I love the late summer months, as the tone begins to change to more russet shades – it’s like the ‘wind down’ to Autumn! However, all does not need to fade.

There is still plenty of room for colour in the late summer months – it just depends on how vibrant you want to go! My combination chosen here, is quietly subtle; with fabulous foliage and a splash of white for a late summer lift.

Hyelotelephium (was Sedum) Autumn Joy

The fleshy mounds of succulent Hyelotelephium (Sedum) leaves are great, structurally, in a garden; front of the border. They are a ‘solid-looking’ plant, with real grounding. Then, the blooms are SO abundant and last for so long, that Sedums give real value to any border.

I love how the tone of Sedum Autumn Joy subtly changes from a pale pinky colour on first emergence, through to a vibrant orangey/red and fading to rusty copper.

Eupatorium Chocolate

It is the LEAVES of this fantastic plant that are so striking, and useful in any border. The dark chocolately/brown tones blend beautifully with the pinks and russets of the Sedum and Echinacea. It sends out an abundance of white flowers, as an added bonus, but really, it is the foliage foil effect that I like to use with this tall, back-of-border plant.

Anemone X Hybrid ‘Honerine Jobert’

This is such a cheerful plant! How could you fail to smile at those nodding white daisy-flowers with the bright yellow stamens? It blends beautifully with almost any other plant, I have found, so it rarely looks out of place.

The wirey stems and pretty flowers nod in the wind, and even when the petals fall, you are left with a lovely little ‘button’ on the stems. Very, very useful as it tolerates shade too!

Melianthus major

This is such a fantastically beautiful foliage plant, The silvery-green leaves are very pretty with their serrated edges and it arches up into your border, in such a graceful way. Added bonus – the quite exotic-looking flower plumes that appear late in the season, and always attract attention!

Hydrangea paniculata ‘Limelight’

There should always be room in a garden for a white hydrangea. Quite grand and statuesque in nature, I always think they give an air of grandeur and formality!

Although, perhaps the more cottagey look of this particular variety is slightly less formal. The blooms are more pointy than a regular hydrangea head – often referred to as the ‘Panicle hydrangea’, and

turn exquisite shades from light green through to creamy white and tinged with pink into the autumn months.



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!

    4 replies to "Planting Combinations – Appealing in August"

    • Roger Shuttleworth

      Wow, I have four of these five already in place! Thanks for the confirmation.
      As a minor point, I think it would help if you added up-to-date nomenclature for the sedum and the eupatorium, since these new names are coming into more frequent use and could cause confusion. Perhaps a “hybrid” designation such as “Sedum (Hyelotelephium) spectabile”? (What a mouthful!)

      • Rachel Mathews

        Thanks, Roger, yes you are absolutely right, I should do that – I can’t stand the new name but that’s no excuse! ;o)

    • Catherine McRae

      I live in zone 9 north Florida. What are some suggestions for over the rail baskets? The ones I have are small.
      Have you looked into Landscape in a box? It is wonderful but it was created for South Florida. They have many types of gardens to choose. And I’m each box are flowers that combine together. It is awesome.

      • Rachel Mathews

        Hi Catherine, I’ve not come across landscape in a box – sounds great. I always like to put plants that are long lived so things like a trailing rosemary or things that will spill over the edges like lavenders. But if you like annuals do you grow things like Petunias? They always have a nice splash of colour.

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