Grow gor­geous gap fillers

Garden Answers (UK) - - Celebrate -

Pot­ted dahlias and cos­mos can dis­tract the eye from any fad­ing per­form­ers

Any sea­sonal gaps can be plugged with late-sea­son flow­ers – it’s worth do­ing now that cli­mate change has brought us milder au­tumns. Pen­ste­mons pro­vide an in­fu­sion of wine-red, pur­ple or pink spires to dif­fuse all those golden daisies. The wine-red favourite we used to know as ‘Gar­net’ (now ‘An­denken an Friedrich Hahn’) is fab­u­lous among blues and hardier than many. Darker ‘Pen­sham Plum Jerkum’ is es­pe­cially good with clear yel­lows. Planted now, they’ll sur­vive win­ter as long as you don’t cut back un­til next spring. Just dead­head to keep flow­ers com­ing and re­move any shabby fo­liage. Pot­ted dahlias and cos­mos can dis­tract the eye from any fad­ing per­form­ers and you can stand a pot in the bor­der if it’s im­pos­si­ble to dig. Keep an eye out for a South African beauty called Hes­per­an­tha coc­cinea (pre­vi­ously schizostylis) with fine fo­liage and rounded flow­ers in pink, tomato-red or pure-white. Cop­per-red H. coc­cinea ‘Ma­jor’ has much larger flow­ers that would com­ple­ment late-flow­er­ing, slate-blue aster, Symphyotrichum tur­binel­lum, which forms a para­sol of tiny flow­ers and glau­cous fo­liage. Both are hardy and will swoon and sway to­gether. Hes­per­an­thas like sum­mer mois­ture, but over­win­ter well. Try adding a stun­ning late cro­cos­mia too, such as ma­hogany-orange ‘Star of the East’, to­gether with re­fined Colchicum au­tum­nale ‘Nancy Lind­say’. She’ll throw a suc­ces­sion of up to 20 flow­ers from one bulb, and the spring fo­liage is bet­ter be­haved than most. Hy­lotele­phi­ums (sedums) can lift a bor­der be­cause many have dusky fo­liage and flat heads of long-last­ing flow­ers. Neat and com­pact ‘Pur­ple Em­peror’ has a domed head of pink-red flow­ers that grad­u­ally fade to choco­late. The neatly crimped fo­liage is dusky black from the start, and it doesn’t split at the crown. ‘Kar­funkel­stein’ is another great ad­di­tion, with glossy pur­plish-blue fo­liage and dusky-pink flow­ers. The dark­est fo­liage of all be­longs to ‘José Au­bergine’ with its deep pink flow­ers; ‘Ma­trona’ has grey and pur­ple-tinged fo­liage (think plump pi­geon) and pale pink flow­ers that flat­ter pas­tel di­as­cias. Sweetly scented herba­ceous clema­tis and their tubu­lar blue flow­ers are hardly ever with­out an in­sect. Deep blue Clema­tis her­a­cleifo­lia ‘Cas­san­dra’ is just right: knee high, a good colour and leans with­out flop­ping.

A swathe of Aster frikar­tii ‘Monch’ stud­ded by Colchicum au­tum­nale gob­lets and perovskia spires ❤

Cro­cos­mia ‘Star of the East’ and Pen­nise­tum ad­vena ‘Rubrum’ are a per­fect bronze duo

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.