Late summer provides ample opportunity for plenty of colour and interest in the garden. We consider some lovely plants for a late summer border.

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Echinacea purpurea ‘White Swan’

Warmer colours abound in late summer, and this variety of Echinacea provides a welcome introduction of white to the garden. It’s height allows it to be a useful addition to the middle of the border and its at home in a sunny position. It looks great amid grasses and other late summer perennials.

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Helenium autumnale

This Helenium has golden yellow flowerheads and is a dazzling addition to the border. It works well with other Heleniums, and it looks great when combined with plants with colours from the opposite side of the colour spectrum, such as the violet spires of Perovskia.

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Perovskia ‘Blue Spire’

With attractive blue-violet flowers that extend upwards in spires, this plant is valuable for providing a contrasting form to the cone or daisy type flower heads of some late summer perennials such as Helenium and Aster. Its appropriate for a sunny border and works well as a group or drift.


Agastache ‘Blackadder’

The violet spiked flowerheads of Agastache add vertical interest to a border and blend well in a grouping with other flowers of a similar colour such as the blue-violet of Perovskia or Echinops, as pictured.


Rudbeckia fulgida var. deamii

Rudbeckia are reliable and attractive plants for the late summer border. The daisy like orange yellow flowers and prominent dark centres have great impact within the middle of a border, particulary if planted in groups or drifts.

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Sedum ‘Herbstfreude’

A useful plant for the front of a border in a sunny position. Having an umbel form of flower head allows for an interesting contrast when combined with plants with vertical or daisy type flower forms. The dusky pink flower heads that turn to bronze also blend well with the richer tones of late summer and early autumn.

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Aster amellus ‘Rudolph Goethe’

The massed daisy flowers of Aster, size and compact habit make it a versatile and pleasing addition towards the front of a border. Asters are great as links between plant groupings. This variety named ‘Rudolph Goethe’ has attractive violet purple flowers with yellow centres.

Photo credits: Garden Design Eye


The garden at Gravetye Manor is famous for being created by William Robinson. Robinson is known for pioneering the naturalistic style of gardening. In 1884 Robinson moved to Gravetye where he spent the next 50 years putting his ideas into practice.


Views of the flower garden and Manor house.


Foxgloves and Persicaria bistorta.



Lupins, Alliums and Aquilegias.


The exuberant borders spill over the paved paths that surround the main flower garden.



Cardoon (Cynara cardunculus), amongst annuals and perennials.



A mass of Wisteria growing over a pergola.


Alliums amongst Nepeta, with Wisteria in the background.


A dry border, featuring Nepeta and Sisyrinchium striatum.


Taking the path through the Azalea bank.



Astrantia major.


Inside the walled Kitchen garden. Foxtail lilies in the foreground.


The path out from the Kitchen garden.


Further information:

Photo credits: Garden Design Eye

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