LATE-FLOW­ER­ING PEREN­NI­ALS

The plants that will bloom from Au­gust to Oc­to­ber

Amateur Gardening - - This Week In Gardening -

MAny of us are sum­mer ad­dicts, overly fo­cused on grow­ing the roses, del­phini­ums and lilies of June and July. The down­side to this is that, come late Au­gust, bor­ders can look a bit drab. If you want to en­sure the sea­son ends with a bang not a whim­per, you need to in­ject some colour, and one easy way of do­ing so is with late­flow­er­ing peren­ni­als that bloom in Au­gust, Septem­ber and Oc­to­ber.

So, what to choose for the ul­ti­mate late late show? The likes of monks­hood

(Aconi­tum), joe pye weed (Eu­pa­to­rium), cone­flower (Rud­beckia), peren­nial sun­flower (Helianthus) and sneeze­weed

(He­le­nium) are at their best in Au­gust and Septem­ber. And if the weather is kind – and you dead­head reg­u­larly – they may keep go­ing into late au­tumn. Dur­ing an In­dian sum­mer plants like pen­ste­mons will bloom into novem­ber. The ma­jor­ity of red-hot pok­ers

(Kniphofia) flower un­til the end of Septem­ber, but a few cul­ti­vars per­form for longer. ‘nancy’s Red’ (coral red) and ‘Brim­stone’ (yel­low) pro­duce their torch flow­ers into Oc­to­ber. Like­wise, many ice plants con­tinue to bloom in mid-au­tumn – try ‘Red Cauli’ and ‘Abbey Dore’.

Another late stal­wart is the Michael­mas daisy (Sym­phy­otrichum or aster), with flow­ers in white, pink or pur­ple into Oc­to­ber. ‘Lit­tle Car­low’ has small laven­der-blue daisies and ‘An­denken an Alma Pötschke’ has bright pink flow­ers atop up­right stems. Ja­panese anemones are also use­ful. The ma­jor­ity flower in Septem­ber, but some keep go­ing into Oc­to­ber, in­clud­ing blush ‘Ser­e­nade’ and shell-pink ‘Mon­trose’.

To amp up the ef­fect, in­ter­min­gle th­ese au­tumn peren­ni­als with late­flow­er­ing an­nu­als like Helianthus

an­nuus ‘Claret’ and Titho­nia ro­tun­di­fo­lia

‘Torch’, and with grasses, which re­ally come in to their own in late sum­mer. It’s also worth con­sid­er­ing ear­lier peren­ni­als that leave at­trac­tive seed­heads on their stems. Sea holly and globe this­tle are among the best.

And if your bor­ders are full, many late bloomers can be grown in pots. Scar­let Hes­per­an­tha coc­cinea ‘Ma­jor’ and

pretty Erigeron karvin­skianus are two that work es­pe­cially well.

Plant late-sea­son peren­ni­als now and, come sum­mer’s demise, au­tumn won’t be such a shock to the sys­tem.

Hot favourites: rud­beck­ias and he­le­ni­ums are just two of the peren­ni­als that will en­sure your bor­ders go out in a blaze of glory as late sum­mer turns to au­tumn

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