How’s your garden looking at the moment?
It’s relatively easy for a garden to look lovely in early summer when there’s a huge choice of flowering plants, but they can often look a bit lackluster at this end of the summer.
However, there’s a whole group of perennials that are bursting with flowers at the moment. Just to avoid any confusion, a perennial is a plant that lives for more than a year, the growth above the ground usually dies back at the end of the season, but grows again the following year.
Happy in hot, dry conditions, Achilleas (Yarrow) have a lovely shape with clusters of tiny flowers in a range of gorgeous colours. The flowers of Achillea Paprika are red fading to cream.
whilst Achilllea fillipendulina Parkers Variety are acid yellow.
all of them have these pretty filligree leaves.
This is Kniphofia Mount Etna (red hot poker), they look wonderful with grasses:
Another favourite are Sedums (ice-plant), fleshy plants that don’t mind dry conditions. The flowers start off as tight little green buds in the summer, gradually opening into starry little flowers that are a magnet for butterflies and bees.
Sedum telephimun Matrona has deep purple stems and pink flowers
Verbena bonariensis is a tall, airy plant, useful if you want height without too much bulk, best planted in large groups to make an impact.
As a general rule, plants that need to put on lots of growth in a short space of time need really good soil to sustain them. It’s wise to mulch/cover round the base of the plant with a thick layer of compost in Spring, take care not to cover the stem of the plant, or it may rot. This mulch helps the soil to retain moisture and deters weeds.
This is just a little taster, there are lots more late flowering perennials to choose from, visiting gardens is useful if you need more inspiration.
all images: Jill Anderson.