Late Summer Plants – Late summer for most people’s gardens can be a little challenging. Many perennials are no longer at their best, annuals sown earlier in the season are looking tired and gaps start to appear in herbaceous borders. However, there are plants that are at their best at this time of the year and will positively shine in your borders to help you enjoy the last long lazy days of summer.
Euphorbia seguieriana niciciana likes well drained light soil in full sun. Its slender stems of grey-green foliage will brighten up the front of any border. Asters in their many forms add color to the garden well into fall. ‘Twilight’ has strong upright stems and clusters of single daisy flower heads in azure blue. It will thrive in any good soil and flower well into October. Kniphofia ‘Green Jade’ looks at its very best when everything else in the border has begun to look rather forlorn. It is a very architectural plant requiring no support. The pale green color of the heads fade to a creamy white. It likes well-drained soil in full sun.
Euphorbia seguieriana niciciana
Salvias are a good all-round border plant with a long flowering season. ‘Hot Lips’ is a stunning addition to any hot border with its scarlet flowers with white tips. Lobelia tupa is also great for adding drama to hot borders with its tall spikes of bright red flowers. It will happily go on well into September. Zinnias too are a bright light in a late summer border. They take a while to open but make a wonderful display once they do. Dahlias are also a must for the late summer. As long as they are kept well fed and dead-headed often, they will continue to flower well into the fall.
Stachys officinalis ‘Hummelo’ is a great favorite of butterflies and will flower in the poorest of soils. It has tight clusters of pink/purple flowers on tall stems. If cut back, they will often provide a second flush of flowers in September to October. Agapanthus provide a glorious display of blue or white spherical flowers, followed by attractive seed heads through into September. Try Agapanthus africanus which is evergreen and has deep blue flowers. These plants do need over-wintering in a greenhouse and so are best grown in garden planters where they can be easily moved for winter protection from the end of October through to May. They need a moisture-retentive soil rich in nutrients.