Floradania.dk: Song of the late summer garden

Song of the late summer garden

Floradania asked gardening book author Signe Wenneberg to come up with her best ideas for the late-summer garden. Every week this summer, she has been looking after the garden in the television programme AFTENSHOWET on DR1.

"Summer is over, and it practically flew past ..." C.V. Jørgensen

When families return home to their gardens after the summer holidays, it can be a slightly sad sight. Not only because there may have been a drought spell, but also because the garden has faded.

When the garden looks like this, it is worthwhile taking notice of it - and doing something about it. Because your garden can continue to be the most wonderful, lush, flowering oasis for many months yet. August, September and October are really good months for the garden.

Summer is not over yet - as C.V. Jørgensen sang - even though it practically flew past.

Pimp your late summer garden
It is a matter of recognising that there are three more months in which we would like to have beautiful pots on the patio, the balcony or the main staircase. So get rid of everything that is faded or boring - and plant some of the many fine things that are to be found in the shops and garden centres right now.

Annual and perennial plants

There are two ways to approach pot planting. Pots can either be planted with annual, beautiful-right-now-but-not-terribly-durable plants, which has many advantages. But when the pot needs replacing, there is nothing else to do with the dull and withered contents other than throw them on the compost heap.

The other option is to plant (some of) the pots with perennial summer flowers and herbs.

In my garden I have planted a great many pots, because there are many nooks and crannies, steps and surfaces that need a bit of brightening up. The pots in my garden contain both annuals and perennials - and even rhubarb plants, fig trees and roses, which like to relax in large pots. Plus a lot of chillies and tomatoes, which of course are annuals - but what a pleasure they are while they are here.

The pots with perennials are full of rosemary, rock chives, hostas, hydrangeas, lady's mantle, verbena, dahlias (which are perennial if you store the root in the cellar. It's tricky, but good). Then there′s lavender (the old type return once they are planted in the garden, while the butterfly lavender is a once-off pleasure).

Recycled plants

In these times of financial crisis, some people can object if you recommend consumption. But I would just like to point out that consumption of flowers and plants is different - completely different.

Here it is a question of sustainability and taking the time to think a little bit about your consumption, even in the garden. And from that point of view, perennials are a very good idea. These are in fact something as useful as recycled plants: plants that return again and again, year after year. And once they've spent a while looking pretty in flower boxes and pots, they can be moved around or shared (for example with a neighbour), and in that way go on giving pleasure for many years to come.

CAPTION1: Herbaceous borders are a perennial delight.

CAPTION 2: For the late summer, whether in pots, on the balcony or in the garden, we can recommend, for example, Solanum and Capsicum.

CAPTION 3: Asters are classics in the late summer garden.