Harlow Carr's plant of the month for September

Montbretia 'Solfatare' is a true autumnal star in the borders at Harlow Carr

Crocosmia × crocosmiiflora 'Solfatare' AGMUp here in the north we sometimes think that there are fewer plants that will thrive for us, compared to our more southerly garden counterparts. Well, with plants like this montbretia, (Crocosmia × crocosmiiflora 'Solfatare') who needs southern climates to make a beautiful garden? Sprays of apricot-yellow flowers atop 60cm (2ft) stems gently bob over the beds in the late summer breeze, and really take the breath away of our gardeners and visitors alike.

Fresh green, erect sword shaped leaves are the perfect foil for the spikes of showy, funnel shaped flowers that cover this Crocosmia through August and into September.

The flower colour is almost autumnal as the base yellow colour is softened with a hint of apricot. The burnished yellow glows in the perennial border and contrasts with blue Salvia uliginosa and the red tails of Persicaria.

Crocosmia is a cormous perennial and is easy to divide in the spring. And, unlike its commonly-seen orange cousin, this one is a little more well-behaved. It’s a great garden plant.

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