Although our weather of late has been somewhat wet, to put it mildly, there's still plenty of time to get busy in the garden. The soil is warm and herbaceous perennials that are planted now will have lots of time to establish before winter arrives.
On the Growing Nursery our visitors are extremely surprised by how much colour we still have available - from the ground covering Delosperma to the sky reaching Rudbeckia.
Delosperma (featured above left) is a low growing succulent which benefits from being both deer and rabbit resistant as well as being loved by insects. With its bright starry flowers in coral red and vibrant orange/yellow it is a great plant for the front of a border or container; it is also drought tolerant. Geranium 'Roxanne' (featured above right) continues to flower wholeheartedly with large azure blue flowers, as it has all summer. It really must be the best value geranium as it never stops flowering! Having sold out completely earlier in the season, we are now into our second batch, which gives an idea of its popularity. Even on the greyest of days it really lifts spirits.
Many of the earlier flowering perennials benefit from a 'haircut' after their initial flowering period. This has several advantages; it tidies up the plants, removes straggling growth and promotes an often smaller but very welcome flush of flowers much later in the season. We have done this with many varieties of perennials, but a favourite of mine is Nepeta or Catmint. This highly scented plant has soft lavender flowers which are much loved by all insects (and cats) - on the nursery it's currently in its second flush.
Nepeta 'Summer Magic' is a shorter variety and 'Six Hills Gold' (featured left) which is much taller, is a beautiful variegated green/gold form that combines interesting foliage with stunning flowers. Anything which helps the bees and butterflies is good with me!
So get outside, enjoy your garden between the showers, and plant some late flowering perennials.
The bees and butterflies will love you for it!
Alyson Woods, Nursery Manager