Garden planting design late bloomers

Garden Planting Design Late Bloomers

Posted: 05/12/2014 in Planting

The air is getting nippy but that doesn't mean it's time to give up on our especially glorious summer. Surely not when you can brighten the garden with a gleeful burst of colour. Keep the party going - and ease the early chill - with a pre-autumnal dazzle of flame-tinged late-summer perennials and grasses.

Most gardens flag this time of the year, wearied of spring blooms and in need of some manful pruning. A pity when the wild hues of late-summer perennials invite play - a merry mix of burnished yellows and blues, wine reds, lively pinks.

With its rich purples, lissome reds and vibrant pinks, Penstemon offers instant lush. These bell-shaped, white-throated beauties are jewel-toned flourishes to any late-summer garden. A popular late-summer perennial, Penstemon is easy and reliable and flourishes with little care.

Poetically nicknamed "angel's fishing rod", Dierama traces graceful arches of mauve on your garden paths, it's a dainty dangler that won't cease to delight. Dierama thrives in the full sun and is perfect for borders or grown with ornamental grasses.

Another funnel-shaped eyecatcher, Crocosmia heats up things with its feverish spread of crimson blossoms and pleated, mid-green leaves. The combination of fiery flowers and sword-like leaves makes for an arresting late-summer display. Most Crocosmias thrive in full sun or partial shade, in moist, humus-rich soil.

For sheer garden cheer, nothing beats the daisy-like Helenium, think pops of blood-orange straining toward the sun. Heleniums brighten up borders with strong, robust colour and are easy to grow.

Elegant and delicate, and bowing sensually with the wind, Stipa Tenuissima, or Mexican Feather Grass, lends both motion and texture to your late-summer garden view. Tufts of bright green filaments, soft and thread-like sprays caressed by the slightest breeze, a truly soothing sight. Mexican Feather Grass creates stunning borders and ground cover. It grows in moderately fertile, well-drained soil in full sun.

Another beautiful ornamental grass, Miscanthus Sinensis, Morning Light, produces upright masses of arching plumes delicately tinged with silver, producing an "inner light" effect when backlit by the early morning or late-afternoon sun. Slender and elegant, this foliage has style to spare, and its silvery cast under sun or shade is simply gorgeous.

The last of summer is, indeed, a delight, the sun may be less sultry, but the garden is still in full, happy bloom.