Late Summer Flowering Perennials - an easy to grow, colourful selection.
Jul 24 2023 Tom Stewart

Late Summer Flowering Perennials - an easy to grow, colourful selection.

Having a colourful display in our gardens throughout the year is what most gardeners aspire to and the best way to achieve this is by visiting your local garden centre every few weeks or couple of months and picking out what’s in flower or what’s about to flower, plant that in your garden and with regular planting you should have colour in your garden all year round. Summer time is when we get to spend most time in our gardens so this is when we want to maximise the amount of colourful plants on display - in Winter with the shorter daylight hours we don’t spend as much time in the garden so we might not concern ourselves too much with having loads of colour. At this time of the year we have the opportunity of adding some wonderful, long flowering perennial plants that will flower well into the Autumn so giving us months of colour every year. A wonderful plant that provides beautiful colour from late Summer into early Autumn are the Japanese Anemones. Nice open flowers in shades of pink or white and held up on nice tall stems, an ideal plant to grow beneath trees or in shady areas where they are happy to grow and also suited for growing in containers. Japanese Anemones are great to bridge a gap when other flowering plants are finishing up and they’re great at providing nectar and pollen for bumble bees and other pollinating insects. Avoid areas that get very wet in the Winter and give them a good bark mulch after planting. They can spread a bit when growing in the right conditions so to keep them in check remove any new shoots to limit the spread. A couple of noteworthy varieties are Anemone Splendens which is a nice compact variety with pink flowers and Honorine Jobert – a hardy, tough variety but looks really elegant, white flowers and nice foliage - underplant with some Alliums for early Summer colour makes a nice combination. Asters are another great perennial for late Summer/Autumn colour, they come in shades of white, blue, purple and pink. They give a great splash of colour and look really well planted with ornamental grasses and suit both a cottage garden setting and contemporary planting scheme. Asters like well drained but moist soil and are happy in dappled shade and as with most daisy type flowers deadhead faded flowers regularly to keep flowers coming. There are a huge range of Asters - with heights ranging from 8 or 9 inches to ones that reach 5 or 6 feet. Keeping them moist and not allowing them to dry out and cutting the tall varieties down to the ground after flowering will keep them in good order. Purple Dome and Woods Purple are two nice compact varieties reaching around 2 feet tall. Asters will also provide food for bees and pollinating insects allowing them to build up a store of food for the Winter. Echinacea are another wonderful plant for late Summer colour, vivid daisy-like flowers with a central cone, usually in rich vibrant colours of pink, purple or orange, sometimes known as coneflower relating to the prominent central cone. They’re tough enough plants, standing up to our mixed weather and have a strong stem so don’t need to be staked. The flowers are long lasting, sometimes used as a cut flower and also attractive to pollinating insects and will have seed heads in the Autumn for feeding the birds in your garden - so a very useful plant to have. They’ll grow happily in full sun or slightly dappled shade. The Moodz series of Echinacea are a nice collection or Pow Wow Pomegranate is another vibrant one to grow - happy enough to grow in containers or beds

A few other to consider are Crocosmia in reds or yellows, Helenium in vivid orange, Phlox and  Penstemons and Sedums - all great plants for late Summer colour into Autumn and insect and wildlife friendly


A few jobs for the week ahead;

  • If you have some clear space in the veg garden after harvesting potatoes or other veg you can still sow some salads like lettuce or mixed salad leave to make the best use of the space
  • If pots and containers have got a bit tired or untidy with recent wind and rain you can re-do them with some simple bedding plants - still months of flowering to be had
  • Now is a good time if you want to cut lavender for drying - pick newly opened flowers for the best fragrance, then hang up in a cool, dark place
  • Lawns can be given a straight feed of Osmo Pro 1 that’ll green them up without forcing growth and give you a nice healthy lawn
  • Cut back evergreen hedges like laurel and privet