Robert Kennett Garden Designer

Garden design and landscaping from RHS Gold medal winner
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Top 10 plants to add colour in August

We've had many people this month bemoaning how bare their borders are, but here in the walled garden at our nursery in Shaftesbury (The Potting Shed) we have a sweet shop of colour. 

So I have compiled a list of our top ten plants to add colour in August (pictured from top left):

1. Hemerocallis - not all day lillies have brash, hot colours. Hemerocallis Catherine Woodberry has many soft pink blooms through August into September and is very easy to grow.

2. Veronicastrum Pink Glow has wonderfully neat pink spires from July to September and does not need staking despite being around 4 foot in height.

3. Achillea Summer Wine - a gorgeous rich red umbellifer.

4. Lysimachia ephemerum is still flowering with its wonderfully delicate, almost ghostly white spires.

5. Helenium - beloved by bees, Heleniums are easy to grow and reward you with a smothering of flowers in mid to late summer. Helenium Sahins Early Flowerer has petals in rust and yellow and works very well with ornamental grasses.

6. Dahlias - though not quite as easy to grow due to their tenderness dahlias do provide some of the most arresting flowers in August. The rich red dahlia pictured is Dahlia Bishop Of Auckland.

7. Hollyhocks - there's no holding these back. Tall stems carry masses of semi-double pink flowers on Alcea Parkrondel.

8. Sanguisorba - preferring moist soil there are a wide range of sanguisorbas for most border types and for naturalistic planting schemes. Sanguisorba canadensis has pretty upright bottlebrush flowers in a greeny white.

9. Sedums - a new find for us Sedum Hab Gray is an unusual but most attractive sedum with bronzed grey green leaves and soft cream flowers.

10. Penisetum - a slightly tender perennial grass, the burgundy leaves and red to cream fluffy flowerheads of Penisetum rubrum is a divine combination.