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Thursday, 29 June 2017

Perennials For Late Summer

Achillia Tutti Frutti Pomigranate
Here we can go wild because the choice is fabulous. If you've visited the Nursery throughout the seasons you should have colour throughout though its not always easy to discipline yourself to buy unattractive pots against beautiful May blooms on a sunny day with a view to how glorious they will look late summer.

 Late summer we have a lot of tall perennials flowering like spikes or candles at the back of the border. Many of perennials in the asteraceae family, the daisy group make a wonderful show of colour now such as the echinacea, leucanthemum daisys, asters, helleniums (below), achillia (pictured above) and rudbeckia to name a few.

Hellenium Morheim Beauty

 A reliable old favourite a daisy in a rich coppery colour. This flowers into autumn.

Achillia Summer Fruts Lemon

Like the millefolium Achiliia Tutti Fruitti Pomigranate above this is another new tangy coloured achillea.Compact flower heads on these new varieties sit like colourful plates in the beds bringing another layer of interest and a good burst of colour.

Echinacea is simply a wonderful flower for wildlife as the cone makes a perfect landing platform
Verconicastrum virginicum 'Facination'
prolonged flowering

 Often over look is the verconicastrum. A tall plant at 1m or a little more but packed with nectar for the bees and flowering from now right into Autumn.Trim back to the next set of buds when the first flowers fade to continue flowering. Plant in sun or partila shade.

Verbena rigida Venosa
Denser flowering than as its counter part bonariensis means this rich purple verbena can create a bold impact at a lower height of about 60cm not 1.5m. A sun loving perennial.

Campanula latifolia Prichards Variety

 Another great plant for sun or part shade. Probably best suits mid border planting. Self supporting and and long flowering if you snip back any fading flower heads to the up and coming new shoots lower down the stem.

Anemone Wild Swan
A long flowering anemone. This was one of the plants of the year at the 2011 Chelsea Flower Show. Purple backs to the pure white flowers which sit like the wings of a beautiful swan I presume.
Scabious Barocca
If you go to Hampton Court this July I can guarantee this is the plant you will hear garden onlooks wispering to one another 'Do you know what that is?'
Well its only a simple scabious but just look at that colour. Its fabulous.It is biennal so it has to be replanted or allowed to reseed like aquilegia but its so gorgeous it deserves a punt.

Stachis Monieri Hummelo
A great clump former, producing 60cm of colour, flowering June to September. Its not tall at 60cm so can be planted near the front of the border. This is a good pollinator and its tough.

Above we have the perfect blues. Lavender,agapanthus and Salvia nemorosa Caradonna. I love this combination. All can equally go in easy perennial containers. I have many pots of agapanthus as they thrive on neglect which is what happerns to the garden of a Nursery owner who has very little time for their own garden! These all apprieciatia sunny positions and well drained soil.

Penstemon Dark Towers

Penstemon Dark Towers and similarly Husker Red (white flowers) has not yet had enough publisty. Forget your standard penstemon. This looks more like a lobelia. It is tall, about 75cm and could do with some support but just delight in the towers of deep red foliage and think what depth of colour that will introduce to your border even when not in flower. Its not fussy and will tolerate sun or partilal shade. Cut back old flower spikes to encourage it to continue flowering into autumn. Treat it like any other perennial rather than a conventional penstemon such as Garnet or Raven  where we do do cut back old shoots until we have the new in the spring. Its worth mentioning that penstemons are great for producing a mass of colour and plugging gaps as an alternative to the perfect Geranium Rozanne.

Geranium Orkney Cherry
Lastly a perfect little rockery geranium for a touch of summer colour and interesting dark red foliage.Long flowering and if it gets a little tired tidy it up take back the old flowers and it should refresh itself.

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