One of the most dependable of all the late flowering perennials is the glorious Sedum. They are long flowering from late August to almost November. The succulent foliage of many types of Sedums is topped by starry flowers in late Summer.
The low growing types are ideal for rock gardens whilst the taller versions are perfect for perennial borders. These perennials are also know as Stonecrop.
These plants are sun lovers so choose an area of the garden with full sun to light shade and very well drained soil.
There are many different types of Sedums and here are a few of our favourites!
Sedum 'Cloud Walker'
Cloud Walker is a hybrid that beautifully combines large mauve-pink blooms and dark tinted foliage. The blooms are clustered in a layered pattern reminiscent of clouds.
Strong, sturdy green foliage and stems are tinted with maroon. Seed heads attract songbirds in winter. Pinch mid summer for a fuller plant.
The border varieties of Stonecrop are a dependable choice for the late Summer and Autumn garden, offering foliage interest earlier in the season, then a colourful display of flowers in the Autumn. The Purple Emperor introduces heads of dusty-rose flowers, over a mound of rich purple-black leaves.
This is probably the best known of all the Sedum varieties, a familiar sight when it begins to produce green broccoli-like buds in mid Summer, which gradually open into enormous dusty pink flower heads and finally deepen to rich bronzy-red. Even the dead flower heads have a good Winter effect. Plants may be pinched in June to prevent flopiness!
The Autumn Joy is a great plant for encouraging butterflies to your garden and is great for border planting and rock gardens.
Care and Maintenance
Apply a thin layer of compost each Spring, followed by a 2 inch layer of mulch to retain moisture and control weeds. Only water these plants during Summer if there is not sufficient rainfall. Divde plants every 3 to 4 years as new growth begins in the Spring, lifting plants and dividing them into clumps. After the first heavy frost cut stems back to about an inch above the soil line.
Until next time, Happy Gardening!
The Powerscourt Garden Pavilion Team
These shade loving beauties are the real workhorses of the garden, producing massive flowers in both mophead and lacecap forms with a wide variety of colours and varieties. They are moisture loving and love a cool corner in the garden, but they will also tolerate a half shade providing there is plenty of access to water.
Hydrangea Macrophylla or the mophead variety is probably the best known of all the Hydrangeas and one of their interesting quirks is their ability to change colour! This colour change is due to the change in the soil ph which affects aluminium availablilty. Blue and pink varieties are blue in acidic conditions, mauve in acidic to neutral conditions and pink in alkaline conditions.
White varieties remain white and are not affected by ph of the soil. Pruning this hydrangea seems to cause some confusion. It is best to leave the faded bloom on over the Winter as this provides some frost protection for the tender buds below. Remove the dead blooms in the Spring, cutting back to the first buds lower down the stem. The lacecap varieties are slightly hardier and the flowerheads can be cut back to the second pair of leaves directly after flowering. On older more established plants cut one or two of the older stems at the base to encourage new replacement growth that will flower more freely.
Poor neglected plants can be given a new lease of life by cutting off all the stems at the base, be warned though, this will remove all the flowers for this Summer and new stems will not flower until next year.
Here are some varieties to try;
Hydrangea macr. 'Lady in Red' (red)
Hydrangea macr. 'Bela' (blue)
Hydrangea macr. 'Benxi' (white)
Hydrangea macr. 'Blueberry Cheesecake' (Blue, Mauve)
Hydrangea arborescens 'Annabelle'
Annabelle is probably one of the most loved white hydrangeas. It is a stunning white drumstick flower which can often measure 10'' in diameter. Annabelle will produce flowers every year even after severe pruning or a cold harsh winter. It looks amazing planted as a hedge and you can prune back severley in Winter to keep it tidy.
A new introduction - Hydrangea arborescens 'Invincibelle' is the first pink flowered mop head form of hydrangea to be sold commercially. Also known as 'Pink Annabelle' it has large globular flowers that bloom in June and July and repeat until the first frosts. Each flower head is densely packed with showy florets that emerge a deep dark pink, maturing to a bright pink. As with Annabelle, Invincibelle enjoys the partial shade and a moist but free draining soil.
Hydrangea paniculata 'Magical Fire' and Hydrangea pan. 'Mega Mindy' are two brilliant new varieties.
'Mega Mindy' is a solid, fast growing shrub which carries large panicles of flowers but does not collapse under the weight of the flowers. It grows to approximately 4-5ft tall. The flowers appear in late July-early August and at first are white but turn pinkish red as they mature. It flowers every year on new growth which means they can be cut back hard every year without interferring with the flowering.
'Magical Fire' is a spectacular new variety similar to 'Mega Mindy' starting off white, then dark pink and then a fiery red in Autumn. It has gorgeous red stems which are a lovely contrast to the healthy green foliage.
The Hanging Basket takes centre stage this month. This traditional planting can make a real statement in your garden and is really easy to accomplish.
What you will Need
You will need a 14'' hanging basket, 14'' liner, multi-purpose compost, water retaining gel and slow release fertiliser. And of course some plants of your choice!
Let's get Started
Start with proping the basket with the liner onto a bucket (this will stop the basket from rolling around as you are planting it).
Mix your compost with a spoon of swell gel and a spoon of slow release fertiliser and water (leave this mix for about an hour before using).
Half fill the basket with your compost mix, then start placing your plants. Plant something tall in the centre e.g. geraniums to create some height in the basket. Surround this with your trailing plants (petunia, diascia, bacopa). Fill in with compost and as a finishing touch plant lobelia or allyssum into any gaps. Water well!
Shhh...Our Top Tips
When hanging your basket avoid windy spots as this will dry out the basket very fast.
Place in a sunny spot - water at least once a day and more when it is hot and dry or very windy.
Choice of Plants
The choice of plants for your hanging basket is very personal. Some people like a riot of mixed colour while others like a more co-ordinated look. It will also depend on the aspect of where you are placing your basket although remember most of the summer bedding plants prefer a sunny spot.
If you have a shady area, choose plants such as begonias, fuschia, mimulus and new guinea bizzy lizzie which will give you fantastic colour and brighten up that shady corner.
The 2012 Summer Hanging Basket Competition at Powerscourt Garden Pavilion has begun!!
About the Competiton
Create the most ORIGINAL and SPECTACULAR summer hanging basket to be in with a chance to win a €50 Voucher to spend on goodies in the Garden Pavilion! We can't wait to see your basket beauties! Photos of all entries will be uploaded onto our website and social media after the competition has ended so we can all enjoy them!
The prize: €50 Voucher to spend in Powerscourt Garden Pavilion
How To Enter:
By Email: Send a photo of your summer hanging basket to email@example.com and include your Name, Address, Email Address and Phone Number alongside your entry. If you would prefer not to be added to our mailing list please add in 'Do not Mail' to your email.
By Post: Send a photo of your summer hanging basket to Aoife O'Driscoll, Powerscourt Estate, Enniskerry, County Wicklow. Please include your Name, Address, Email Address and Phone Number alongside your entry. It will not be possible to return any photos sent to us.
In Store: You can also enter the competition by filling in a form at the Garden Pavilion.
Closing Date: The closing date for entries is 5pm on 28th June. Good luck and thanks for entering!
Click here for our top tips to create a beautiful hanging basket at home!
The California Lilac, so called because it is native to California and the flowers resemble those of the lilac tree (Syringa).
The Ceanothus are a family of both evergreen and decidious shrubs or small trees. They come in a variety of colours including pink and white but most people will be familiar with the beautiful blue varieties.
Ceanothus enjoy a sunny South or West facing position, sheltered from cold winds and a free draining soil. Damage can be caused by positioning in a wet spot particularly in Winter. Ceanothus vary in colour (depending on the variety) from a subtle powdery blue to a deep sapphire blue. They require very little feeding and almost thrive on a little neglect! If feeding becomes necessary early Spring is the best time to do it. Pruning, if necessary, should be done immediately after flowering. Avoid pruing late in the season as it promotes new growth which can be hit hard by early frosts.
Some varieties to try; Ceanothus x 'Blue Sapphire', it's graceful arching form makes a beautiful ground cover specimen. Abundant dark sapphire blue flowers cover the plant in April. The dark emerald foliage turns almost black in Winter.
Ceanothus arboreus trewithen blue is a much larger growing variety growing 8ft high with deep blue panicles of flowers which appear in April and May, backed by a broad dark green foliage.
Ceanothus thyrsiflorus var. repens flowers in April, May and into early June. This low growing evergreen shrub is cloaked in fluffy powder blue flowers. Planted at the front of a mixed border, it looks great when coupled with Euonymus 'Emerald & Gold' or Dianthus 'Kahori'.
It is very difficult this time of the year to pick a plant of the month! There are so many beautiful plants beginning to flower, golden daffodils, blue anemones, the gorgeous primula and the fragrant viburnum, but our favourite is the showy Azaleas which will be in flower towards the end of March.
The Azalea is so easy to look after with a vast array of colours available, great for pots or the open ground. Azaleas prefer a semi shaded spot in the garden and require acidic soil. If your soil is neutral add fir needles, sulphur, iron sulphate or coffee grounds to increase acidity. A heavy clay soil can be helped by adding fresh potting soil to improve drainage. Start a regular feeding prgram with a fertiliser for acid loving plants. A feed in the Spring just before blooming and again in late Summer should be sufficient. Ensure your Azalea is kept moist but not wet or water logged. Prune, if needed, directly after flowering.
Azaleas come in both evergreen and deciduous forms. Deciduous varieties such as Fanal, Gibraltar and Anneke are large about 5-6ft and extremely beautiful. Evergreen varieties tend to be smaller. Try varitietes such as 'Hatsugirl', 'Amoena', 'Vuyks Rosy Red' and the fabulous "Mother's Day" which is very appropriate for this month.
This September the horticulturalists working at Powerscourt Garden Pavilion have some great advice for growing Japanese Anemones!
Native to China, this amazing late bloomer is a welcome boost to the garden in early autumn. It is in flower from the last days of summer through to September, and sometimes even October.
Japanese Anemones are happy in the sun or in partial shade and prefer moist fertile soil. They are fully hardy plants.
To keep your Anemones looking their best!
Tip 1: Cut back the stalks after the flowers have faded
Tip 2: Tidy up old dead leaves in March
Tip 3: Apply a generous amount of well-rotted manure around the base of the plant in spring
Tip 4: Do not disturb the plant as anemones don’t like to be moved!
Tip 5: If the plant is very congested, lift and divide it in the early spring
Two of our favourite Anemones are ‘Anemone Honorine Jobert,’ which is a beautiful white single flowered variety, and ‘Anemone Pretty Lady Emily’ which is double pink.
Anemones look great planted near ‘Verbena bonariensis’, ‘Perennial asters’ and hardy chrysanthemums.
Do you have any handy hints for growing Anenomes? It would be great if you could share your advice with us - we would love to hear from you!
This week Horticulturalist Marianne Caplice from Powerscourt Garden Pavilion takes a look at Crocosmia Lucifer and how to grow this beautiful plant…
A South African Native, Crocosmia Lucifer is a member of the Iris family. A spectacle in the garden in August, its fiery red flowers are unmistakable! The plant is aptly named 'Lucifer' because of these red flowers.
The plant makes a stunning display and is very easy to grow. Follow Marianne's gardening tips for growing Crocosmia Lucifer in your own garden.
Powerscourt Garden Pavilion Tips for growing Crocosmia:
Tip 1: Crocosmia thrive in a warm south facing position but will also tolerate a partial shade
Tip 2: They prefer moderately fertile, well drained, rich soil
Tip 3: To maintain vigour, lift and divide clumps in early spring
Tip 4: Crocosmia Lucifer looks great planted with Dahlia Bishop of Llandaff and also with Canna lilies
Tip 5: Don’t forget other Croscosmia varieties. Try the smouldering Crocosmia ‘Emily McKenzie’; her blooms are a burnt orange with mahogany eyes. Or you could try Crocosmia ‘George Davidson’ which is a gorgeous yellow colour.
Tip 6: All the Crocosmia family make excellent cut flowers
Tip7: After your hard work, sit back and enjoy your garden!
If you have any questions on growing Crocosmia or any other plants, call into our Garden Pavilion and our staff will give you some insider tips!