LATE SUMMER PERENNIALS

As we reach high summer, it isn’t too late to add inspiration to your garden with colour and vibrant perennials. It is now a great time for perennials as they can flower up until as late as October keeping some life in your garden through summer and into autumn.

Penstemon

The colour pallet of perennials is vast, that are intriguing to the expert gardeners just as much as it does beginners. It is truly a range that doesn’t fail to inspire, when you look past all the bright colours you can appreciate the shape and style of perennials, take for example the Penstemon which not only has a range of red, purple and pinks but also has a very beautiful tubular bell shaped flower head. On the other side we have Echinacea’s that offer a similar mixture of colours but the colours are a lot more bold and brash dominated by bright pink, orange and red which makes up all the pallet colours of a beautiful sunset. The style and shape of these make them really stand out with growth of up to two feet tall which brings these bold coloured perennials to the centre piece of any garden. There is also a perennial out there for shade that provides autumn and earth colours. This is the Heuchera that offers a low growing perennial with colours ranging from plum, crisp green apple to maroon to caramel offering the perfect balance to your garden in terms of allowing the bright and brash perennials to stand out even further. It is worth mentioning how ornamental grasses can help to border your garden providing that compliment to the perennials of your choosing, The Blue Fescue offers a powder blue foliage and with its small size it fits nearly anywhere in the garden or you may want to opt for a larger ornamental grass with something like Miscanthus which grows four feet tall but provides a perfect backdrop for colourful perennials in the foreground.

For a great example of personal garden inspiration you would be advised to visit The Great Dixter Gardens in East Sussex where they have a stunning range of perennials on show for your enjoyment and inspiration. The Great Dixter Garden offers amazing inspiration for gardeners looking to experiment with bold and brash colours in their garden with mixed borders dominated by the varieties of perennials on show from Sedum to the Salvia nemorosa to the Dianthus that all explode with colour and life. The head gardener offers no segregated colour schemes and takes it as a challenge to combine all these perennial colours and shades. He sees it as an empty canvas to experiment with a variety of colours and different perennials that work excellently together. A testament to the perennials colour pallet in that they can look vibrant and at home in any mix of garden and plant life.

For a more traditional and classic take on the perennial you would be advised to look at the Sissinghurst Castle Garden in Kent with its regal approach to colour and styles of their perennials with its purposeful use of the white Japanese Anemone providing a taller border across the meadow. This provides the effect of really being lost in the garden. The brightness and size of the Japanese Anemone makes it attractive to the host of habitats that can be found in the meadows from countless numbers of insects to birds to small mammals. The Sissinghurst gardens provides inspiration in abundance with its floral mosaic of colours from green, white, yellow and purple. With its gardens managed to perfection it brings tourists from all over the world to this site all year round.

There are many great perennials to provide that inspiration for your garden. If you’re a beginner to gardening or you’re just looking for that bright colour for your garden borders then the Rudbeckia maybe for you. It is a reliable and an easy to manage perennial. It is long lasting and has a mixture of summer and autumn colours from yellow, bronze and orange. It’s a perennial that highlights the transition into autumn with its colour pallet. The Rudbeckia is fantastic for heavy clay soils, plant the Rudbeckia as part of a mixed border, herbaceous border or grow them alongside ornamental grasses for a prairie-style look.

Perennials are a late treat for gardeners who are looking for those bright and warming colours during the dull and grey of autumn. Perennials are easy to look after. They prefer a well cultivated, moist soil which does not dry out in summer, give them a good mulch of garden compost around the crowns in spring or in autumn after they have flowered. Taller perennials are cut back in late May by removing two thirds of the growth. This will encourage a shorter, sturdier plant with more side shoots leading to more flowers at the end of the summer. With little care, these lovely plants will continue to brighten your garden for many years to come.

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