September – Plant of the Month

Summer may be over, but there are still plenty of plants and shrubs to give you color in the garden.

Annual bedding plants are still going strong, even if you did not get around to dead-heading them. Roses are still flowering and dahlias are still going strong.
I only started to grow dahlias two years ago. I thought it was a lot of trouble to lift the dahlia tubers every autumn. It is a bit of effort, but it is worth it for the magnificent bed of color from July until October.



My favourite dahlia right now is this pink cactus dahlia. The color really stands out amongst all the autumnal yellows and reds.



Spiraea is still flowering. The flower heads will give seeds in a few weeks that will feed smaller birds like wrens and sparrows for a while.



Hypericums are another of my must-have shrubs. They encourage hoverflies with their open flowers, they grow anywhere and they give color from June until December. They also form berries that birds will eat in the depths of winter. It’s hard to beat that combination.

Potentillas are still in flower, and although untidy they give another splash of color.



Hydrangeas are still in flower. My mop-heads are coming to an end, but lace-caps are still going strong.

Autumn-flowering heathers give contrast, but you need a large number of heather plants to give you a solid block of purple. Heathers need poor soil that is acidic and well-drained to thrive.

In Ireland, fuchsia shrubs are still at their peak, both in the hedgerows and in the garden.



Orange-flowered montbretia fills the banks at the sides of the road. Some gardeners grow cultivars of montbretia with larger flowers in red and orange. Personally I prefer the wild variety, so I just admire them on the sides of the road.
I have an autumn bed at the front of the house where I have large Sedums and Michaelmas Daisies



On top of the flowers is the bright September light (this morning anyway). A walk around the garden on a bright autumn morning is enough to put the spring into anyone’s footsteps.