Gardening at the end of the summer

As summer winds down, so does the garden. Annuals will still provide colour if they have been watered, fertilized and deadheaded when needed. There are perennials that look terrific at present time but not as many as earlier in the season.

As summer winds down, so does the garden.

Annuals will still provide colour if they have been watered, fertilized and deadheaded when needed.

There are perennials that look terrific at present time but not as many as earlier in the season.

Rosehips and berries also add colour and interest to the yard.

The following are a few of the late blooming perennials: globe thistle, false sunflower, golden glow, thyme, mums, monkshood and Joe-Pye weed.

Globe thistle, Echinops, grows best in full sun. It may occasionally seed but is most often propagated in the garden by division.

The root clumps should be divided when the plants become too large or the center begins to die out.

The blue flowers are ball shaped and can be dried or left on the plant to add to the winter landscape.

False sunflower, Heliopsis helianthoides, has a large yellow double daisy like flower with a brown center.

It begins blooming at the end of July and provides colour into September if deadheaded regularly. The plant grows best in a sunny spot in average soil.

When the soil it rich the plant grows taller and has weaker stems.

As with the globe thistle, split when needed.

Golden glow, Rebeckia laciniata, is an old heritage plant that grows up to 6 feet (2.7 metres) tall.

The yellow blooms begin after the middle of August and continue until the snow or a hard frost kills the plant.

This plant spreads by underground rhizomes but is easily controlled by splitting it regularly or planting it in heavy soil. Plant in full sun.

The name “thyme” covers a variety of different plants. Some such as the woolly variety hugs the ground.

All varieties spread by slow spreading roots. The late blooming variety starts blooming in August when other plants are losing their luster.

It is available in a number of shades of purple and does best in a sunny dry area but will survive in partial shade.

On a sunny day this plant is alive with bees and other insects.

Morden mums, Chrysanthemum, are a hardy hybrid that was developed at the government research station in Morden, Man.

The plants, like all chrysanthemums, are light sensitive.

For the best blooms, plant in full sun and rich soil.

Expect the plants to form buds and begin to bloom near the end of August.

There are a variety of flower colours available, but yellow and purple appear to be the most common.

Monkshood, Aconitum, comes in a number of colours. Purple and white/blue are heritage varieties.

The plant will bloom in full sun or shade the difference being the size of plant and the time of bloom. Plants are usually sturdy enough not to need to be staked.

Monkshood grow in clumps similar to the globe flower. The plant is poisonous if eaten or the juices pressed into an open wound.

Joe-Pye weed, Eupatorium purpureum, is native to North America. It does best in moist, rich soil and does not tolerate drought.

The pink/purple flowers appear in late August on stems that grow between 4 and 6 feet (1.2-1.83 metres) in height.

When planning for late season colour, look at the berries and or rose hips. Rosehips add colour throughout the fall and winter.

Berries add colour until they are eaten.

Some berries, such as the Nanking cherry are quickly consumed by birds.

At this time of year, the garden can still be inviting.

Take time to enjoy it.

Linda Tomlinson is a horticulturalist that lives near Rocky Mountain House. She can be reached at your_garden@hotmail.com