Gardeners’ World – September 2023

After the recent rain and warm weather annuals such as cosmos, asters and tagetes are flowering well, adding late colour to gardens. Deadhead where possible to keep them flowering and prevent them setting seed.

Some plants however are ready for cutting down, especially alchemilla mollis. I think this is one of the best plants to have in a garden, with its frothy lime green sprays of flowers, especially edging a path or border. Very useful for flower arrangers. Cut the whole plant down to a few inches and it will soon re-grow with attractive foliage.

Most lavenders such as Hidcote and Munstead have finished flowering, although the taller Latifolia is still in bloom. Give them a good trim, but not down to the woody stem. I leave a few stems to set seed for sowing next year as the plants can become untidy after a few years, and I replace them with my own young plants.

Mount Fuji PhloxWhite phlox, Mount Fuji, is the last variety to flower and I think one of the best. It makes a good display at this time of year. If you are planting new shrubs or plants while the soil is still warm, it is worth considering using Mycorrhizal Fungi, which comes in powdered or granular form to sprinkle over the roots. The fungi create an association with plant roots, extending them into a wider area and allowing nutrients and moisture to be more readily available.