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Planting Gems: Late Summer Interest

gardening tips

There is definitely a touch of Autumn in the air but we can hardly complain after the lovely hot Summer that we have had. However, your garden should still be putting on a good show. Sometimes it is easy to forget the need for late-summer interest when planting a border, concentrating more on spring and mid-Summer but there are many plants that come to their own at this time of year, and extend the period of interest of a garden until November.

Trees, Shrubs and Climbers – There are many small trees and shrubs suitable for London gardens that look stunning now, before Autumn colour comes into play. For example Clerodendron trichotomum, commonly known as the Harlequin Glorybower, has exceptional white, fragrant flowers and fruit:

Other examples of trees/shrubs looking good now are Aralia elata, some varieties of Buddleja, Caryopteris, Ceratastigma with their periwinkle blue, phlox-like flowers, Perovskia, and autumn-flowering Ceanothus. There is a very good choice of Hydrangeas, from the mop-head traditional macrophylla to the more modern, elegant paniculata and aborescens varieties. Late-flowering Clematis such as Clematis orientalis ‘Bill MacKenzie’, and late-flowering Lonicera (Honeysuckle) are useful, attractive climbers at this time of year.

Perennials: Many plants valued for their performance at the beginning of the Summer, have now faded. Some can be revived with harsh pruning in mid-Summer to put on a second, usually half-hearted flush. However, there are other perennials that come into their own at the end of the Summer: such as Japanese Anemones, Heleniums, Phlox, Crocosmias, Rudbeckias, Penstemmon, Echinacea and Verbena boniarensis. Some of these will flower well until the first Autumn frosts such as Dahlia, Fuchsias, Aster and Sedum. And as for Grasses – now that’s another column!

So make sure you have some of these star performers!

Anne Fraser and Caroline Streets

www.plantinggems.co.uk      plantinggems@hotmail.co.uk

07729 835988 & 07930 876348

About Anne Fraser (36 Articles)
Planting Gems is Anne & Caroline and we offer garden help and advice whether you are looking for a full re-design or makeover, or just some help with the re-styling of a tired border.