• IvyShepherd

Four plants for a summer cottage garden

Next up in my series of plants that are looking good now


It is August and we have one more month remaining of summer. Meteorologically speaking, that is.


So it is still summer for a little while longer yet. And this means longer hours of daylight, which makes the plants grow quickly and keenly.

There are many plants that come into their own in midsummer. Blooming now and usually lasting right up until the first frosts of late autumn, they are a very special group of flowering plants.

I’m a herbaceous border type of gardener, but I do not forget the merits of the shrubs and other plant groups. I may save these for autumn and winter gardening articles, so watch this horticultural space, as it were.


Here, I have focussed on four more wonderful summer flowering perennials, as I feel that now, in midsummer itself, this is their time to shine. They will bring so much colour and splendour to your borders and much joy to your soul.

Anemones

Anemones can include spring flowering bulbs and late summer perennials. For this article, we will focus on the late summer perennials, often called Japanese anemones.

Flowering in the late summer, anemones are often the autumn gems of our garden borders. They look very impressive planted en masse and this look is easily created, due to their spreading and creeping nature.


Japanese anemones can tolerate dappled shade, so if you need a plant for light shade in your garden, then look no further than these anemones. They will bring light to this shady area.


Try Anemone x hybrida ‘September Charm’ for flowers into autumn or ‘Honorine Jobert’ for a classic, white specimen.


Coreopsis

Bright and cheerful, coreopsis is sometimes referred to as tickseed and the daisy-like flowers can go on flowering through summer into October.


Coreopsis can be annuals or perennials and come in many different varieties, mainly with single flowers but there are a few doubles out there. I will always prefer the single varieties, as they are much loved by pollinators.


Long lasting and colourful, by deadheading the faded blooms, we can make our coreopsis last well into autumn. They love the sun and complement a prairie or meadow-like planting scheme very well, with other perennials and ornamental grasses.


Try the Coreopsis ‘Uptick’ series or ‘Early Sunrise’ for a vibrant splash of yellow in your borders.

Gaura

Another lovely candidate for prairie-style planting is the Gaura.


Native to Mexico and the southern states of America, gaura are sun lovers that flower from summer right up to October. And if the weather turns colder in autumn, the foliage can oftentimes bear a reddish hue.



As with coreopsis, gaura looks glorious with its butterfly-shaped flowers when paired with ornamental grasses or in a quintessential cottage style garden.

Try Gaura lindheimeri ‘Whirling Butterflies’ and ‘Geyser Pink’ to create your own informal but beautiful border.

Delphiniums

Tall and towering flower spikes, the delphinium is a must for any cottage style planting scheme. They are highly prized in my garden.

Delphiniums, or larkspurs as they are more commonly known, come in a wide range of colours and flower shapes. They are more popularly known for their blue colours, but they can now be found in whites, mauves and even reds.


Because of their tall nature, they are a great addition to the back of a border, adding drama and height. But you may find that the flower spikes need some support, particularly in strong winds.

You may also need to keep the slugs away from your prized delphs, as they love them too.

Try the Delphinium ‘Magic Fountain’ series for a smaller specimen or ‘Red King’.

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