As summer draws towards a close, these are some of my highlights from the borders.
The bees love the young dahlias planted alongside our greenhouse; this is Twyning’s Smartie, a lovely deep pink with the occasional white petal.
Waiting to be planted out is Hydrangea paniculata Limelight. I love the sparkly sepals suffused with pink as they age.
The last few blooms on the long-flowering Althea cannabina unfurl in the sun. I grew this plant from seed a couple of years ago, and love its airy nature and height – reaching somewhere over 8 feet tall currently, it towers over many of our other herbaceous perennials. It makes a great companion here to Verbena bonariensis and Cephalaria gigantea.
Dew sparkling on Pennisetum villosum, another seed-raised selection. Every year I am happily surprised to see this rather fickle grass return after another wet winter with its feet in clay.
But my favourite grass at this time of year has to be Miscanthus sinensis Undine; with its smartly striped narrow leaves and an explosion of red flowers that fade to biscuit as they go to seed.
Such a wonderfully tactile plant at all stages.
It has great presence in the garden too, and has flowered reliably here every year regardless of the oddities of our summer weather.