Thursday, 1 June 2017

Summer-flowering perennials

I have high hopes of the Summer-flowering perennials that I planted-out in the early Spring. You may remember that I made lots of new plants last Autumn via root-division. With one single exception, they have all established well and are looking very healthy.

Realistically, I don't expect them to produce a mass of flowers this year - they will need time to settle in - but as long as they establish themselves well, I should get a good display next year. I've been thinking to myself "If I had bought all these plants at my local Garden Centre they would have cost me at least £50, so taking my own cuttings was definitely the right thing to do".

I have 3 Echinaceas like this one:


7 Heleniums, like this:


And 6 Rudbeckias (though there are a couple of small ones that were already there before).


The tall Verbena Bonariensis plants at the back, closest to the wall, have already opened their first flowers.

At this stage they look pretty insignificant (puny, even!), but I hope that they will eventually fill out and provide a good backdrop for the shorter plants in front. I planted 7, and 6 have survived.

Now, still with flowers, take a look at the two Dwarf Sunflowers("Sunspot") in this next photo. See how different they are in terms of size! Sown on the same day, grown in exactly the same way, yet one is twice as tall as the other. (Maybe it didn't get the memo about being "Dwarf"....?)

I'll post about all these again in a few weeks time, when hopefully there will be some flowers to see.


  1. It will look great once in a bloom. All these plants are good self-seeders so, leave some seed to drop on the ground and you'll have plenty of new plants in the next year. You can keep them or transplant them elsewhere (I know you don't have much place, but still) or even give some away to friends, as I do.

  2. Hi Mark, Thank you for your blog which I enjoy reading. I also share your enthusiasm for PSB. Last year, by mistake, I ordered a pkt of annual Summer Purple broccoli, which did exceptionally well here in North Wales. We were picking tasty spears weekly from late August until well into January when the Rudolph was ready to harvest, not bad for seeds costing £1.05!! And PSB for 10 months! Kind regards.
    Pat Williams

    1. Hi Pat; I've often toyed with the idea of growing Summer broccoli as well as my usual Spring-harvested PSB, but my wife is not as keen as I am on broccoli, so I don't want to push my luck!

  3. Your Echinacea and Rudbeckia plants look great, I tried to start those varieties from seed but nothing came up. Neither did the sunflowers, so the seeds must have been too old.

    1. Phuong - I'm not sure about the Rudbeckia but I grew Echinacea from seed this year and only one seed came up in my first batch. Subsequently, I found out that they needed cold stratification so placed a second batch in the fridge for a few weeks first and practically every seed germinated.

  4. Not the sort of blog title I expect to come up from you. Echinaceas don;t do well in our soil although we have planted some this year that came in a collection, I don't expect them to survive winter. The slugs have homed in on my sunflowers,

  5. That sunflower may be one of those seed packet oddities. Coincidentally, I have the same thing happening with some Russian kale - the two plants I'm growing have distinctly different leaf shapes.


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