Sunday Express

Show true colours this autumn

If your garden has passed its best, replenish it with new stock, says LOUISE MIDGLEY


TIME spent sitting in the garden, admiring the fruits of your labour on a summer’s day is without doubt rewarding. But while you are relaxing, give a little thought to how the garden is going to look in late summer/early autumn. Do you have any perennials waiting in the wings to flower or any trees and shrubs that will brighten the garden with vibrant foliage and a riot of jewel-coloured berries?

This later period of the gardening calendar is often overlooked in favour of spring and early summer displays because most of us devote our energy and enthusiasm into enriching our gardens with beauty as soon as winter turns to spring.

With gaps now beginning to appear in beds and borders from spent bulbs and early flowering perennials, it’s the ideal time to refresh planting schemes with specimens that come into their own from now until autumn.

Hardy Salvias make their presence known from mid-summer right through to October. Should you need inspiratio­n on how to grow this beautiful family of plants, visit Great Comp Garden in Kent where curatorwil­liam Dyson of Dyson’s Nurseries grows a fabulous range of repeat-flowering Salvias in the grounds of this romantic country garden. Salvia microphyll­a ‘Cerro Potosi’ magenta pink and Salvia ‘Amistad’ dark purple will reliably colour borders over a long period when planted in a sunny position in well-drained soil.

Dependable late summer perennials worth investing in include Sedums

(now called Hyloteleph­iums),

Japanese anemones, Ceratostig­ma (hardy plumbago) and Asters.

Look to Acer trees for fiery autumnal foliage and if space is tight grow them in pots because, on the whole, they grow fairly slowly so won’t need moving on to a larger container for a few years.

A shrub or tree that is decorated with berries not only looks magical in a garden but will lure in countless wild birds.

Cotoneaste­r, Pyracantha, holly, Sorbus and crab apple trees produce generous crops of berries and make great additions to late summer displays.

For the greatest visual effect, group them together.

Whatever plants you decide to buy, be vigilant with a regular watering regime as the ground may be dry.

 ??  ?? LASTING SALVIA-TION: ‘Cerro Potosi’ magenta pink are great for colouring borders
LASTING SALVIA-TION: ‘Cerro Potosi’ magenta pink are great for colouring borders

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