Tag Archives: Summer

The Late Summer Cutting Garden

Vibrent late summer flowers

Vibrent late summer flowers

September is the summers last cheer and with it brings a large pallet of richly coloured herbaceous perennials that produce arm fulls of vivid coloured flowers perfect for cutting whether in formal flower arrangements or more informally spilling out of large jugs and vases. Here are some favorates

Dahlia 'Bishop of Oxford'

Dahlia ‘Bishop of Oxford’

Dahlia ‘Bishop of Oxford’: The striking flowers and this case dark purple foliage are worth fighting the slugs for. This Dahlia makes a good clump of attractive foliage with bright tangerine orange single flowers with a bronze stamen centre to 90cm tall. Grows in draining good fertile soil. Grow in full sun.

 Dahlia 'Black Cat'

Dahlia ‘Black Cat’

Dahlia ‘Black Cat’: Large clumps of mid green foliage up to 110cm tall. With striking dark burgundy red velvety cactus formation flowers. A real show stopper in any flower arrangement. Grows in draining fertile soil. Grow in full sun.

Flower preparation tips: Best to cut flowers that are in bud nearly open or fully open, as they will not open further once cut. Cut the length of stem needed for the vase you are using, don’t cut more stem than needed. Cut the stem diagonally. Re-cut the stems before arranging them. Place the stems in about 50/70mm of very hot (not quite boiling water) leave the stems for about 1 hour. This conditioning of the stems will help your blooms last up to 6 days.

 Gladiolus alba 'The Bride'

Gladiolus alba ‘The Bride’

Gladiolus alba ‘The Bride’: Easily grown bulbs in a sunny position. Gladiolus bring a touch of elegance and height to any flower arrangement. Pure white flowers held along the stem. 50cm tall.

Gladiolus ramosus ‘Robinetta’: Deep rich red flowers with an ivory throat make this Gladiolus a flower arrangers delight. 60Cm tall.

Flower preparation tips: When choosing which blooms to cut choose a stem that has 3 or 4 flowers at the bottom that are part open. To condition you flower stems, place in a mixture of warm water and floral preservative. Then place the stems and container in a dark cool place for several hours to fully condition your flowers before making your flower arrangement. The conditioned flowers can last from 6 to 12 days.

 Heliopsis hellianthoides var.scabra

Heliopsis hellianthoides var.scabra

Heliopsis hellianthoides var. scabra: Often called the false sun flower, this herbaceous perennial packs a mighty punch in the flower boarder and the vase. Large clear yellow single flowers raise to 1.50m tall grown in full sun in any good moist fertile soil.

Flower preparation tips: Choose fully open flower. For soft stems, cut before conditioning at an angle. woody stems hammer, for both allow to harden in a deep depth of tepid/warm water for several hours. The flower will last 5 to 8 days.

 Echinacea purpurea 'Magnus'

Echinacea purpurea ‘Magnus’

Echinacea purpurea ‘Magnus’: Clump forming mid green foliage with one of the largest of the Echinacea flower at up to 175mm wide. Of dark magenta pink petals and a dramatic rust yellow centre stamen cone. This flower takes centre stage in the late summer bouquet. Grows in full sun in in most soils, but it does not like drying out. Grows up to 90cm tall.

Flower preparation tips: Choose flowers that are newly fully open to lengthen the vase life. Cut the stems again before placing in a deep container of tepid water for a couple of hours to allow them to condition before arranging the flowers.

Veronica spicata

Veronica spicata

Veronica spicata: the foliage forms a compact tussock, with dense spikes of lavender purple flowers reaching 60/75cm high. This adds some drama and height to flower arrangements. Easily grown herbaceous perennial in any free draining soil in full sun.

Flower preparation tips: Choose flower stems that are fully out. Cut stems before placing in tepid water over night to harden off and condition. Flowers last 4 to 5 days approx.

Now with all this flower power a little foil is needed, ornamental grass seed heads are beginning to come into their own in September and the light seed heads lifts and lightens the late summer flower arrangement with it’s bold vivid colours. Try Miscanthus sinensis ‘Morning light’, with feathery pinkish heads or Stipa gigantea with it’s large golden oat grass like flower heads.

Stipa gigantea

Stipa gigantea

So now you are inspired to not only to plant with late summer colour for your garden but also to bring the last heat and vibrant colours of summer into your home.

home grown garden flowers make a splash as flower arrangements.

home grown garden flowers make a splash as flower arrangements.

If you would like some help creating areas of planting in your garden that are suitable for flower arranging and for cut flowers at home then I know a woman who can help you, just give me a call. Ring Emily tel:01273 470753.

Sumptuous Soft Fruit

mouth watering berries

mouth watering berries!

As summer enters fall speed there is nothing quite so worthwhile and wondrous as growing your own soft fruit. However small a space you have, you can normally fit something in. From Raspberries, Red Currents, Gooseberries, Loganberries, Strawberries and Black Currents, the choice is many and varied. Soft fruit is relatively easy to grow and not as time consuming as vegetable growing, so ideal for the time stretched gardener. Here are a selection of good varieties to get your taste buds going.


Rasberry malling Jewel

Raspberry Malling Jewel

R. Malling Jewel: Good main crop Raspberry, with excellent firm fruit with good strong flavour. Good for freezing. Flowers late so is less susceptible to frost damage. Tolerates most soil conditions, even less drained ones.

Raspberry Glen Ample

Raspberry Glen Ample

R. Glen Ample: Prolific fruitier, mid-season with massive ‘ten pence’ size fruits. With good sweet flavour. Out crops all others, good keeper and is virus-resistant. Grows well in all free draining soils.


 Redcurrent Jonkheer Van Tets

Redcurrent Jonkheer Van Tets

R.Johnheer Van Tets: Early, vigorous grower, in all moist soils. Heavy cropper with good medium sized fruits.

Redcurrent Rondom

Redcurrent Rondom

R. Rondom: late season, compact bush, good for a small garden. Bunches of fruit with 15 to 20 berries very prolific cropper.


Gooseberry Captivator

Gooseberry Captivator

G. Captivator: Grows well in humus rich moist soils. A good cropping gooseberries which is almost thornless with strong flavoured mildew resistant.

Gooseberry careless

Gooseberry careless

G.Careless: upright habit, Mid-season, large smooth pale green fruits with good flavour and good for freezing.


Longanberry LY59

Longanberry LY59

L.LY59: A variety which is now harder to obtain, this variety is worth the fruit nursery search. Grows well in most soils but not waterlogged soils. Large maroon fruits, with an acidic tang fruiting in June. Good cropper ideal for preserving, freezing and jam making.

 Longanberry LY654

Longanberry LY654

L.Ly654: This thornless clone produces dark red fruit nearly black when fully ripe, makes a tart and tasty addition to the soft fruit spread, good for freezing.


Strawberry Cambridge favourite

Strawberry Cambridge favourite

S. Cambridge Favourite: best in lighter soils but will grow in rich soils if well drained. One of the earliest fruiter and one of the most reliable. Vigorous grower and crops well over a long season. With large pink to red sweet fruits.

 Strawberry Elsanta

Strawberry Elsanta

S. Elsanta: Same growing conditions as above. This is the strawberry with the longest cropping season from mid-June to mid-July. With good sized fruit and excellent flavour, becoming a favourite of supermarkets.


 Blackcurrent Ben Lomond

Blackcurrent Ben Lomond

B.Ben Lomond: Needs moist humus rich soils to do well. Late flowers so avoids frost damage. Good fruit and high yield. Mildew and leaf pest resistant.

Blackcurrent Ben Sarek

Blackcurrent Ben Sarek

B.Sarek: A dwarf variety ideal for the small garden, Frost and mildew resistant and high yields with large fruit.

Who isn't tempted

Who isn’t tempted

With the thought of popping up the garden to pick a fresh bowl of fruit with a dollop of cream or ice cream, or the thought of frozen berries for out of season pies, or jams and compotes, who could not be tempted by the sheer culinary delights of growing your own soft fruit.

So much choice!

So much choice!

With so many varieties of delicious fruit to choose from, this is a good time of year to do a bit of ‘tasting’ research to decide on the ones you like best and will suit your garden’s growing conditions. Ready to order the plants from fruit nurseries late summer for bare root planting in the winter months. If you would like help with selection and planting your soft fruit. Then I know a lady who can, give me a ring Tel:01273 470753. To advise and help you.


The Mid-Summer Border.

As we speed towards the longest day of the year and summer feels well under way, the vibrant greens of the spring growth give way to the exuberant pastel shades of the mixed mid-summer border. Here are a few favourites that give good depth of foliage texture and good flowering and work well together.

Kolkwitzia amabilis 'Pink Cloud'

Kolkwitzia amabilis ‘Pink Cloud’

Kolkwitzia amabilis ‘Pink Cloud’ : A fine shrub that should be planted more, medium sized forming a dense mound of twiggy habit with small mid green foliage. With clusters of small bell shaped flowers in clear shell pink that cover the whole shrub giving a riot of colour are produced from late May into June. Copes well in thin dry chalk soils. Grow in full sun.

Choisya ‘Aztec Pearl’: a good medium sized shrub that adds that evergreen backing to a border. It grows well in full sun or part shade. Mound forming habit, with delicate mid green slenderly divided leaves. Clusters of white highly scented flowers are produced May/June. Will cope with most soils but not water logging.

Cistus x argenteus 'Sliver Pink'

Cistus x argenteus ‘Sliver Pink’

Cistus x argenteus ‘Sliver Pink’: A small fast growing evergreen shrub with arching habit. Sliver foliage which is aromatic when brushed. A mass of papery soft pink flowers cover the shrub in late May into June. A must for the middle of the border. Full sun and free draining soils, also a good coastal plant.

Erysimum 'Bowles Mauve'

Erysimum ‘Bowles Mauve’

Erysimum ‘Bowles Mauve’: A small mounded sub-shrub, the perennial wall flower punches well above its weight. With its evergreen sliver grey foliage and long flower stems of small purple flowers which are produced from March through to the end of June. It grows well in full sun in all well draining soils.

Paeonia 'White Wings'

Paeonia ‘White Wings’

Paeonia ‘White Wings’: This herbaceous Paeonia adds a touch of class to the middle of the boarder with classic dark green palmate foliage. The large saucer shaped single flowers have delicate papery white petals and a mass of golden yellow stamens at their centre. Flowering end of May and into June. All free draining soils.

Hemerocalis 'Joan Senior'

Hemerocalis ‘Joan Senior’

Hemerocallis ‘Joan Senior’: A wonderful medium height herbaceous perennial. Swords of mid green foliage make a great edging plant to the front of the border. Stems of flowers rise above the foliage, with white semi-ruffled edged flowers with a deep green throat. The flowers are produced in secession in clusters at the top of the stems and flowers for most of June.

Geranium 'Johnston's Blue'

Geranium ‘Johnston’s Blue’

Geranium ‘Johnston’s Blue’: a superb low growing mound forming ground cover geranium. Which has mid-green divided foliage and clear blue/purple flowers produced in abundance from mid May to mid June. Shear the dead flower heads off for later flowerings. Great to plant as ground cover around the edges of larger shrubs or as a planting along the front edge of the border. Likes full sun but will cope with a bit of shade and grows well in all free draining soils.

Alchimilla mollis

Alchimilla mollis

Alchemilla mollis: no mid-summer planting scheme would be complete with out this self seeding ground cover plant. The pea-green rounded gently palmate leaves catch early morning dew and look stunning. Drifts of sulphur green tiny flowers are held above the leaf clumps from June into late July. A good sun loving ground cover plant. All well drained soils.

Allium hollandicum 'Purple Sensation'

Allium hollandicum ‘Purple Sensation’

Allium hollandicum ‘Purple Sensation’: Bulbs are not all about early spring. Mid May and into early June this handsome member of the onion family adds a sticking appearance to the mid-summer border. Round globes of dark purple flowers are held on 70/90cm high stems and they glide well above the lower planting in the middle of the boarder.

A boarder in full mid summer bloom.

A border in full mid summer bloom.

I hope these ideas have inspired you to get the best out of your mid-summer planting if you need help to create a new planting area or to revitalise an existing tired border then I am the woman for you. Please do give me a ring to discuss planting ideas and planting plans. Telephone Emily on 01273 470753.

High Summer Drama

Gone are the gentle soft pastels of roses, peonies and wisteria of mid summer as the temperature rises, the smoke of endless BBQ’s lifts into the air and we stretch out the sun loungers to catch the high summer rays, August pulls us into the vibrant colours of high summer.

This is the time of year in a British garden when vibrant strong colour looks at thier best in the garden and there are a range of brilliant herbaceous perennials which foot the bill perfectly.

Crocosmia 'Lucifer'

Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’

Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’: a clump forming perennial that quickly increase, it will tolerate most soils apart from heavy clay and being water logged and it can be planted in sun or part shade. It has bold upright swords of mid green foliage and tall flower stems of neat bell like flowers in eye popping red. It adds a dramatic blast of colour. 1-1.2m high and flowering from July to September.

Helenium 'Morerheim Beauty'

Helenium ‘Morerheim Beauty’

Helenium ‘Morerheim Beauty’: A prairie plant from central USA, liking moist soils, an upright clump forming perennial. Which packs a big punch with it’s rust coloured daisy flowers with yellow buttoned stamens and long flowering season. Full sun, 90cm-1m high July-October.

Helianthus 'Lemon Queen'

Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’

Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’: ‘The sun flower’ another great prairie plant from the mid USA to the south, coping well with chalky soils and drier conditions than Helenium. Can make great sweeps of plants with spreading rhizomes for the big boarder with a big impact. Flowers large lemon daisy heads, with darker central stems. Full sun, 1.5m high and flowering August to October and beyond.

Kniphofia ‘Nancy’s Red’: A brilliant small ‘red hot poker’ for the front of the boarder, With clumps of thin sword leaves and flame red flower spikes held above, that push the vibrant colours of high summer through to late summer and the autumn with a long flowering season. Full sun. 50cm high, flowering from July to October.

Salvia x jamensis 'Hot Lips'

Salvia x jamensis ‘Hot Lips’

Salvia x jamensis ‘Hot lips’: Almost 3 plants in one, you get a lot of wow with this perennial. A clump forming bushy habit with small trumpet like flowers born up the flower stems. Flowering in June it is brilliant cherry red by July-August it hits it’s ‘hot lips’ best with a red upper lip and a white bottom one, by September into October as the day light hours shorten it turns to striking white. This chameleon of salvia’s deserves a place in any summer planting. Full sun, well drained soil. 90-1m high.

Rudbeckia fulgida var. sullivatii 'Goldstrum'

Rudbeckia fulgida var. sullivatii ‘Goldstrum’

Rudbeckia fulgida var. ‘sullivatii Goldstrum’: A north american beauty from USA/Mexico. ‘Black Eyed Susan’ clumps of erect stems of butter yellow daises with a black button of stems. Grows well in humus rich soils in full sun. Flowering from July to the first frosts, some times till mid November, it’s ‘marathon’ flowering season makes it an essential for the high summer boarder. 70-90cm high.

Ligularia 'Britt Marie Crawford'

Ligularia ‘Britt Marie Crawford’

Ligularia ‘Britt Marie Crawford’: Dramatic round leaves form clumps of purple foliage, with tall flower spikes of daisy flowers in orange-yellow. A must for a shady moist to boggy planting spot giving a splash of late summer colour. 1.50m high, flowering August -September.

Ligularia 'The Rocket'

Ligularia ‘The Rocket’

Ligularia ‘The Rocket’: Smaller clumps of round mid green leaves, with towering near black stems with masses of small brilliant yellow flowers that form a dense flower spike, makes a sweep of this perennial a highlight of the shady bog garden. Humus rich damp soil. 1.80m high, flowering July-August and into September.

These vivid herbaceous perennials are at their best when planted in a mixed boarder with good strong foliage textures from shrubs, other herbaceous plants and grasses and add that high note of colour that the strong light of high to late summer can take.

So as you enjoy the summer heat, spot those areas of the garden that are looking a little drab as we hit the summer days of August and decide where a splash of colour can lift the spirit.

If you need help replanning a flower boarder to give it a high summer note, then I know a woman who can help. Give me a ring, Tel:01273 470753. To get planning and planting early this autumn ready for next years high summer colour drama.

The Joys of the Summer Garden

Now is the time to really reap the rewards of all your hard work, the evenings are long and barmy, the garden is full of summer scents, time to sit back and enjoy it all!

Lewes Maritime Garden

Lewes Maritime Garden

Seating in a garden of any size it a must, from the all weather bench which stays in place all year round so you can grab that bit of last season sun on a Sunday afternoon in October or a sunny winter morning in February. To the versatile folding deck chair that can follow the sun round in mid summer so you can delight in different aspects of your garden at different times of the day. To the formal paved terrace with table and chairs to a small hidden patio with swing seat, all have their place.

by Arcadia, A Hove town garden.

by Arcadia, A Hove town garden.

Now is the time to get into your garden and really use it with afternoon teas, weekend drinks, mid-week suppers and full blown BBQ’s. Seats in shady quite spots for reading out of the midday heat to sun loungers on the lawn. To seats by wildlife ponds so the insect action can be enjoyed. Now is the time to make the most of your garden.

by Arcadia, wildlife pond, Tonbridge Wells.by Arcadia, wildlife pond, Tonbridge Wells.

by Arcadia, wildlife pond, Tonbridge Wells.

Spot the areas of the garden you use and some you may want to use more, decide if a bench is needed on the edge of a lawn or path or whether a larger paved seating area is needed.

by Arcadia, A Cottage Rose garden

by Arcadia, A Cottage Rose garden

Be careful with paved seating areas, they must be in scale for the garden as a whole. The temptation is to go big and not have enough planting incorporated into it, any garden element needs to link with the rest of the garden. After all having a terrace big enough for 8 to dine is large and if most of the time it is just two of you then perhaps a smaller terrace where 4 sit comfortably may be better. Then extra tables and chairs can flow out onto the lawn when the 8 people for the family gathering show up twice a year.

by Arcadia,Walled Garden.

by Arcadia,Walled Garden.

It is also a great time of year to go garden visiting, whether this is large gardens open to the public, where we can all ooh and Arr over the large flower beds and beautifully gardened planting. At a smaller more personal scale, gardens that are open in the national gardening scheme. www.ngs.uk. To garden trails opened by our neighbours round town districts or villages, where we get to see what works well in gardens of a similar size as ours and perhaps if they live one street away you can pick up helpful hints about what will grow well in your own garden.

by, Arcadia,Walled Garden

by Arcadia, modern town garden

So down tools for a bit, stop worrying about the weeds and the slugs and snails and just sit back and enjoy or get out there and enjoy someone else hard work!