September is here and there’s definitely a chill in the air. Summer perennials are starting to fade, and the trees are showing the first tints of autumn. I’ve just been for a walk round the garden and there are still plenty of pops of late summer colour – here are some of my favourites:
Mophead hydrangeas are a particular favourite of mine, with their large pompom flower heads in shades from bright pink through to blue. These shrubs like a moist, well-drained soil in partial shade. Their flowers last from mid-summer all the way through autumn making them a good value addition to the garden.
In total contrast to the Hydrangea, Fuchsias are graceful arching shrubs with dainty pendant flowers. There is a huge variety with flowers ranging from white through to deep pinks and purples. These shrubs like a sunny, sheltered position and will flower from mid-summer through to the first frosts.
Penstemons are semi-evergreen perennials, with upright spikes of thimble-shaped flowers, rather like foxgloves. Colours range from pale pink through to deep red and blue. They like a moist, well-drained soil in sun or part shade. Flowers last all through summer until the first frosts in autumn. This is a good one for the bees!
As the days start to grow shorter Rudbeckia begins to flower. These perennials, with their sunny daisy-like flowers provide a cheerful sight in the late summer border. The attractive looking seedheads provide food and shelter for wildlife over winter. With varieties ranging in height from around 0.5m to 2m there’s a Rudbeckia to suit any sunny spot in the garden.
These perennials have strappy bright green leaves and arching stems of small tubular flowers from August through to October. They grow from corms beneath the ground, dying away over winter and producing new growth in spring. With their bright orange flowers, they provide a tropical accent to the garden.
Also known as windflowers, these clump-forming perennials have tall stems with delicate saucer-like flowers in shades of pink and white. Reaching heights of around 1m the flowers appear to float above surrounding foliage. The prefer a sunny, or partly shady spot and will flower from August through to October.