Gardeners’ World: Alan Titchmarsh names ‘best’ plants for a ‘flagging’ August garden

Alan Titchmarsh on 'creating depth' in a small garden

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August may not seem like the best month to start planting out new flowers. Unpredictable weather and heatwaves can be tricky conditions for new plants. However, Alan Titchmarsh told BBC’s GardenersWorld.com that the “best medicine” for a “flagging” August garden is by adding plants that flower later on.

Planting now could ensure you have colourful, rich and fruitful beds and borders come autumn.

Here are Alan’s top picks to plant out in August:

Callistemon

Callistemon is actually a member of the shrub family and is native to Australia.

The plant has bright red flower spikes mixed in with bright green leaves, making it a great option for a dull-looking border.

Callistemons are also known as crimson bottlebrush “Splendens” and are relatively easy to maintain.

They like to be grown in a sheltered position with a lot of sun and moist, but well-drained soil.

Echinacea

Echinaceas are hardy perennials which are incredibly easy to look after.

They come in a range of colours including purple, pale pink and orange.

Echinaceas like to grow in well-drained soil in full sun.

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Lychnis coronaria

Also known as “rose campion” and “Bridget-in-her-bravery”, these plants love the heat and will produce the best leaf colour in dry soil.

This plant’s magenta flowers will add a splash of colour to any garden.

If you have a particular spot that is often exposed to full sun, lychnis coronaria is the perfect plant to place there.

Phygelius

Alan also recommends phygelius, also known as cape fuchsias, for subtropical borders and containers.

The flowers are likely to last into September with regular deadheading.

The evergreen shrub likes fertile soil and may need some protection when the weather cools down into October/November.

Phlox

Phlox are scented, hardy herbaceous perennials which Alan has descried as “late-summer essentials”.

They will begin to turn yellow in late autumn, so will need cutting back to the ground.

However, until then, you can enjoy their delightful scent in your home by chopping off a few of the stems and putting them in a vase.

Phlox like moist soil and full sun or partial shade.

Veronicastrum

Veronicastrums are simply stunning with long, lilac racemes of small flowers and tall, erect stems.

They can grow up to 1.2 metres tall and can continue to flower into autumn.

They like moist soil in full sun or partial shade and lots of organic matter.

Veronicastrums are also popular with pollinators.

Bergamot

Known for their red, pink and purple flowers and aromatic leaves, bergamot will add a welcome splash of colour to most gardens.

These herbaceous perennials can grow up to 1.2 metres tall and prefer to grow in fertile, moist but well-drained soil in full sun or partial shade.

They do not like to dry out in the summer or be too wet in the winter.

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