Mid to Late Summer Flowers!
As we move into late summer with our typical uncertainty of what the weatherman has in store for us ‘Mother Nature’ has definitely still got plenty of colour with summer interest for us to enjoy in our gardens.
Buddleias are flowering now so hopefully more butterflies will come out and about to enjoy them. The Buddleia is obviously the most popular shrub for butterflies that’s why its called the Butterfly Bush, but many other plants are attractive and interesting to them too!
Sedums have always been a favourite from the day I planted my first cutting that a friend gave me. I was amazed at how many butterflies and bees were attracted to the parent plant, I could hardly wait for mine to mature. Those perfect flattened heads of tiny flowers make a perfect landing pad for them.
Sedum telephium ‘Munstead Red’ is a clump-forming perennial that stands about eighteen inches tall with purple-flushed fleshy green leaves with deep pink flower clusters in late summer. It needs plenty of sun and well-drained soils including poor soils, once established will become drought tolerant too.
Another lovely sedum that was introduced a few years ago is Sedum spectablis ‘Pizazz’, it grows to twelve inches in height and spread bearing lovely bright cerise-pink flowers.
Michaelmas daisies are pretty late flowering perennials that are popular with butterflies and other insects too. Aster x frikartii ‘Monch’ is upright and bushy producing lovely blue daisy flowers with a yellow centre and are just coming into flower now. It grows about three feet tall in well-drained moderately fertile soils in a sunny position.
For a more vibrant colour how about Aster ‘Cheavers’, this is a little smaller with bright violet flowers and a yellow centre.
Another group of bright coloured daisies are the echinaceas, also known as cone flowers. Over the years more colours and flower forms seem to be bred from big white flowers on the tall stems of Echinacea ‘White Swan’ to the wonderful bright yellow drooping flowers of Echinacea paradoxa and the lovely rose pink flowers of Echinacea purpurea ‘Bright Star’ that become brighter and purplish towards the centre. All need well-drained soils and a nice sunny position.