Ten Favourite Plants for September.

Like all gardeners I return from holidays anxious to see what is happening in the garden. In my absence this time, there have been gales and heavy rain so the colchicums which were looking so beautiful when I  left are looking a bit dashed. That is the only fault with colchicums , they don’t look very attractive when they collapse in a heap. But still I have to include them amongst my favourite September blooms. The first to bloom in my garden are Colchicum autumnale and Colchicum autumnale ‘Album’. The name is a bit odd for flowers that start blooming in August.

Colchicum autumnale

Colchicum autumnale ‘Album’

My favourite colchicum is Colchicum speciosum ‘Atrorubens’. It doesn’t collapse so readily and it has a lovely purple stem and showy flowers.

Colchicum speciosum ‘Album’

I wrote more fully about colchicums last year and you can read about them here. For now, I will move on to a couple of plants that came through the storms quite unblemished and are looking lovely .  So coming in at number two and number three on my list- first of all, we have what I consider to be the Rolls Royce of the miscanthus family, Miscanthus nepalensis. The plumes look as if they have been spun from silk. Unfortunately it needs a very sheltered place as it is slightly tender, although mine survived the winter happily in my secret garden.

Miscanthus nepalensis


Miscanthus nepalensis

I grow it with the tall, airy scabious, Succcisa pratensis or ‘Devil’s Bit Scabious’. This  has a profusion of neat little blue flowers which are much loved by bees and butterflies.

Succisa pratensis

As it is September I will go from some lovely grass plumes to some really weird berries. I grow several actaea plants because I love their fragrant flowers and attractive foliage. Actaea by the way is the name we  now have to give to cimicifuga.  But although Actaea pachypoda has spires of fluffy white flowers, I grow it for its curious berries which look just like a collection of dolls’ eyes.

Actaea polypoda

Cyclamen hederifolium starts blooming in August and this is the time I give mine a bonemeal feed and a good soaking. But they are looking their best now and they lighten up shady spots under trees where nothing else would grow.

Cyclamen hederifolium

I have them in pink and white and the silver-leaved ones are particularly appealing.

Cyclamen hederifolium ‘Silver leaf form’

Cyclamen cilicium is a little beauty with  twisted, scented flowers and it is in bloom now too. It is a little tender so mine lives in a pot, but the corm is a mass of flowers.

Cyclamen cilicium

Two late flowering clematis are looking and smelling good now. Clematis rhederiana has bell-shaped flowers and I can never resist flowers that look like little bells. They are pale yellow, fragrant and quite charming. One potential drawback is that it does grow very strongly and can quickly take over a wall. The other drawback is the cringe-making common name of ‘Nodding Virgin’s Bower’. The less said about that the better.

Clematis rhederiana

Believe it or not my other clematis is named ‘Fragrant Virgin’s Bower’. But let’s give it its proper name of Clematis flammula. It is a relation of the wild clematis that decks the hedgerows. It has clouds of very sweetly scented white flowers.

Clematis flammula

I have mentioned my lovely late flowering dianthus from Sicily before. It is called Dianthus rupicola and it has very long stems which make it good for picking. I have read that it is not reliably hardy but I have had mine for years.

Dianthus rupicola

Some people dislike kniphofias but I love them. Recent hybrids come in some amazing colours. My latest purchase is called Kniphofia hybrida ‘Rich Echoes’. I have seen a stand of this growing that looked wonderful. It has apricot yellow flowers and would look fabulous growing with a biscuit coloured grass.It was raised by Bob Brown’s son, Ed Brown. Bob has the wonderful nursery, Cotswold Garden Flowers and he has an huge collection of kniphofias.

Kniphofia hybrida ‘Rich Echoes’

Another kniphofia which I am pleased with is the one growing on my ‘beach’ in front of the shed. It has great foliage which makes it look like an aloe. It is Kniphofia caulescens. I grow it with the orange flowered sea poppy, Glaucium corniculatum which has the same glaucous foliage.

Kniphofia caulescens

September is the start of the aster time, or symphyotrichum as we have to call some of them now. Plants of European or Asian origin are allowed to to remain asters. The reliable Aster frickartii ‘Monch’   starts blooming in  early August and goes on for weeks. Beth Chatto said ‘it is absolutely the best Michaelmas daisy for long display and sheer beauty‘. I agree with her, it is wonderful. You can take cuttings in the spring if you want more.

Aster x frikartii ‘Monch’

Two other beauties are in flower  are in bloom now. One is this lovely tall one and I can’t think of its name at the moment. Can anybody help me?

The other is the neat and compact Symphyotrichum nova -belgii ‘Purple Dome’.

Symphyotrichum nova-belgii ‘Purple Dome’

Next month there will be plenty more Michaelmas daises to look forward to.

For my last plant I have picked a salvia. I am very fond of salvias and have quite a large collection. They are so easy both from seed and cutting. As this post is getting rather long I have chosen just one which is new to me this year. It makes a lovely big bush and the flowers look as if they are made from velvet. The leaves are narrow and willow -like and velvety in texture too. It is Salvia leucantha ‘Purple Velvet’. Unfortunately it is not hardy but I have taken plenty of cuttings.

Salvia leucantha ‘Purple Velvet’

So there is my list of September beauties. I would love it if you would chose your ten September favourites and share them with us. If you can’t manage ten, perhaps you could choose five favourites. It is always good to see what other people are enjoying each month.

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39 Responses to Ten Favourite Plants for September.

  1. FabUlous. I love these posts, like garden memory lane for me with more added. Have you heard of the American native, Sweet Autumn Clematis (C. virginiana) think you would love it.

    • Chloris says:

      Thank you Amy. I am glad the hurricane left you with some blooms to enjoy.
      I haven’t heard of Clematis virginiana but I just looked it up and it is very pretty and looks just like Clematis flammula. Why all this obsession with virgins I wonder?

  2. Pingback: Top Ten Plants for September – The Wildlife Gardener

  3. Beautiful! I love asters of all colors; we have loads of them that bloom along the edge of our woods. Here are my top ten for September. https://wildlifegardenerblog.wordpress.com/2017/09/19/top-ten-plants-for-september/

    • Chloris says:

      Thank you so much for joining in with your lovely favourite September blooms.
      I love asters too and this is just the start of them here. In October there will be many more stunners.

  4. Great post! That Miscanthus is one of my all-time favorites, too–the form of it and the way it catches the sunlight. It was one of the grasses on display at Kew Garden’s Grass Garden. Stunningly beautiful! The Dolls’ Eyes Actaea is a nifty plant, too. I enjoy seeing it in nature during hikes. 🙂

  5. Kris P says:

    I wish we could grow the range of asters you can. I’ve only succeeded with ‘Monch’ and S. chilensis, both currently singed by our last heatwave. I was admiring a Salvia leucantha at my local botanic garden this past weekend and I’m tempted to buy one or more for their late summer/early autumn blooms – those I inherited with the garden died out during our recent drought (despite their reputation for drought tolerance).

    I’ll have to look at what I featured as favorites last month to see if there’s anything new I canname this month. October usually brings out the blooms of Senna bicapsularis, Barleria obtusa and Plectranthus ciliatus but none of those have made an appearance yet.

  6. Stunning selection Chloris. I expect the gales couldn’t find the secret garden 😉

  7. Cathy says:

    I am constantly amazed at the variety of plants you grow and how many survive the winter too! The asters are wonderful – is the pink one Alma Potschke? Mine all flower a bit later than in the UK and Alma won’t get started until October here. That Cimicifuga is fascinating, but I can’t say I like being eyeballed! I have tried growing them here but it is probably too hot and dry for them and none have made it through a winter. I have joined you this month Chloris, and put my ten favourites in vases yesterday! Here’s a link: https://wordsandherbs.com/2017/09/18/in-a-vase-on-monday-top-ten-for-september/ Thanks, and have a happy gardening week! 🙂

    • Chloris says:

      Thank you for joining in with your September favourites Cathy.
      My Michaelmas daisy is taller than Alma Potschke and not such a brilliant pink. I have it too but mine is not out yet either.
      Cimicifugas need a damp soil or they won’ t grow.

  8. Sam says:

    Some interesting and lovely plants here, Chloris. I do love salvias so I’ll have to check this one out, plus Miscanthus. All the Miscanthus we have here are from an original plant bought at The Plantsman’s Preference about 12 years ago. It grew into a very large clump in our previous garden which we divided and gave some to friends. When we moved we brought some with us and divided it, plus one of our friends gave us back a now huge clump last year when they had to dig it out to make way for a shed. We’ve divided that, too, and now have at least 40 plants thriving all from the original. Sorry for the long-winded story but it just shows how long-lasting and what good value Miscanthus is. It’s a ‘sinensis’, but very annoyingly I can’t remember which one, though!

  9. Lovely! I also bought Purple Velvet this year, but it is yet to flower with me! So your photo was very welcome!

  10. I grow the red-berried version of A. pachypoda, A. rubra. Nice berries, though this year they did not last into fall.

  11. pbmgarden says:

    Purple velvet is lovely. And what a beautiful clematis. I agree little bells carry such charm. Enjoyed reading about a few of your favorites.

  12. Denise Maher says:

    Very intrigued by Miscanthus nepalensis and Dianthus rupicola as well. Lovely September choices.

  13. Cathy says:

    Hmm. I can see I will have to give those Michaelmas daisy thingies another try as they always look wonderful in other people’s gardens so there is no reason why they shouldn’t do the same for me… Had a good giggle at the doll’s eyes and the virgin carrying-ons! What an intriguing salvia – thanks for introducing it to us. You have seen my post, but here is the link anyway: https://ramblinginthegarden.wordpress.com/2017/09/17/top-ten-blooms-in-september/

  14. Bodger says:

    Like you I’m enjoying the cyclamen but most of your choices wouldn’t survive for long in my arid, sandy soil. Asters of every stripe are notable for the speed with which they go mouldy or otherwise fester. I’m hanging my hat on autumn colour, so Acers and Euonymus are doing it for me. Dahlias are still putting on the ritz and blossom persists on Hydrangea petiolaris, backlit by yellowing foliage. Arum maculatum has gone to seed, putting up spires of brilliant orange berries. Good of the season to colour the garden like a glowing, warming fire.

  15. snowbird says:

    That Miscanthus is utterly gorgeous, like spun gold as you say. I must look out for it. How lovely seeing the different varieties of Cyclamen. That really is a beautiful Salvia! Goodness, you wonder who comes up with these awful names! I hope you had a marvelous break, glad the rain and wind didn’t do too much damage.xxx

  16. Another wonderful selection, if I were forced to pick a favourite it would be the purple stemmed colchicum. Gorgeous!

  17. Pingback: Top 10 plants for September … Reach for the skies | Frogend dweller's Blog

  18. Wow, there are so many nice plants out there that I don’t have! I am going looking for Miscanthus nepalensis now though. I love the Salvia leucantha ‘Purple Velvet’. A friend gave me a cutting of this in the spring, but so far no flowers. 😦
    I’ve pulled together my top 10 here at http://wp.me/pM8Y1-6pW.

  19. bittster says:

    I bet you could do a weekly list of ten, you always have something fascinating going on!
    The colchicums are blooming here as well but the weather has taken a turn for the hot and dry. I’m not pleased and neither are the fall bloomers.

  20. Pingback: 7 Early Fall Favourites | CountyGardening

  21. Love your list and so happy others love Colchicum as much as I do! They’re always on my list of fall favourites! After seeing your photo I need to find a Canadian source for the Colchicum speciosum ‘Atrorubens.’ Also happy to see Actaea pachypoda on your list – a North American native! Although here the berries never last beyond spring.

  22. Lavinia Ross says:

    My favorites here are the hardy cyclamen and the asters, Chloris. Your fall garden is beautiful! I have started some saffron crocus here in a barrel. The gophers also like them, so the barrel will hopefully keep them out of harm’s way. 🙂

  23. Pingback: Ten Favourites for September. | brimfields.com

  24. Brian Skeys says:

    I particularly like the clematis in your top ten, they are new to me. I must look out for them in the local nursery. My ten favourites for September came in just under the wire here: https://brimfields.com/2017/09/30/ten-favourites-for-september/

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