Gardeners World episode 24 2002: Alan Titchmarsh and Gardeners World team present seasonal highlights from across the country, visit stunning gardens, meet the gardeners and find out their secrets of success.
Gardeners World episode 24 2002
Gardens for late-season crescendo
The days may be shortening, and autumn drawing closer, but for some gardens the best is yet to come. We look at six Partner Gardens where outstanding displays of late-flowering perennials, ornamental grasses and fruit ensure a late-season visit is time well spent.
Taking its inspiration from the natural world, Knoll Gardens’ relaxed planting style mimics nature, building on the way plants co-exist in wild habitats to create a garden that is both beautiful for people and beneficial for wildlife. As summer turns to autumn, the Gravel Garden’s tapestry of Stipa, Aster and Gaura merges seamlessly into the recently extended Dragon Garden, and the honey brown stems and flowers of Molinia caerulea subsp. caerulea ‘Poul Petersen’ hold centre stage amongst the Mill End plantings. You’ll find plenty of ideas on how to create thriving plant communities that give maximum impact for little maintenance.
New England aster
A large group of plants, consisting of many different species, each one offering something different in height, colour and design potential; there’s an aster for every gardener. The name of some asters has recently changed, as explained in our “Plantsman: The splitting of Aster,” magazine, and they are now known as Symphyotrichum.
New England asters, Symphyotrichum novae-angliae, are tall perennials, perfect for the back of the border, reaching 1.2-1.5m (4-5ft) depending on the cultivar. Because of their height they benefit from being staked in spring to ensure they remain upright until the end of the season.
All New England asters are quite upright plants and have very straight stems with narrow, dark-green leaves. The base of taller varieties can become bare, so it is worth underplanting with a lower perennial to hide the bare stem.
Flowering throughout summer, pelargoniums are essential in borders and containers alike. Flowers are white, pink, orange, red or mauve, with some double varieties. They are not hardy, but can overwinter in frost-free conditions. On a sunny windowsill or in a heated conservatory, these evergreen perennials and shrubs can flower virtually year round.
Pelargonium are plants that evoke a holiday in the sun, with their rounded clusters of vivid red or orange flowers and bushy leaves, often strongly marked with purple or red. Trailing types have green ivy-shaped leaves and others are wavy-margined. Some even have scented leaves. Flowers also may vary from pure white through to pinks, mauves and deep purples, sometimes with a contrasting dark blotch.