They’re fash­ion­ably late, but worth the wait… Val Bourne nom­i­nates her favourite plants for late-sum­mer colour

Garden Answers (UK) - - Contents -

The days may be get­ting shorter and the nights a lit­tle bit chill­ier, but the gar­den is com­ing into its own. It has mel­lowed into a dream­world full of rich har­vest-golds, vivid or­anges and jewel-box pinks and pur­ples set off by sun-bleached seed heads and grasses. Like a woman in her prime, the gar­den wears a con­fi­dent air, and there’s time to sit back and en­joy life as sum­mer slides towards early au­tumn. Have a glass of fizz, whether it’s el­der­flower or Prosecco, and sit back and en­joy the but­ter­flies as they skim through the gar­den look­ing for a nec­tar fix. Keep Au­gust as fresh as you can by dead­head­ing any fad­ing flow­ers on sum­mer peren­ni­als, dahlias, pelargo­ni­ums and roses. Cut out any signs of brown in sum­mer and au­tumn-flow­er­ing bor­ders, right up un­til the end of Au­gust, so that the gar­den con­tin­ues to ap­pear sum­mer-fresh. Once Septem­ber ar­rives you can al­low au­tumn to creep in a lit­tle be­cause seed­heads and red berries look sen­sa­tional in the crys­tal-clear light cre­ated by evenly bal­anced days and nights. Those longer nights suit south­ern-hemi­sphere daz­zlers such as salvias, dahlias, fuch­sias and pen­ste­mons. At last they come into their own along with Ja­panese anemones and hardy chrysan­the­mums.

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