As we move into September the evenings are drawing in and are already beginning to seem a little cooler although during the day there is still plenty of sunshine and warmth to enjoy.
This new month has seen the beginning of a transition. Some of the summer perennials, shrubs and roses are beginning to put on a new flush of colour whilst others are now beginning to emerge for the first time giving new form, colour and texture to the garden borders.
One: Kniphofia ‘Lord Roberts’
This particular Kniphofia comes into flower in early September and brings a dramatic spark to the yellows, blues and purples of the late summer border close to the house. I am not a fan of all the red-hot poker family but there are some interesting varieties that I feel are worthy garden plants. ‘Lord Roberts’ is certainly one of these although it does need supporting to stop the large heads flopping forward as they come into full bloom.
Two: Gaura lindheimeri
This group of Gaura plants were something that I successfully grew from seed a few years back. They are growing in the cut flower garden and have established into large clumps that create a tremendous show for a long period. They have been in flower now for quite a few weeks but are still going strong in early September. They add a light, airy movement to the flower garden and sit very well with Verbena hastata ‘Blue spires’.
An excellent plant but certainly one that needs support to avoid it flopping over the grass and potentially getting damaged by the mower as I wizz past.
The Dahlias certainly seem to have been late flowering here in the UK Midlands this year and only now at the beginning of September are they beginning to come into full flower. They are usually one of our main cutting flowers at this time of year.
Choosing just one from the many varieties in the garden is difficult but this picture of the variety ‘Dark Spirit’ has come out rather well I think. Of the tubers we dug up last winter ‘Dark Spirit’ proved to be the most resilient and survived the long cold winter much better than many of the other varieties. The Dahlia tubers that survived best were in fact those that were left in the ground and covered with straw.
Four: Hydrangea ‘Lime Light’
Despite the hot dry conditions during mid summer, the hydrangeas seem to have performed surprising well and continue to produce large clean flower heads. This one is ‘Lime Light’ which lives in an area shaded from the midday sun in relatively moist conditions.
We have a number of different Abelia plants around the garden and they really come into their own at this time of year. Unfortunately we have lost the name tags on most.
The Abelia in the garden are all small, tidy and very well behaved shrubs. They take very little looking after and at this time of year are covered in either small pink or white flowers. The bees just love them.
The picture here shows them partnered with Penstemon ‘Garnet’.
Six: Cosmos ‘Lemonade’
The final selection this week is the delicate lemon yellow Cosmos variety ‘Lemonade’. They are much smaller and more delicate than the full-on show created by the pinks and whites of Cosmos ‘Sensation Mix’ but they are so charming and certainly deserve to be grown and appreciated.