Graham’s October lecture gave a different aspect to autumn gardening, with his love of plants when the sun is lowering its arc, which enriches the colours of plants. He likened it to a ‘tarts parade’ of powerful colours that brighten the borders!
He advised dispersing clumps of colour throughout the garden so that it is not all seen in one hit. Groups of colours interspersed with a variety of grasses give a wonderful effect. Of the many plants he recommended, and the slides were beautiful, his own favourites were Rudbeckias, Asters, Salvias, Limonium, Heuchera autumn bride, Helianthus, Sanguisorba korean snow, Fuchsia hawkeshead white, Persicara pendula, light blue Agapanthus (when in the border, needs to be mulched well to get through the winter) and many more.
He made a plea for not cutting back stems too early as seed heads can be really beautiful in winter especially when frosted, and provide food for the birds. Some of the best heads for late interest and contrast are:- Artichoke, Eupatorium, Veronicastrum, Phlomis, Echinacea and Panicum. A garden is not just for spring and summer, and an element of autumn flowering should be included in all gardens for maximum interest.
Graham Gough is the owner of Marchants Hardy Plants, Sussex. For a list of Late Flowering Perennials recommended by Graham, click here. More information, as well as a complete catalogue of plants and grasses for sale, is available from the Marchants Hardy Plants website: https://www.marchantshardyplants.co.uk