Add in a few fashionably late flowers
TALL YELLOW daisies come into their own from August onwards and helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’ is a substantial clumpformer with cool, lemon-yellow flowers. Raised at Tommy Carlile’s Loddon Nursery near Reading in Berkshire, it’s a man-high sensation in August and September. Like all sunflowers it faces the sun, so position it so you can see its face, not its back. The ultimate partner is equally lofty maroon-purple Eupatorium maculatum Atropurpureum Group. The cloud-like flowers, which can look like puffs of thundercloud in the evening light, set off the lemon-yellow daises wonderfully. Add the self-supporting royal-blue spires of Aconitum carmichaellii ‘Arendsii’, which peaks in September, but do deadhead after flowering to prevent unwanted seedlings. New England asters (now known as Symphyotrichum novae-angliae) are easy to grow and rarely need dividing. Their stiff woody stems tend to have ragged foliage, so place them in the depths of the border – not at the front. My ultimate favourite is purple ‘Helen Picton’, which goes well with tall, late-flowering Phlox arendsii ‘Luc’s Lilac’ (shown inset below). Both could make a backdrop for purple Echinacea purpurea. These can be raised from seed and ‘White Swan’ and ‘Magnus’ are both excellent. I’d also find room for a sedum (hylotelephium) such as ‘Matrona’ or ‘Purple Emperor’.
❤ Japanese anemones are stars of the late-summer border. See p26
Dahlia ‘Garden Festival’ with Aconitum carmichaelii ‘Arendsii’ and purple Aster novi-belgii
Echinacea ‘White Swan’ and E. purpurea ‘Magnus’ jostle for attention INSET ABOVE Helenium ‘Lemon Queen’ LEFT Phlox arendsii ‘Luc’s Lilac’