Plants that provide colour and interest late in the season are very sought after. They prolong the summer months and give us all a dose of cheery sunshine, when really, we are already commenting on how ‘chilly’ it is becoming in the early autumn mornings.
To show you a few plants that I feel help to extend the season, until the frosts set in , I took a few pictures of Salvias, Dahlias and some other plants looking beautiful at this time of year in the Purple border.
The first photograph shows an example of a new experiment to see if we could grow a second show of Sweet Peas to replace the spring plantings once they had finished flowering in July. New plants were sown under glass in early May and ready to plant out in August, making use of the existing hazel supports we placed earlier in the year.
Although, not yet in full flower, the coverage is reasonably good and a few buds have already flowered, with more on their way.
Salvias are a widely used genus for adding colour and form in the garden from late summer onwards. We have several species and cultivars in the garden.
Here are two of my favourite examples, both in the purple border. Salvia ‘Phillis’ Fancy’ is growing well near the library end, while Salvia leucantha, is growing further along the border. Both share a mass of elegant foliage and intricate purple/cream flower spikes, but ‘Phillys’ Fancy’ has darker foliage with a more delicate flower spike.
Another variety of salvia growing well in the border and also clearly visible in the terracotta planters along the path in the top courtyard is Salvia ‘Amistad’. This has the most delightful purple flower spikes and mid green foliage.
Like Salvias, Dahlias take some beating in terms of their wide variety of colour and flower shape on show later in the year. There are currently three different cultivars in the purple border, D. ‘Requiem’, D. ‘Edinburgh’ and a much smaller variety called D. ‘Pink Michigan’ which is well placed at the front of the border with very pretty open flower heads.
Lastly, I have included an image of the magnificent orange hips of Rosa moyesii ‘Geranium’ of which there are three groups along the border. In my opinion I feel the hips are more attractive than the simple red flowers that came before them, because the shape and colour of the hips give a more noticeable display for several weeks.