Colour up your September!
September heralds that paradox of seasons where the sunshine is still strong, nature is still lush, memories of the Summer holiday still fresh yet the light starts to brighten and thin out, the air becomes heavy with that Autumn musty scent and the night arrives earlier each day.
Nature offers up all it’s hard work during the Summer in the form of fruit and vegetable.
However sometimes a garden can start to look faded before its time.
Your garden should still look sumptuous and colourful in this month.
Let’s start with your herbaceous borders.
Dahlias, Chrysanthemums and Asters can be dotted about and each species has a selection of heights so you can weave them in and out of your planting combinations.
As long as you have kept up with dead heading, Pennstemons can flower well into November and can give you a wistful romantic quality, with bright whites, pinks and deep purples to balance the fading of other plants as Autumn starts to suck green and colour from the beds.
I like some spashes of Erigeron Karvinskianus with its bright daisy flowers that self seed at the front of areas of the beds. These are nice amoungst Verbena rigida and is a combination that will flower well into Autumn.
In pots you can have Autumn/Winter pansies and Winter Cherries that can last up till Xmas providing the frosts are kind.
Ornamental grasses can really come into their own in September with Miscanthus throwing up enormous plumes of pink seed heads. Try growing Japanese anemonies amongst them. Both are bullet proof and will give a grace to that part of the garden.
For your shrub borders, look to the enormous range of Hydrangeas and ones like Paniculata ‘Unique’ which loves semi shade. What goes well with these are the Rosa rugosa range, with their bright red rose hips.
Ceratostigma plumbaganoides puts out the most ultra violet blue flowers which you can see from down the road and is an excellent mid border choice.
The architectural Sedum range, with their bright pink or reddish plate like seed heads start to sing out loud this month and can be included in both a shrub and a herbaceous border.
If you are lacking trees that come into their own in Autumn look to Rhus typhia ‘Tiger Eyes’. At only 4 foot high it can suit the smallest garden and it’s sword like leaves turn every shade of orange, red and yellow imaginable.
The Japanese range of Acers will always look great- look up Acer palmatum’ ‘Fireglow’ if you want a well behaved feature tree in your lawn or in the middle of a large bed.
Euonymous plamipes, the Spindle Tree, have the brightest pink seeds possible and thrives on a chalk soil. If you have a large garden you MUST have a Liquidamber or two. No tree can counter the Autumn Blues better than this one.
For climbers a late flowering Clematis is ‘Casandra’ with its lavender blue flowers.