Flowers for late summer colour

I enjoy working and being creative in my garden, adding and moving plants around. Dead-heading and generally keeping everything looking good for as long as possible keeps me busy, but I also love just spending time looking at everything and taking it all in, enjoying what I’ve created.

This week I’ve noticed how many plants are coming to an end of flowering and how many bare patches I still have giving me the opportunity to think about some ideas to inject some late summer colour and interest.
I have just bought two packs of autumn flowering crocus called ‘Conqueror’, which should provide me with some short bursts of colour every year; they should flower for the first time soon. I already have another group called ‘Waterlily’; the leaves appear in spring, and then die back, followed by the flowers later in the autumn.

Plants that are attractive to butterflies always have a place in my garden so Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ also known as Stonecrop is a winter hardy herbaceous perennial that will flower as its name suggests. It has bluish grey fleshy foliage and bears large flat pink flower-heads that change colour to salmon pink and then to a coppery red. It prefers well-drained soil in full sun and grows to about 2ft tall.

An interesting and very attractive Sedum that I’ve seen for the first time this year is S. ‘Chocolate Drop’. It’s low growing at about 10 inches with dark chocolate-purple fleshy foliage followed by pink flower-heads making it ideal for the front edge of a border.

If like me you like a bit of colourful drama in your garden Red Hot Poker or Torch Lily will do the job, otherwise known as Kniphofia it’s a genus of full to half hardy perennials, some are evergreen. They have green strap-like foliage followed by stems topped with a colourful torch like flower-head and require well drained soil that stays moist in summer in a sunny position.

K. ‘Tawny King’ has tall flower stems from July to October that are a tawny apricot colour whereas K. ‘Papaya Popsicle’ has short stems with bright papaya red flowers from July to September and is ideal for the front of a border.