Garden Answers – September 2017


September is a gorgeous month in the garden. It’s not too hot or too dry, the sun’s still shining most days and if you’ve picked the right plants for late-summer flowers, there’s plenty of colour left to enjoy.

This month we’ve focused on those late-summer lovelies that will fill your borders with colour right to the frosts. Asters, Japanese anemones, late kniphofias, dahlias and sedums are perfect perennials to fire up a tired-looking planting scheme, while summer-long stalwarts such as penstemons and geraniums play a vital back-up role, offering both colour and continuity. Turn to page 14 for more seasonal planting ideas.

I’ve been nibbling away at the lawn again. There never seems to be enough space in my tiny garden, so a large grassy sward seems a bit of a luxury. Not that mine is much of a sward – it’s full of clover, plantain, moss and clumps of purple bugle. The bees love it, and starlings enjoy poking around in the turf for beetles. But if you’d like advice on keeping a more pristine lawn than mine, turn to our Buyer’s Guide to rakes and scarifiers, on page 95.

And if you fancy taking an inspirational break from the weeding this month, where better to visit than Pensthorpe Millennium Garden in Norfolk? I paid a visit several Septembers ago; rain was hammering down and the clouds were thuderous grey. Yet, most impressively, the planting still looked breath-taking, with a fresh luminosity in the weak sunlight. I can heartily recommend it – turn to page 64 and you’ll see why.

Liz Potter


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