisy-like flowers up to 12cm (5in) across with cone-shaped, blackish-brown centres from August to October. This award-winning black-eyed Susan looks great planted in bold drifts with other late summer-flowering perennials and ornamental grasses. Coping well in a sunny spot, it’s ideal for the middle of a border that doesn’t dry out over summer.
Arching sprays of bold, tomato-red, funnel-shaped flowers appear on “Lucifer” in August and September among handsome, pleated, mid-green leaves. This vibrant bulbous perennial is perfect for a mixed or herbaceous border in a sunny, sheltered site or as part of a ‘hot’ colour scheme. For maximum impact plant in bold drifts in a sunny, sheltered site with moderately fertile, humus-rich, well-drained soil. They make excellent cut-flowers.
It’s easy to see why the common name for this plant is Chinese Lantern. Tiny, creamy-white flowers appear from July to August followed by bright orange-scarlet berries enclosed by papery, red lanterns. Chinese lanterns are perfect for providing autumn interest in well-drained areas of the garden. The papery lanterns make wonderful dried flower arrangements. To prevent them from becoming invasive try cutting a slit trench around the crown of the plant with a spade each autumn.
A favourite of ours and the bees in our garden! Tightly packed clusters of lilac-purple flowers top the tall branching stems of verbena boriensis from June to September. This stylish perennial has been enjoying a resurgence of interest in recent years. It is perfect for a sheltered, sunny spot with well-drained soil and its open, transparent shape means that it can easily be used at the front, middle or back of the border.
Japanese anemones are a riot of colour at this time of year. As the name suggests, “Hadspen Abundance” is very free-flowering and keeps on producing masses of cup-shaped, deep pink, semi-double flowers with reddish-pink outer petals from July through to September. A fabulous plant for adding late summer colour to the garden, this anemone will also grow in sun or shade. The leaves are semi-evergreen and deeply cut and bring interesting texture to a herbaceous border. It is clump-forming and looks good with most late-flowering plants, especially if it is allowed to spread gently among perennials and shrubs.
Also know as Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’, this gorgeous perennial has succulent, lettuce-green leaves, topped with salmon-pink flower-heads in summer, maturing to pinkish-bronze then coppery-red in autumn. This versatile perennial is a perfect filler plant for a sunny, well-drained spot. A valuable late source of nectar for butterflies and bees, the dried flowerheads provide structure and colour in the winter garden.
‘Yakushima Dwarf’ is a dwarf grass with green and white foliage and pinky fluffy flowerheads in late summer. It’s foliage has a fine texture which sways beautifully in the landscape. In late summer the long-lasting, tactile spikelets appear which look great right through into winter.
Transparent’ is a clump-forming, deciduous grass with arching, linear, dark green leaves turning yellow in autumn and tall, slender stems bearing feathery, purple flower spikelets from summer into autumn. Plant it towards the front of the border and enjoy looking through the feathery, bronzing curtain to the plants beyond.
Of course there are also lots of shrubs and small trees which are starting to turn stunning colours at this time of year. Our favourites include euonymus elata, acer palmatum and blueberry bushes!
If you need some advice on the planting in your own garden then please get in touch.
All at Vialii