August can be a bit of an ‘in between’ month as far as flowering plants are concerned. The big high-summer flowering flush has faded, and the garden can look a little devoid of colour. However, there are plenty of flowering plants, shrubs, and trees that will happily provide beautiful bursts of colour this month. So, here are ten plants that would make great additions to your August garden.

1. Phlox paniculata (border phlox) ‘Mount Fuji’ 

August is usually the month to see these popular phlox looking their very best. This cultivar has pretty white flowers on stiff upright stems. There are also many other varieties to choose from, looking great mixed with other perennials. Remember to leave plenty of space around them for air circulation, otherwise they may suffer from powdery mildew.

  • Flowers in summer
  • Fully hardy
  • Grows up to 90cm tall
  • Moist but well-drained or well-drained soil
  • Full sun or partial shade
  • Exposed

2. Helenium autumnale (sneezeweed) ‘Short and Sassy’

Heleniums are a group of colourful herbaceous perennials that come into their own at this time of year! ‘Short and Sassy’ is ideal for front to mid-border plantings or containers, with the added bonus of not needing staking. The flowers are different shades of orange making them stand out in a crowded border and are also fantastic as cut flowers. In addition, Heleniums rarely suffer from pests and diseases, and also appreciate a good mulch of well-rotted organic matter to help keep them well fed and the soil around their roots moist.

  • Flowers in summer
  • Fully hardy
  • Grows to 45cm tall
  • Moist but well-drained soil
  • Full sun
  • Exposed
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3. Hydrangea paniculata (hydrangea) ‘Phantom’

This attractive, tough, deciduous shrub has distinctive looking flowers which start off pale green and fade to creamy white. This shrub looks good planted in the middle of a mixed border or a container, or a border full of other hydrangeas.

  • Flowers in summer
  • Hardy
  • Grows to 2.5m tall
  • Moist but well-drained or well-drained soil
  • Full sun or partial shade
  • Exposed
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4. Pennisetum setaceum (fountain grass) ‘Sky Rocket’

This elegant, clump forming perennial grass is almost certain to draw admiring comments from your friends and visitors. At this time of year, it produces masses of arching, panicles of tactile, delicate pink flowers. What’s more, it looks striking when grown on its own in containers.

  • Flowers in summer
  • Tender – may need winter protection
  • Grows to 90cm tall
  • Moist but well-drained or well-drained soil
  • Full sun
  • Sheltered
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5. Calycanthus (Caroline allspice) ‘Venus’

Another plant for August is this quite unusual deciduous shrubs that deserve to be more widely grown. This cultivar produces wonderful white, scented flowers with purple and yellow markings in the centre. They look a little like magnolia flowers and start to appear in May and then intermittently all through the summer and into autumn.

  • Flowers in spring and summer
  • Hardy
  • Grows to 1.8m tall
  • Moist but well-drained or well-drained soil
  • Full sun
  • Exposed
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6. Hosta (plantain lily) ‘Francee’

Hostas are great perennial plants for growing in part or full shade. ‘Francee’ has beautiful white edging around each leaf which, making it stand out in shaded locations. They produce pretty, lavender-blue flowers in summer which appear on the end of tall spikes. Keep the plant well fed and it should reward you with larger, lush looking leaves. Keep the soil moist by giving them a good weekly water rather than little and often as this will encourage the roots to go deeper into the soil.

  • Flowers in summer
  • Hardy
  • Grows to 60cm tall
  • Moist but well-drained or well-drained soil
  • Full sun, partial shade, or full shade
  • Exposed
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7. Achillea (yarrow) ‘Terracotta’

Next is an undemanding, reliable perennial that adds fantastic horizontal layers of colour to your borders. They produce many stems of broad headed flowers throughout the summer on tall, narrow, stiff stems. The flowers of ‘Terracotta’ start off a deep orange-red colour, changing to a rich yellow as they mature, giving a marvellous two-tone effect.

  • Flowers in spring and summer
  • Fully hardy
  • Grows to 75cm tall
  • Moist but well-drained or well-drained soil
  • Full sun
  • Exposed
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8. Weigela (weigela) [All Summer Peach] ‘Slingpink’

Weigela are an incredibly versatile, easy to grow, group of deciduous shrubs. There are a vast range of coloured cultivars to choose from including pure white and deep red. This cultivar is part of the ‘All Summer’ series and produces soft apricot-coloured flowers right the way from spring until autumn. It’s also compact, making it ideal for the smaller garden or for growing in containers.

  • Flowers in spring into autumn
  • Fully hardy
  • Grows to 75cm tall
  • Well-drained soil
  • Full sun or partial shade
  • Exposed
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9. Salvia (salvia) ‘Amistad’

There are a huge number of salvias available, most of which are great for attracting pollinating insects, particularly bees, when in flower. ‘Amistad’ has large, deep purple flowers. The flowers feel like velvet and also make great cut flower too. Remember to deadhead regularly to encourage the plant to keep producing new flowers for pollinators to enjoy too.

  • Flowers in spring and summer
  • Hardy
  • Grows to 1.2m tall
  • Moist but well-drained or well-drained soil
  • Full sun or partial shade
  • Exposed
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10. Heptacodium miconioides (seven son flower tree)

Last but not least is a multi-stem, small tree that’s a member of the honeysuckle family. Come summer there are clusters of scented, creamy-white flowers that are much loved by butterflies. Then, there’s the elegantly shaped leaves that hang along the branches and often develop a deep claret tinge before dropping from the tree. This tree will only need minimal pruning but it’s ideal to stake on planting.

  • Flowers in summer and autumn
  • Fully hardy
  • Grows to 4m tall
  • Moist but well-drained or well-drained soil
  • Full sun or partial shade
  • Sheltered
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This time of the year, our gardens get much use. Whether you’re throwing family barbecues or are using your garden for holidays at home, you want a spot full of bursting blooms to accompany you. These top ten plants for August will help your garden look its best through the summer months.

Find out more about adding texture to your garden:

Adding texture

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