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Friday, 19 July 2019

Perennials For Late Summer

Rudbeckia Happy Smile

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 in late summer. These are just some of the perennials on our looking good beds now.

Rudbeckia Summerina Yellow
Mid summer onwards we have a lots 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.
I started with rudbeckias and don't we just love them. New varieties are appearing every year along with good old reliable Goldstrum and it now comes in dwarf forms.

Hellenium Morheim Beauty

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

Echinacea purpurea 'Magnus'

Echinacea is simply a wonderful flower for wildlife as the cone makes a perfect landing platform. Echinacea purpurea is the most likely to survive our climate.

 Echinacea Salsa Red

Echinacea are simply stunning perennials in the daisy family. Loved by all and lost by many! They are a prairie plant used to extreme hard winter so cold does not damage them. I have heard two schools of thought. Rosy Hardy suggested them do not like to be crowded by other perennials so give them space to breath. A second suggestion courtesy of Bob Brown involved with the RHS trials is a dislike of our warm winter and RHS AGM trials are expecting echinaceas trialed in Poland through the winter to succeed.

Gaillardia F1 Mesa Bright Bicolour 

Another sunning bright daisy in the Asteraceae family. Gaillardias need a well drained sunny spot.

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 partial shade.

Coreopsis Bengal Tiger
A mass of small daisy flowers with vivid burgundy centers. Like a lot of these perennials it benefits from a well drained soil.

Verbena rigida
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.

Penstemon Burgundy
Most late flowering perennials do not get the appreciation they deserve because they are not flowering in the peak season in May when nurseries are heaving with enthusiastic gardeners who have a tendency to choose plants in flower. I am pointing no fingers! Penstemons are no exception yet they are fabulous flowers in all colours. Most varieties on our beds can have a light hair cut when they have finished flowers but do not cut them back until the spring when the new shoots come through. It can be a bit untidy over the winter but worth it. Ensure they are planted in a well drained soil and perhaps mix some grit with the soil to ensure drainage. These are lost when the roots are cold and wet.

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.

Leucanthemum xsuperbum
Shapcott Ruffles
I picked this particula shasta daisy because I love the shaggy appearance. We also have the compact form of shasta 'Victorian Secret' which I feel was very good for cut flowers. Every garden needs  daisies in there herbaceous borders shasta or perhaps anthemis daisies. They contrast against tall candles such as verbascum and salvia nemorosa and the flat table heads of  achillia and the froth of grasses.

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.

Scabious Flutter Rose Pink
Flowering from April to November this scabious has to be a winner. Its compact standing about 30cm tall and if you dead head as the flowers finish it will simply go on and on delighting.

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 happens to the garden of a Nursery owner who has very little time for their own garden! These all appreciation sunny positions and well drained soil.

Phlox paniculata Light Blue
Flowers from July to October with a slight fragrance. Its the perfect mid border plant. In the Flame series we also have a pink and a purple.
The tall (45cm) dark red velvety flowers and dark foliage make a striking contrast against paler flowers.
Geranium Orkney Cherry
Lastly a perfect little rockery geranium for a touch of summer colour and interesting dark red foliage. We are seeing lots of the Orkney bred geraniums. 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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