By late summer, many flowering plants of the summer may be beginning to fade. Seeds of flowering plants sown this month are now unlikely to bloom until next year. But it is not too late now, in late July, to sow some autumn flowering bulbs or plant out some new autumn flowering perennials. Here are some of the autumn flowering plants you should consider planting now:
Autumn Flowering Bulbs To Sow in July:
Let’s begin by looking at some of the autumn flowering bulbs that you could consider. Autumn flowering bulbs should ideally be in the ground or in containers before the end of the month, so make this a priority job for the next week.
Autumn Flowering Crocus
Beautiful autumn crocuses are amongst the best known bulbs for autumn flowering. There is a wide range of colours and varieties to choose from, and they can suit almost any planting scheme. They will do particularly well beneath trees or shrubs, where they will be somewhat protected from heavy rainfall.
Resembling crocuses to a degree, Sternbergia are also an excellent choice for autumn colour. You could consider naturalising large groups of these in a lawn or other growing area for big impact. They can tolerate quite poor soils with good drainage, and enjoy baking in the hot sun, so make sure they get a really sunny position.
Autumn Flowering Nerine
In spite of the fact that it is a South African native, Nerine bowdenii is perfectly hardy in the UK. The dramatic flowers from these bulbs save their display until September, or even later, and their foliage will remain intact over the winter months too.
Dahlias are another favourite for autumn colour. The flowers start to open in summer but can look at their best well into September. Their extraordinary range of colour options makes them an extremely versatile choice. There are a wide range of varieties to suit almost any garden – from dwarf types to giant flowered options.
Pretty little cyclamen flowers, in pinks and whites, (technically from corms rather than bulbs) are a great design idea for brightening up shady, dry areas beneath trees in your garden. They could be ideal for bringing some colour to a woodland border or forest garden this autumn.
Autumn Flowering Perennials To Plant in July:
It is also not too late to consider adding a range of perennial bedding plants to your garden. Here are some autumn flowering perennials that you might like to consider:
Autumn Flowering Ceanothus ‘Autumn Blue’
This delightful evergreen shrub can provide beautiful blue blooms from late summeronwards, longinto autumn, and is an excellent choice for adding structure and shrub cover to your garden. It prefers a well-drained soil in full sun, and will do best in a sheltered position.
Hydrangeas can also be a versatile and attractive shrub option for many gardens, and the flowers – fresh at first and then in semi-dried form, can continue to provide plenty of visual interest in your garden throughout autumn and even beyond.
Heleniums, also known as ‘sneezeweed’ are lovely for a zany orange burst of colour in late summer and early autumn. They are wonderful for the bees and other wildlife. Another good thing about these flowers is that,after the flowering is done, the seedheads continue to look attractive well into autumn.
Autumn Flowering Japanese Anemones
Those who like an easy and relaxed feel in the garden will enjoy these long-lasting and no fuss flowers, which come in shades of pink, pale purple and white and are held on fairly tall, wiry stems that do not require any support.
Phlox paniculata are easy and trouble free plants that come in a range of varieties and colours, some with variegated foliage. They are a classic for a late summer border and can also bloom into the autumn months.
While you have missed your opportunity to sow seeds for flowering plants to bloom this year, that does not mean that you have missed out on beautiful autumnal displays. So this month, make sure you take the time to make sure that you have flowering plants in your garden for blooms throughout the whole of the year.
Do you have some favourite autumn flowering plants? Let us know what you have in bloom in your garden in autumn in the comments below.
Elizabeth Waddington is a writer and green living consultant living in Scotland. Permaculture and sustainability are at the heart of everything she does, from designing gardens and farms around the world, to inspiring and facilitating positive change for small companies and individuals.
She also works on her own property, where she grows fruit and vegetables, keeps chickens and is working on the eco-renovation of an old stone barn.