Kirsty McLean has created hundreds of garden designs, for clients all over the North-east of Scotland and many community gardens in her work with Beechgrove Garden as guest designer since 2001.
This has been an unusually kind summer for the Aberdeenshire gardener. Long sunny days brought out a wealth of colour in the borders and it’s easy to think that it’s all down hill from here.
I was reminded that this couldn’t be further from the truth when a friend produced a bouquet of blooms that grow well here at this time of year. Better yet, you don’t need stately home sized flowerbeds to grow any of these plants.
If you have a sheltered sunny spot, try Hydrangea macrophylla or paniculata which also tolerate partial shade. Lilies (Lilium) appreciate full sun and moist conditions and do well in pots.
The blue monkshood (Aconitum Napellus) is spectacular and does well in full sun or partial shade. Ferns such as Polystichum Munitum love shady, moist conditions and can rescue a dank corner.
For wonderful evening scent, plant Jasmine (Jasminum officinale) and Roses. Deadheading will prolong the flowering period of both and there are hundreds of wonderful roses to choose from, including those cultivated locally at James Cocker and Sons. These can be set off by the hazy blue-green glauca colour of the eucalyptus tree. This grows quickly, so careful positioning is required.
Personally, I love country cottage style bouquets, made up of Rosa ‘Albertine’, Buddleja davidii , Spirea ‘gold flame’, sea holly (Eryngium Oliverianum), lavender (my preference is Lavandula angustifolia ‘Munstead’), hardy geraniums such as endressii, ‘Wargrave Pink’ and blue catmint spikes (Nepeta Six Hills Giant). Perfect in a white china or enamel jug.
When autumn begins, choose Michaelmas daisies (Asters), Verbena bonariensis, roses, Lavatera, phlox and Anemone huphensis, for flowers right up to the first frosts and stock up on spring flowering bulbs to plant now for a splash of colour next year.
Start the process of putting the garden to bed for the winter, pruning the fading stems of perennials and clipping hedges whilst enjoying the last of the season’s flowers and the remaining days of heat in the sun.