Celebrate summer with bright colours in the garden, especially if you’re having a staycation. There are colourful options from late flowering perennials such as our Plant of the Month, the dahlia, along with the aster and African lily.
Now it’s time to consider planting for autumn colour, a great choice is the autumn flowering wallflower. Some varieties flower in autumn and again in spring. The flowers are sweetly scented, so enjoy their fragrance by planting them in containers or wherever you can smell them. As with spring wallflowers, there are various shades available. They will perform best in a well-drained sunny site and are well worth putting in your mix of autumn bedding.
If you are looking to introduce something a little different for a year-round show, why not try some grasses? Perennial grasses are at their best this month and are great for complementing strong colours of later flowering perennials. There are plenty to choose from and shades of blue, green, brown, red and even black can be mixed to make a feature.
Try feather grass (Stipa tenuissima), with its soft, feathery flower pinnacles which turn golden in August. Fountain grass (Pennisetum), is named for its graceful spray of foliage and gives a loose, informal gardening look. It sends out beautiful, fuzzy flower plumes in late summer and the white, pink or red plumes continue into autumn.
Rudbeckia is a big winner with its large daisy-like yellow flowers. It’s a hardy perennial that prefers full sun or partial shade and spreads to about 60cm wide. Rudbeckia is easy to care for and flowers from now until October. It goes well with the already mentioned ornamental grasses.
Deadhead, water and feed container plants to make sure they keep flowering. Take off the heads of flowering perennials, cutting back stems to encourage new flowers. Cut back lavender stems after the flowers have faded. Trim back hedges.
Enjoy August, let’s hope the sun shines and your garden will look stunning. Until next month, happy gardening!