October is one of those times of the year where we start to enjoy the work we put in over the past few weeks as the garden starts to burst into summer. After the heady yellow and orange flowers from the early spring garden it’s time for the blue and white flowers to take over. Being out and about in the garden we see loads of things to inspire so here are some of the beauties we think you should consider.
Convolvulus sabatius or Blue Rock Bindweed is a trailing perennial plant, growing to 20 cm in height. Truly spectacular as it come into flower. Have a look in our garden here at Eckards if you don’t believe us. It cascades over the wall in our perennial section and looks quite simply ... WOW! Use them to spill over the edge of a hanging basket or patio containers. As a ground cover they easily make a carpet of lush foliage to cover the soil.
Throughout the summer Mystic Spires Salvia produces long stalks of dark blue flowers. Refresh tired plants in midsummer by cutting them back by half. This Salvia makes an excellent bedding or container plant that also attracts butterflies.
Grow in full sun and well-drained soil, it water wise and tough reaching a height of around 40cm.
Blue or White Balloons
Platycodon is a flowering perennial that comes from East Asia. It derives its name of Balloon Flower due to the shapes of the flowers before and after opening. They grow in full sun to half sun and die down through winter. A spreading clump growing around 20cm high they are great fillers in a sunny flowerbed.
In early summer, the balloon-shaped buds soon open to a star-shaped bell in shades of white, pink and blue. Balloon flowers are easy to care for and will come back year after year. Deadhead the individual balloon flowers after the blossoms fade to encourage new growth. Cut off the whole top of the stem after several blossoms have faded, to encourage repeat blooming. Watch for snails attacking the plant.
A perennial, Cuphea or False Mexican Heather is a small evergreen shrub with feathery sprays of small white flowers that bloom all year. Attracting butterflies with its sweet nectar is an added bonus. Native to Mexico as the name suggests, the flowers of the Mexican Heather are also available in purple, lavender or amethyst.
Growing to about 20cm tall, it looks extremely attractive as a border in sun or part shade. The green leaf varieties handle more shade but the yellow and lime leafed varieties need more sun to keep their colour.
Gaura is gorgeous. This free flowering perennial is well known as the Butterfly bush because of the small starry flowers which cover the plant over a long period. The pink shades are well known but try the classic white, they make a striking show through summer.
Best in full sun they also prefer to stay a little on the dry side. As they finish flowering simply cut them back and in no time they are up again and in full flower. Try planting a swathe in the garden to catch the evening breeze or use them in a mixed planting in a container to add height.