Fear not, it’s not the end of garden colour just yet! Thanks to today’s warmer climate, summer now often goes into early October. Where once we pulled out the big guns in June and July, you can now benefit from a set of late-flowering plants to see you through September and October. Try some of the following plant choices to keep your pots and borders looking good until the first frosts.
Autumn Flowering Chrysanthemums
For a late-season fireworks display, Chrysanthemums are hard to beat. Hardy garden Chrysanthemums give colour from September right through until the first real autumn frost. Excellent as cut flowers too!
The scents and colours of traditional Wallflowers are simply captivating, but the variety ‘Sugar Rush’ has three great qualities. Firstly, it’s dwarf – ideal for containers and less likely to be blown over in borders. Secondly, it branches strongly so develops into bushy plants, and the kicker is the third feature – it flowers in the autumn and then again in the spring. The first flowers open in autumn and may last into December. Snip them off as they fade and the plants will take a little break then come back into flower in spring.
Violas, Pansies and Cyclamen
You really can’t go wrong with any of these three when it comes to making your displays ‘pop’ with long-lasting colour. Their colours go particularly well with plants such as Cineraria, Heathers, Skimmia and Heucheras.
Cineraria ‘Silver Leaf’
A popular and attractive ornamental foliage plant that makes the perfect foil for flowers with strong or pastel colours. It’s great for adding interest to your bedding displays.
Sweet William Dianthus ‘Festival Mix’
Dianthus will brighten up any garden with their cheery colours and delicate scent in winter AND spring. The serrated edged petals are bi-coloured, in vivid shades of white, pink, purple, and red. Easy to care for and ideal for beds, baskets and containers.
Structural evergreen plants such as a Dwarf Conifers look great as a centrepiece in pots. Then add some seasonal colour around the outside. Gaultheria procumbens is a good choice for its rich red berries. For flowers, try Cyclamen, winter Heather or winter-flowering Pansies. You can also add trailing plants like Ivy around the edges to make the container feel like it is overflowing.
As we extend our plant range every year, special emphasis has been put on making the colourless periods of the year shorter and less prolonged. Let’s face it, once November gets here the more we can put into our garden to brighten up the rapidly shortening days, the better!