To help you choose plants for your garden, here’s a selection of some of my September favourites to brighten up a sunny border. You can either plant them together in combination or mix them in with your existing plants.


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Most of my September plant selection do have longer flowering periods than just September, so may not last the entire month, depending on where you live.

Verbena bonariensis

This can often be fairly short-lived, particularly in the UK because it’s borderline hardy, and doesn’t do well in cold, frosty conditions. Having said that, if you can get it grow, it’s well worth it as it will often flower for several months, from July to October. It’s perfect for the middle to back of a border as it can get from anywhere from 4-6ft high. It does need something in front of it as it can get floppy. It works wonderfully with grasses as the soft, airy flowers float above the grasses.

Verbena does best in full-sun with a moist but well-drained soil.

Phygelius New Sensation

Also known as the Cape Fuchsia, Phygelius is semi-evergreen and will do well in both full sun and some shade. It flowers most of the summer from July through to September. It grows anywhere from 2-3ft tall, sometimes taller if conditions are right. It prefers a  a moist but well-drained soil, so is the perfect accompaniment to the Verbena.

Caryopteris Kew Blue

Sometimes known as the Blue Spirea. Kew Blue is a particularly dark blue form of Caryopteris. It’s slightly more compact than the usual version, only reaching about 3ft hight. Although it isn’t evergreen, it still deserves a place in the garden. It’s another one that needs full sun and a well-drained soil and doesn’t do well in excessively cold conditions. It will flower from August through to September and when combined with scarlet pink, looks stunning.

Echinacea purpurea ‘Fatal Attraction’

This Echinacea or coneflower as it is often known is a particularly deep shade of pink and works well with the other plants in this month’s selection. It grows to just over 2ft high and is a great plant for the front to middle of a border. It will flower from June to September, in a good year. It likes full-sun but will take some shade. A fertile, well-drained soil will give best results. Echinacea do die down in the winter months, so you’ll need to plant it near evergreens, like the next one on our list.

Agapanthus Umbellatus

I love Agapanthus, they have gorgeous blue flowers which last for months, have interesting strap shape leaves and are mostly evergreen. Umbellatus is one of the taller varieties, it reaches about 4ft high and loves to be in full-sun with a moist but well-drained soil for best results. They won’t do well in really frosty locations, but some winter protection will often see them through cold snaps.

What are your favourite planting suggestions for September?

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Rachel Mathews
Rachel Mathews

Professional international garden designer for over 30 years. My mission is to de-mystify garden design and make it easy for people to successfully design their own garden - without needing to spend a fortune!

    5 replies to "Garden Plant Selection – September Stunners"

    • Roger

      Hi Rachel,
      What a great idea presenting plant types and combinations for the month. It’s such a key ingredient to the overall design, and so few people spend time sharing and teaching about it. Thank you.

      Rudbeckia fulgida ‘Goldstrum’ is a summer – autumn flowering perennial I’ll use, and often combine with an ornamental grass. It is, however, a “spreader” and needs to be watched. Every few years we’ll have to go in and reduce the number of plants. I’d hesitate using it in a garden that’s more of a composition of multiple types & varieties. It could become a challenge preventing a commingled collection of plants.

      • Rachel Mathews

        Hi Roger,

        Thank you, you’re very welcome, glad this will help people. Your’e right, there’s not a great deal on combining plants.

        Rudbeckia is a great one for September – I often use it combined with Miscanthus Zebrinus, it helps keep it in check a bit! Thanks for your suggestion.


    • Anne Leigh

      Thanks Rachel, very useful as I am stocking a new garden from scratch. good to know what is in flower for a particular month and their characteristics, likes etc.

    • Rachel Mathews

      You're welcome Anne – glad you like the September plant selection, got a great one coming for next month too! Good luck with planning your borders, keep us posted on how you get on.

    • Alison Boocock

      Hi Rachel, I love your choice of flowers! This is the time my Leycesteria (Pheasant Berry) and later my Cotoneaster bullatus look good in my back garden, and the birds love them! I don't have a lot of sun now at this time of year as my garden's north facing, so these brighten it up in the dull months.

      PS: What would be your opinion? Should a small new retaining wall be built in back garden first then a new fence – or new fence first then the wall? Comment appreciated!

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