Hartley Magazine

All the latest news, hints, tips and advice from our experts

Crocosmia ‘can be partnered with agastache and euphorbia’

As summer has comfortably given way to fall, the nature of a gardening enthusiast's tasks will have changed focus slightly.

Indeed, plants will require different levels of care depending on what stage of development they are at – and this is particularly relevant to anything that needs to be overwintered.

However, this does not mean the gardener is unable to have some fun and add a spot of beauty to their green space.

In an article for the UK national newspaper the Daily Telegraph, award-winning garden writer, photographer and lecturer Val Bourne made some suggestions for how to introduce some show-stopping color to a garden as the nights are drawing in.

She recommended partnering crocosmia with agastache and euphorbia for this to be effective.

While fall is typically associated with burnished golds, coppery browns and brash yellows, these plants will add a dramatic and vibrant flourish of red, pink and purple.

This is perfect, as too much brown can make a garden look very drab – and will hardly lift the mood in darker conditions.

Crocosmia is a small genus of flowering plant from the Iridaceae family of irises – and it is native to the grasslands of the Cape Floristic Region in South Africa.

Their flowers are fixed in one place and organised around a flexuose arched spike – and the branches are forked.

Ms Bourne praised them for their star-shaped leaves, which she noted will be very attractive in an area that requires strong definition – such as a border. She added that they can look particularly good in sunny colors – and this could be worth bearing in mind when shopping for alternate varieties.

"The most famous of all [these] is Norfolk plantsman Alan Bloom’s Lucifer, released in 1966," the expert commented, adding: "It became Blooms of Bressingham's most famous plant and its clear red July flowers and bright-green pleated foliage were a catalyst that renewed interest in crocosmias."

Agastache is a kind of aromatic flowering herbaceous perennial plant that comes from the US – so greenhouse growers should not find that it is an issue to obtain this one.

"Some are dubiously hardy," Ms Bourne remarked, adding: "Blackadder, one of the finest new plants to emerge in recent years, has survived for me in my cold Cotswold garden through savage winters, regularly reaching at least a metre (three ft) tall and flowering from July until late September."

Conversely, euphorbia is more common to areas in Africa – but it grows very well in most temperate zones.