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Late Summer

Hibiscus moscheutos ‘Splash Pinot Grigio’ (Rose mallow, Dwarf Vintage hibiscus); This hardy hibiscus from Blooms of Bressingham has white flower petals edged with pink and a pink centre ring.  The Vintage series are known for their compact growth 3-4′ with all the punch of the dinner-plate sized blooms we look forward to at this time of year.

Phlox paniculata ‘Robert Poore’ (Summer Phlox) Perennial Border; This show stopper has fragrant violet-pink flowers above 3-4′ stems which seldom require staking.  Robert Poore is a particularly long-flowering cultivar from August through September.  It’s not drought tolerant and prefers a cool root zone so we’ve planted densely around it.

Hibiscus ‘Kopper King’ (Hardy hibiscus, Swamp rose mallow) Perennial Border; Although flowers only last a day, these herbaceous somewhat shrubby perennials are a must-have in the late summer border.  Kopper King has copper-red foliage and huge pinkish-white flowers with red veining & a red eye.  All perennial hibiscus prefer organically rich soil for optimim flower size and stand-up stems.

Molinia caerulea ssp. caerulea ‘Variegata’ (Variegated moor grass) Westview Terrace; This selection has green foliage striped with creamy white-yellow.  Arching stems bear yellow flowers which last well into winter complimented by golden-yellow fall colour.  Although drought tolerant, molinias prefer a moist position.  Divisions are best done in spring.

Platycodon grandiflorus blue (Balloon flower) Garden Hall Courtyard; Ballon flower takes it’s name for the inflated flower buds which then open into star-shaped flowers.  An excellent addition to the cutting garden, these long-lived perennials are very late to break in spring and resist relocating once established.

Origanum laevigatum ‘Herrenhausen’ (Ornamental oregano) Entry Garden; A woody-based subshrub with excellent heat & drought tolerance, this cultivar dies to the ground in cold winters but has proven to be reliably hardy in the Toronto area.  The green foliage deepens in colour as the summer progresses and is best in cooler climates turning purple.

Pennisetum alopecuroides ‘Cassian’ (Fountain grass) Entry Garden; This hardy selection is a true clumper with arching green leaves and bottlebrush-type flowers great for flower arranging.  It turns golden in fall with touches of red.  It should be cut back in spring and divided then as necessary – the above pictured plant is surely due!

Pennisetum alopecuroides ‘Cassian’ with Bee

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