Plant of the Month: September
Let’s celebrate shrubs, our Plants of the Month for September. The autumnal ranges are ready to come into their own. Take stock of your garden and fill in any gaps with shrubs that will reward your effort for years to come. Many shrubs also look good grown in a container.
Winter flowering daphne is considered an aristocrat of the shrub world. It brings welcome fragrance to your garden over the colder months. Its lovely scented flowers and attractive leaves are often evergreen. Some have the added bonus of producing pink or white flowers in winter when little else is in flower.
The daphne likes well-drained soil in a fairly sheltered spot. Position it in the front of the border where you can make the most of the fragrance when it is in flower. For container planting, pick an evergreen scented variety that’s compact and bushy. It will make an ideal plant for a patio pot, which you can keep close to the door to enjoy the scent.
An easy to grow shrub is the cotoneaster. It has bright berries which birds can feed on in mid-winter. In late spring it has pale flowers but the autumn and winter berries are the main draw. An evergreen shrub with berry varieties is the skimmia, with flower buds appearing in autumn and opening in spring.
Extend the flowering season and add interest in shaded spaces with shrubs that love shade or semi-shade. Choose plants such as sarcococca and the already mentioned skimmia. Low growing shrubs like vinca and Gaultheria procumbens provide great ground cover.
Bird-friendly shrubs can make excellent hedges, as well as helping wildlife. Planting native hedges, such as hazel, dogwood and holly, can encourage a host of wildlife, bringing nature and diversity into your garden. Variegated hollies are available with a gold or cream edge to the leaves, providing an extra splash of colour. Their bright red berries provide food for birds and are especially lovely at Christmas.
Firethorn or pyracantha is an evergreen shrub that you can train against walls and fences. It provides valuable nesting sites for birds, along with flowers that attract bees, and red, orange or yellow berries to feed birds.
Garsons card holders benefit from 20% off the Plant of the Month range, so you can stock up on shrubs for 20% off in September.