Autumn Planting

I guess its about time I wrote something about gardening, so here goes.

With autumn colours spreading through woodlands, and some trees and shrubs already loosing their leaves, you might be forgiven for thinking there’s not much interest left in the garden.  But it shouldn’t be the case.  In fact autumn (September to November) can be one of the best seasons for garden interest.  I snapped this picture at the Knoll Gardens near Wimborne, Dorset, in mid October.

Knoll Gardens, Wimborne

Vibrant reds of Persicaria  amplexicaulis “Taurus” and Sedum “Herbstfreude”, and yellow Rudbeckia  fulgida “Deamii”, with more subtle hints of lilac Aster laevis “Calliope”, make this autumn planting as lively as any summer border.  Architectural grass, Miscanthus sinensis “Malpartus”, which blooms in early September, helps to give structure.

Rudbeckia fulgida Dreamii

Sedum Herbstfreude

Rudbeckia  fulgida “Deamii” produces bright yellow flowers from August to October, and works particularly well in bold drifts.  This one grows to around waist – chest height, although others are taller.

The succulent leuttice-green leaves of Sedum “Herbstfreude” are topped with salmon-pink flower-heads in summer that mature to pinkish-bronze, then coppery-red, in autumn. The dried flower heads continue to provide structure and colour through winter, too.

Although it was perhaps past its best when I took these photos, Aster laevis “Calliope”  is a bushy, clump-forming  perennial with dark green leaves and characteristic purple-black stems, producing pale lilac-blue flowers from late summer to mid-autumn.

Aster laevis Calliope

Persicaria amplexicaulis Taurus

Persicaria amplexicaulis is one of my favourites.  “Taurus” produces long tapers clustered with tiny, fluffy, deep crimson flowers from mid summer until the first frosts. This vigorous perennial has handsome foliage and quickly makes dense groundcover. Planted in bold swathes, it adds vertical interest in the border right through till late autumn.  Persicaria really needs moist soil, and all these plants will tolerate partial shade.

Knoll Gardens are particularly good in Autumn, and well worth a visit for some inspiration.  They also have a garden centre where you can buy many of the plants seen in the gardens.  Ornamental grasses are a particular speciality.

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