Keep colour in your mixed borders
PUBLISHED: 11:13 04 August 2006 | UPDATED: 14:47 12 May 2010
AS August arrives it can be difficult to keep herbaceous and mixed borders looking colourful since many flowers such as lupins, peonies, some hardy geraniums, delphiniums and roses peak in June while in July many of the daisies such as erigerons and helle
AS August arrives it can be difficult to keep herbaceous and mixed borders looking colourful since many flowers such as lupins, peonies, some hardy geraniums, delphiniums and roses peak in June while in July many of the daisies such as erigerons and helleniums bloom and then finish.
However, it is possible to select late flowers for a last show before the Michaelmas daisies end the season and winter arrives.
Dahlias are particularly good since they will flower continuously until the frost, have strong colours and come in several varieties, with small pompom dahlias suitable for the smaller garden and the large cactus forms good in larger settings.
There are also a number of types of red hot poker, which flower late in the season and the brilliant scarlet crocosmia Lucifer is another good choice.
Then there are the sedums ranging from the low growing Autumn Joy to the larger varieties, including the dark purple-leaved Sedum Atropurpureum and another with striking cream and green variegated leaves, all of which look good even after the flowers have faded.
Another source of August colour are the late flowering clematis such as the deep purple jackmanii which can be trained against walls and trellises and will be in flower for several weeks.
There are a number of hardy shrubs which will also wait until the end of summer before blooming, such as hibiscus, several types of hebe and the blue flowered ceanothus, Autumnal Blue.
When you are planning a herbaceous border it is a good idea to place flowers which appear at different times of the year next to each other, for example put early flowering lupins beside late flowering Japanese anemones and in this way the colour is spread out through the year and there are no areas without any flowers at all at any given season.