New plants for autumn
Autumn is not far off, and with it comes a variety of new plant releases. Which is perfect timing, as many of us are looking to introduce colour into our autumn gardens. Rudbeckia ‘‘Little Goldstar’’ is one such plant. A new release from the Living Fashion range, it produces dazzling golden blooms from late summer right through to late autumn or winter – a good three months at least. It has a neat, compact habit, though its shorter stature doesn’t mean it skimps on blooms. In general, it produces more flowers than its taller counterparts. It grows in sun or part shade and is tolerant of dry soils once established. For best flowering results, give it a feed with slowrelease fertiliser and deadhead regularly. Penstemon ‘‘Watermelon Taffy’’ flowers all summer long and into autumn, and also comes in the Living Fashion range. Its bellshaped watermelon-pink blooms sport pristine white throats which stand out in the garden. Deadheading spent flower spikes encourages additional laterals so a haze of watermelon-pink can be had for weeks on end. Drought and humidity-tolerant, this plant grows to a height of 70cm, which makes it ideal for picking too. It’s best grown in full sun, in average, well-drained soil. Salvia ‘‘Glare’’ is an aromatic, evergreen shrub with masses of bright white flowers throughout the warmer months. It’s not a vibrant colour as such, but white does stand out in the garden against other colours such as purple and green. Drought-tolerant once established, Salvia ‘‘Glare’’ requires only occasional deep soaking during extended dry spells in summer. Prune it after its main flowering to encourage a faster reblooming. Growing to a height of 70cm and width of 1m, it may be grown in full sun to part shade. If you prefer foliage over flowers, choose the new Salvia ‘‘Silver Sabre’’. This culinary sage has attractive, low-spreading, perennial leaves. The variegated foliage is a crisp cream and green for most of the year though it develops pink tones in cooler weather. The plants are fairly dry-tolerant once established and will grow in most soil types provided it’s freedraining. Plant it in the kitchen garden or at the front of flower borders where it will form a mat 20cm high x 60cm wide. Other great foliage plants include Pittosporum ‘‘Goldenball’’ and ‘‘Silverball’’, two additions to the Golfball series. These plants form compact, tidy shrubs that reach only 40cm high x 40cm wide. The new foliage is an eye-catching golden or silver colour. These are easy-care perennials, able to withstand dry conditions. Both these plants would suit either an informal or formal position, as the leaves may be clipped into formal shapes or left as is.
Bright stars: Rudbeckia ‘‘Little Goldstar’’ produces dazzling golden blooms