Autumn Perennials - Rosie Hardy

Rosie Hardy is no stranger to YDGS and once again this hardy and colourful perennial gave members a ‘blooming marvellous’ presentation without recourse to a projector and screen. Instead she set up a fine display of plants that virtually spoke for themselves, punctuated with lots of advice about where best to plant, nurture and propagate to ensure success and produce offspring.

Having been awarded yet another gold medal for her display at Chelsea Flower Show Rosie displayed her depth of knowledge and passion for plants during the course of the evening by introducing members to a wide range of plants that would provide colour in the herbaceous borders well into the autumn. From the traditional Michaelmas daisy, formerly a member of the aster family, but now assigned to a new genus Symphyotrichum, to lesser known plants such as Peroskia ‘Blue Spire’ members were shown many suitable plants to bring colour to the garden as the days shorten. The towering Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’ with its yellow flowers is ideally suited to a well drained spot at the back of the border and can attain a height of 5-6 feet, which could be reduced to 4 if subjected to the ‘Chelsea chop’.

Other plants described included Actaea ‘Pink Spike’ requiring damp conditions but which dislikes being disturbed, the Japanese anemone, well suited to a shady place and propagated from root cuttings, Penstemon ‘Red Ruby’ from which cuttings can be taken from Spring to mid-August, Crocosmia ‘Emily Mackenzie’ with an orange flower that should be pot grown and must be kept dry on its side over the winter.

With so much information and inspiration imparted to the members it was hardly surprising that many could not resist purchasing some of the plants described at the end of the evening, so gardens in and around Yateley should be looking much more colourful as the year comes to an end.

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