Late summer in the gardens

There is plenty to see in late summer in our gardens. Here are some of the highlights...

Rosemoor Hot GardenRHS Garden Rosemoor

The Long Borders at Rosemoor shine at this time of year, and of course the Hot Garden brings its very own brand of heat as the days start to shorten. 'Heat and vibrancy exude from the wide range of plants that have been chosen to create a meadow style of planting. Many in their native forms are from North America and grow in these habitats,' says Garden Curator Jonathan Webster. 'To tie the garden together and give it more impact and intensity, bold blocks of the same plant are repeated throughout the garden.

'Solidago 'Goldenmosa' AGM helps to pull the planting design together and contrast well with the vibrant orange flowers of Helenium 'Sahin's Early Flowerer' AGM, one of the best sneezeweeds in my mind. Grasses play an important part in providing texture to the garden - Miscanthus sinensis 'China' AGM is narrow in growth, its olive-green leaves really highlight the Buddleja davidii [Nanho Purple] = 'Monum' AGM.

One of our key structural plants is Sambucus nigra f. porphyrophylla 'Eva' (PBR) AGM, which is pruned back annually to provide plenty of colourful fresh growth. Lobelia × speciosa 'Hadspen Purple' (PBR) is one of my favorite plants in the garden with its vivid flowers, which are a magnet to butterflies and bees. Montbretias really like the climate here in the South West, Crocosmia 'Emberglow' reaches around 75cm and is a great form.'

Borders at WisleyRHS Garden Wisley

Wisley’s famous double Mixed Borders are at their peak in July and August, running either side of the Broadwalk. They bring bold colour and texture from late spring to autumn, but this is the very best time to enjoy them. In the Trials Field, you can see which plants are being assessed by the RHS Trials team for the RHS Award of Garden Merit (AGM). You can even vote for your favourite in this year’s People’s Choice Award, which is focused on the marigold display, with more than 140 cultivars on show. Vote for your choice before the end of September.  


CannaRHS Garden Harlow Carr

The new Sub Tropicana Bed just below the entrance to the garden will be in full bloom in late summer and, says Floral Team Leader Russ Watkins, it will be dazzling. ‘There is nothing subtle about this bed,’ he says. ‘It is going to be very bright and full of clashing colours.’

The planting features some big foliage plants including Canna and Hedychium, along with around 20 different salvias – many of which were propagated at RHS Garden Wisley – and a similar number of dahlias. ‘I wanted to include some of the plants that excite me when I visit other gardens,’ explains Russ, ‘so along with the plants from Wisley, there are others I have propagated myself, and some acquired through plant swaps. There will be lots that visitors wouldn’t expect to see.’

More surprising colour can be found in the Kitchen Garden, where the annual wildflower meadow areas, which were broadcast-sown in April, will now be putting on a vibrant display.


Herbaceous Borders at Hyde HallRHS Garden Hyde Hall

The Herbaceous Border stands out in late summer. ‘Divided into a series of colour-themed bays by Taxus baccata hedging with a beautiful curved scallop cut-out at each end, strictly speaking it is a mixed border as we also include roses, grasses and some shrubs, often for their foliage interest,’ says Garden Manager Ian Bull.

The ‘hot’ bay is always popular and features vibrant reds, yellows and oranges making wonderfully bright combinations, such as Helianthus ‘Triomphe de Grand’ with its yellow sunflowers next to Helenium ‘Baudirektor Linne’ with its dark, rusty-red flowers. Another bay contrasts dark red with silver and cerise pink, featuring shrubs such as Physocarpus opulifolius ‘Lady in Red’ with dark red leaves set against the silver foliage of Salix alba ‘Sericea’. ‘The bright pink flowers of Rosa ‘Aushedge’ combine well with beautifully dark red dahlias such as ‘Karma Chocolate’ and ‘Dark Desire,’ says Ian.

Plan a great day out

Planning a day out at one of our Gardens? Check out what special events and shows are on over the next few month in our events listing.

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