September Grow your own


‘Red, hot and gorgeous’ with red flowering and foliage plants

Clematis sept07 webWhatever this summer has been like for you, creating a sense of warmth and excitement into September will be appreciated by everyone at home. Red flowering and foliage plants are the perfect choice for achieving this. Look at this fabulous selection of perennials, trees and climbers to help you get started.

For climbers, clematis offers some absolute glories at this time. Many varieties flowering now produce large blooms and ‘Rouge Cardinal’, a sun-lover itself, bears velvety red flowers 10cm across that are simply irresistible. ‘Royal Velours’ produces, as the name suggests, velvety flowers with a red-purple colour, from 4-8cm across. ‘Ville de Lyon’ produces really big flowers (10-13cm across) that are rich red.

Red foliage is on offer from Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus), a fantastic plant that self-clings to walls, fences and even trees using suckers on the tips of its tendrils. The leaves of most Virginia creepers are brightly coloured in autumn. Parthenocissus henryana turns bright red as summer fades, as does Parthenocissus thomsonii. Virginia creeper is ideal for clothing vertical surfaces that are otherwise uninteresting and may in fact help to keep buildings a little cooler that are in sun drenched courtyards or other full sun positions.

The perennial suggestion from this group is Potentilla. Look to these for some great choices for red flowers. ‘Gibson’s Scarlet’ is a clump forming perennial that bears vivid red flowers from early to late summer. ‘Gloire de Nancy’ is another strong perennial that flowers throughout the summer.

Japanese maple (Acer palmatum) is a fabulous foliage plant that brings its own specific style to the garden as well as colour. Some maples bear red or coloured foliage right through the growing season, others colour red as autumn comes on. If you’re worried that space is a problem, remember that some cultivated maples will live happily for years in pots. ‘Crimson Queen’ is one container candidate. Otherwise there is great choice for gardens of all sizes. There is no question that trees are very special. Why not mark a birthday or family announcement by planting one?

Red is an exciting design element to work into your garden at the end of summer and there is a dazzling choice of options. Have some fun discovering them and enjoy the heat while it lasts!

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