Sometimes we get carried away with the excitement of imagining our summer gardens. All winter long, we look forward to explosions of colour, beautiful blooms, and the delicious scents that we know come with a summer garden. Then, Spring springs in with a hop and a skip and before we know it, we’re battling weeds, mowing the lawn, and trying to stop our courgettes from going over to the dark side.

Gardening for late summer is all about keeping the momentum going so that you get more from your garden when you need it most.

What can you get started with now so that you can stretch the growing season and stave off the pangs of winter misery for as long as you possibly can?

There are plenty of plants and shrubs that flower late into August, right through September, and sometimes, on into October as well. Crocosmia, Japanese Anemone, and Penstemons can all be relied upon to produce beautiful blooms late into the season and beyond. In addition, these guys are all pretty tall growers so they have the added ability to provide a bit of height if your summer bloomers are all looking a little past their best.

Any late summer, Autumn or winter garden relies more on shape than colour. Ornamental grasses and architectural shrubs can really help maintain interest long after the best of the summer has left.

There are plenty of veggies that can be planted (and even some you can sow) around about now so you can keep growing your own right the way through the winter. It’s best to get these types into the ground in July so you can pull in a decent autumn harvest. If you want a spring harvest, you can plant them out later still. Go for carrots, parsnips, and cabbage for an Autumn pick. If you’ve left it a little late, quicker growing varieties are spinach and broccoli - but get cracking!

Late summer gardening tips
There are always a ton of jobs you could do in the garden. Late summer however, is the best time to focus on four very important jobs so your garden can keep looking great for as long as possible.

Now is the time to make sure you keep on top of your watering (yes, yes, we know it’s been a tremendously wet summer!) to ensure everything has as much water as it needs. To keep your blooms in tip top shape, make sure you keep dead-heading any spent flowers so the plant can focus its efforts elsewhere. Divide any spring flowering plants like Irises to both propagate and encourage growth (more on this in further installments!). Finally, keep up the twice-weekly mowing until the end of August when you should start to see your lawn slipping back down a gear or two. Continue with weekly mowing into Autumn until you see that your grass has stopped growing.

There’s plenty for you to get on with so you can enjoy your late summer garden for as long as possible!