Share the story
  •  
  •  
  •  
  • 5
  •  
  • 1
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

With a mini heatwave predicted for most of the UK this month what better time to get out in the garden? Here’s my pick of the top ten plants to give your garden an autumnal colour boost this September.

1. Chrysanthemum (hardy chrysanthemum) ‘Lollipop’

Hardy chrysanthemums are a total joy to come across on a dull autumn day with their bright cheerful flowers flowering for weeks on end. This soft pink flower variety is perfect for an ornamental border, where it can grow to 50cm tall.

  • Flowers in summer to autumn
  • Hardy
  • Grows to 50cm tall and 50cm wide
  • Well drained soil
  • Full sun or partial shade
  • Exposed or sheltered
Rose-petal-salad-2

2. Hylotelephium spectabile (ice plant)

Fairly recently renamed by the RHS, these plants are still colloquially known as ’sedum’. Three reasons for having them in the garden are that they’re trouble free, easy to grow and bees and butterflies love them! You can also leave the flower heads on after flowering to give added winter interest in the garden. This variety forms an upright mound covered in soft pink flowers well into autumn.

  • Flowers in summer
  • Fully hardy
  • Grows to 45cm tall and 45cm wide
  • Well drained soil
  • Full sun
  • Exposed
Rose-petal-salad-2

3. Acer palmatum (Japanese maple) ‘Atropurpureum’

These beautiful slow growing trees really put on a show in the autumn as their leaves change from red-purple to a brilliant scarlet. The secret to success is to place them in a partly shaded area. Either plant them in a border or container, giving them protection from winds which can cause the leaves to scorch.

  • Interesting foliage through the year
  • Fully hardy
  • Can grow up to 8m tall
  • Moist but well-drained soil
  • Full sun or partial shade
  • Sheltered
Rose-petal-salad-2

4. Nerine bowdenii (Bowden lily)

There are several different species of Nerines available, but this is the hardiest. They grow well if planted on their own in a sunny, sheltered position in free-draining soil. Their bright pink flowers will be a welcome surprise when they suddenly appear at this time of the year, contrasting with the yellow, red and orange flowers of other herbaceous perennials. They also grow well when planted in containers.

  • Flowers in autumn
  • Hardy
  • Grows to 45cm tall
  • Moist but well-drained or well-drained soil
  • Full sun
  • Sheltered
Rose-petal-salad-2

5. Callicarpa bodinieri var. giraldii (beautyberry) ‘Profusion’

This underused shrub often surprises people when they first set eyes on the jewel-like, violet berries that appear in early autumn. With berries that can last until November, it can be a lovely addition to autumn flower arrangements. It’s a medium sized deciduous shrub, with leaves that begin to turn shades of gold and red at this time of year. Plant them next to a path for people to admire the unusual berries.

  • Flowers in summer and fruit in autumn
  • Fully hardy
  • Can grow up to 8m tall
  • Well-drained soil
  • Full sun or partial shade
  • Exposed or sheltered
Rose-petal-salad-2

6. Kniphofia (red-hot poker) ‘Toffee Nosed’

Next is an evergreen plant with tall stems of long tubular flowers that start off cream in colour changing to a soft orange. They give great vertical structure to flower borders. Ensure they are planted in free draining soil, as it will not grow well in soil that stays wet over winter.

  • Flowers in summer and autumn
  • Hardy
  • Grows to 1m tall
  • Moist but well-drained soil
  • Full sun
  • Exposed
Rose-petal-salad-2

7. Symphyotrichum (aster) ‘Little Carlow’

No autumn flower border is complete without an aster or two with their dainty, delicate daisy-like flowers. This pretty cultivar has masses of soft, lilac to mid-blue flowers that blend in very well with other plants. In addition, they’re suited to any garden style, as well as making great cut flowers to add some purple tones to the arrangement.

  • Flowers in autumn
  • Fully hardy
  • Grows to 90cm tall
  • Moist but well-drained or well-drained soil
  • Full sun or partial shade
  • Exposed or sheltered
Rose-petal-salad-2

8. Euonymus alatus (compact winged spindle) ‘Compactus’

Euonymus are a really tough breed of shrubs that mostly grow well in any soil conditions. This little beauty comes into its own during the autumn months when its leaves turn the most marvellous shade of bright crimson red. The clue to its height is in its name, ‘Compactus’, growing to a maximum of only 1.5m tall.

  • Flowers in spring and red foliage in autumn
  • Fully hardy
  • Grows to 1.5m tall
  • Moist but well-drained or well-drained soil
  • Full sun or partial shade
  • Exposed or sheltered
Rose-petal-salad-2

9. Rhus typhina (stag’s horn sumach)

As these statuesque trees age their branches naturally bend into shapes resembling stags’ horns, giving them their common name. By this time of the year, they produce elongate, deep maroon red fruits the shape of fir cones, with a velvety texture.

An added bonus is that in autumn, the leaves change to shades of orange, red and golden yellow making this a wonderful tree to add to your garden. However, be careful because they do have a tendency to sucker but these are easily dealt with by digging out when spotted.

  • Flowers in summer and foliage interest in autumn
  • Fully hardy
  • Can grow up to 4m tall
  • Moist but well-drained soil
  • Full sun
  • Exposed or sheltered
Rose-petal-salad-2

10. Ageratina altissima (snakeroot) ‘Chocolate’

Lastly, this handsome shrub has deep purple leaves and forms a bushy clump making it a useful addition to any flower border. In late summer it produces a mass of off-white flowers at a time when many other herbaceous perennials have finished flowering.

  • Flowers in summer
  • Hardy
  • Grows to 90cm tall
  • Moist but well-drained or poorly-drained soil
  • Partial shade
  • Sheltered
Rose-petal-salad-2

So, replace your summer bedding plants with something that provides colour through the autumn. These top plants for September will guarantee you a burst of vibrancy in your garden this month.

Find out more about adding texture to your garden:

Or check out my Pinterest board for more ideas:

Adding texture
Adding texture
Pinterest
Pinterest Board

Share the story
  •  
  •  
  •  
  • 5
  •  
  • 1
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •