Add interest to your planting schemes, and grow better plants.
Plant Notebook provides the details that will help you choose new plants for your garden and site them where they will thrive. Our special features bring you plants for your garden that we know you will love
The summer garden can start to sag a little - some gardeners feel it's all over when the phlox start to bloom. But with lilies, heleniums, rudbeckias, echinacaeas and more, late summer can be a vibrant time in the garden.
Gladiolus have a lot to offer, as do the elegant and surprising galtonia. Try a metallic touch with eryngiums. So much that can bring variety and a fresh look to your border. The late-summer garden over-the-hill, a has-been? Never!
Lilies for Summer Lilies are one of the loveliest of our garden plants. Tall and elegant they bring an exotic feeling to the border. And, despite the scare stories, they are surprising easy to grow.
R. 'Souvenir de Malmaison' is a rose that surely epitomises the romance, the fragrance and the form of the heritage roses, of all roses. Souvenir de Malmaison is a sumptuous pale pink rose, fully double and with a tremendous fragrance. Named for the Empress Josephine’s rose garden, this is a rose to treasure.
Summer Roses Summer and roses. Whether you are a fan of heritage roses or their modern cousins, summer is your time.
Good care will give you healthy roses and more enjoyment of your roses, still our favourite flower.
More bestgardening.com Plant Features
Plant of the Moment Plants that are looking good in our gardens, plants we should grow more, or simply appreciate more!
Clematis x durandii
Autumn is not the time we think of clematis in the garden, but the deep indigo of Clematis x durandii is the ultimate in luxurious late summer colour. A much tougher plant than it appears, this scrambling, rather than climbing, clematis appears in spring comes into flower and then is scarcely without a bloom all season in my Canterbury garden.
A hybrid between herbaceous Clematis integrifolia and C. ‘Jackmanii’, C. x durandii flowers on new season’s wood, pushing up new stems in spring and early summer, so it is ideal for covering dying spring-flowering bulb foliage. A perfect foil for roses, shrubs all it asks is a well drained soil and a cool, moist root run – so plant on the shady side of companion plants for best results. Without the clinging tendrils of climbing clematis, C. x durandii needs a host to clamber on, so provide a low shrub or frame to get the best results from this special plant.
Sources Specialist clematis nurseries and good garden centres and nurseries
Cultivation Good, moist but well-drained soils for best results. Plant 10-15cm (4-6in) below soil level, and dieback need not be fatal (see our Clematis pages for more). Avoid wet, waterlogged soils but keep the root run cool with a large stone or shade planting, say a hosta. Cut back old growth in late winter or very early spring, to about 10-15cm (4-6in), as new growth will come from this woody base as well as from new shoots.
Propagation Cuttings, taken in early summer and kept moist but not wet (see our Clematis pages for more).
Appearing in the shops right now, bulbs deliver such a lot- colour, form and fragrance. The stars of the spring bulb repertoire are tulips, narcissi and hyacinths.
Use these bulbs in ways to complement and add to other planting. Especially valuable in small garden, they fill gaps in early spring, or interplant them for great colour. And if you are out of space in the garden, simply cram a few bulbs into a pot and wait for a glorious spring.