Plants for Late Summer Colour in the Garden

June Blakes Garden
June Blakes Garden Mid Summer 2014 - Photo Credit David Corscadden

Many gardeners struggle to provide colour in they garden year round. It is not impossible however. Having visited a few great gardens over the past few summers I notice that there really is a great  amount of colour and deep rich hues around this time of the year that can add tremendous amounts of colour and interest to a garden.

June Blakes Garden
June Blakes Garden Mid Summer 2014 – Photo Credit David Corscadden

I know in my own garden I suffer from a break in colour between mid-summer and autumn but this is something that I plan to tackle this year and introduce some late flowering plants that will bridge the gap between mid-summer until the rich hues of autumn arrive.

It is often the case that you will put too much emphasis on flowers which will have high impact at the start of summer but forget the later months. Taking a visit to places like the Botanic Gardens or even looking around your own neighbourhood, you can suddenly find yourself swamped with ideas and plants to bring some late colour to your garden.

Across the gardens and public parks I have visited in the past two weeks, there have been a few star plants that I have felt are putting on a great display of colour at the moment and that should be considered as additions to gardens to add curiosity and excitement to borders.



Hydrangea is a great plant to have in a garden as I find they require very little work but flower and flower as long for ages. The flowers also last for what seems like an eternity. They can easily last in full colour from summer right through to the first frost. It is controversial but I do particularly like the blue flowering types.

blue hydrangea
Hydrangea will flower until the the start of Autumn – Photo Credit David Corscadden


Crocosmia Lucifer in particular is a great plant which can add an injection of fiery red to your garden. The flowers are also relatively tall so can add much needed height to a flowerbed. These also work well in large pots and can be used to bring colour to a patio or doorway.

Crocosmia can add rich red hues to a garden – Photo Credit David Corscadden


In particular verbena Bonariensis which comes in a fantastic shade of vivid purple that looks great wafting above other plants in a border. This plant has the added bonus that butterflies love it and seem to be flocking to it in droves this year.

purple Verbena with butterfly
Verbena is great at attracting pollinating insects – Photo Credit David Corscadden


Rudbeckia or black eyed Susan as it is sometimes called is a great plant to add a real injection of colour. The effervescent yellow daisy like flowers are a must have and the fact they appear in such numbers means they are a great plant to have that provides so much for such little maintenance.

Yellow Rudbeckia
Black eyed Susan – Photo Credit David Corscadden


You cannot talk about late flowering plants and late colour in the garden without a dedication to sedums. They are the plant that sits there most of the year and does very little. But just as you are about to give up and say they are boring, a splash of crimson starts to appear through its late opening flowers. The newer purple leaved variety is a fantastic plant all year.

pink flowering sedum
Sedum will flower until the first frost – Photo Credit asdfawev

For more late flowering shrubs and flowers visit the RHS website.

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