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Gardening In September

Gardening In September

As our summers extend the colour in our gardens needs to as well. Plants for the Indian summer reflect the alteration in the length of daylight hours but can retain the brilliant hues we expect from hotter climes. Some even bear the name.

Alstromeria Indian Summer reflects just that. It is an exotic looking strong growing perennial with coppery orange flowers that are ideal to brighten the garden in late summer. It flowers continuously from late July with new buds emerging all the time well into the autumn. A perfect choice for long lasting displays in pots or mixed borders. Protect the new growth in spring from slug damage like you would for Hostas but otherwise it is trouble free. They look lovely planted with Kniphofia, Echinacaea, Rudbeckia, Heleniums and Ornamental Grasses.

Tropical cannas have lush green or bronze foliage and brightly coloured flowers from cream yellow and orange to deepest red. They appear from midsummer until autumn. They thrive in moist soils in full sun, and look fantastic when grown in exotic ornamental displays in mixed borders or large containers, especially when planted with other exotic-looking plants, such as Alstromeria and Crocosmia. The huge purple veined leaves of Canna ‘Wyoming’ make a bold statement in any garden. In late summer warm apricot orange flowers with slightly frilled petals appear on long stalks above the foliage. Protect the rhizomes from frost in autumn with a thick layer of mulch or move the pots to a very sheltered place for winter.

Anemone Japonica is a charming hardy perennial for sun or shade flowering from August until late October. The pretty star shaped single or double flowers with yellow centres are produced in abundance in amazing shades of pink and white that open above attractive foliage. The “Fantasy” varieties are only 30cms tall and give a stunning display in patio pots or taller varieties like Anemone Queen Charlotte double pink or Honorable Jobert pure single white which are 1m are excellent for the mixed herbaceous border. Anemones are a great source of late nectar for pollinating insects.

Rudbeckia Sunbeckia Victoria, The Black Eyed Susan, is a short variety growing to about 50cms. It is upright with huge bright orange yellow daisy flowers with dark brown centres on strong sturdy stems. It will flower from the middle of august into autumn when grown in a sunny place in soil that drains well or in pots. It makes an excellent cut flower for the house. Other good large flowering varieties are Rudbeckia Butterscotch, Peacan Pie and Electric Shock.

Helenium Short and Snazzy another strong growing late flowering hardy herbaceous perennial has daisy like flowers with cone shaped centres which Bees, Butterflies and other pollinating insects adore. Plant it in full sun in soil that drains well. Another name for Helenium is “Sneeze Weed” In times gone by it was very popular when the leaves were dried and used as Snuff. It was believed it would rid the person using it of evil spirits.

 “Autumn would not be without the colour of Sedum Spectabilis “The Ice Plant” flowers. This traditional cottage garden perennial has graced our garden for centuries. It is an essential late summer source of nectar for bees and butterflies. Sedum flowers are held on big flat easily accessible flowers on which butterflies rest and bask in latsummer sunshine.  The Green buds appear from midsummer colouring to pink into autumn. The stems are thick and succulent with blue green fleshy leaves. It is essential to support this plant with a wire herbaceous frame to enjoy this long lasting feature of the mixed border as the flowers become heavy as they mature. Grow in a sunny position in soil that is not too rich, even verging on the malnourished. The succulent stems cope well with dry positions.

Leave the flowers on the plant after they fade and they will dry and catch those glistening, ephemeral hoar frosts.

Summer Tubs and Hanging Baskets

Summer Tubs and Hanging Baskets

It’s May so time to get those patio pots, troughs and hanging baskets planted and enjoy lots of flowers around the garden all summer.
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Trees Trees And More Trees Please

Trees Trees And More Trees Please

Trees are probably the most important plant you can add to your garden.

Not only do they contribute to the air that we breath they are profoundly important for wildlife.  They provide shelter and homes for insects, berries and fruits for mammals and birds and shade for some plants, ourselves and our pets.

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You Really Do Get What You Pay For!

You Really Do Get What You Pay For!

Often the wet and cold winter weather of January will put our gardening jobs on hold for a while.  By February high pressure should herald less rain and even if cold the bright sunny days will finally encourage us to get some early gardening jobs done.
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