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Bracknell prairie - July and August


By AndrewR


This is the third in a series of blogs about the prairie planting in my front garden. This one covers the summer
months of July and August.

In the previous blog, we left the garden at the end of June

By the middle of July, more and more colour is appearing. Monarda ‘Gardenview Scarlet’ is making a huge splash of red, with achillea ‘Terracotta’ behind it. A few pink dots of dianthus carthusianorum can be glimpsed (this has been flowering non-stop for several weeks), also two patches of the deep red knautia macedonica ‘Mars Midget’ (which I am deadheading to keep it flowering). Solidago ‘Goldenmosa’ is not quite in flower yet but is showing colour, while the pink phlox amplifolia ‘Augenstern’ nestles among some gladiolus ‘Purple Mate’. The phlox has slightly smaller flowers and bigger leaves than the more common phlox paniculata cultivars, but it is more tolerant of sun and dry conditions without getting mildew. Spikes of salvia nemorosa, veronica, and veronicastrum are also visible

At the beginning of August, the phlox, solidago ‘Goldenmosa’ and knautia are still going strong, and spikes of veronicastrum and verbascums can be glimpsed. The flowers of the achillea and monarda are beginning to fade but will provide structure long after they have finished. Geranium ‘Rozanne’, left over from the previous planting in the bed, is much happier now than it was before, while lobelia ‘Tania’ on the extreme right of the shot gives a purple punch. The panicum grasses are just beginning to flower now, although I may need to add some more to bulk them up

The middle of August. The phlox and solidago are beginning to fade although the grasses are carrying the border now. I might add a couple of crocosmia varieties to give a new punch of colour

Now we’re at the end of August and the grasses are flowering – two different forms of panicum virgatum, sporobolus heterolepis, and pennisteum alopeculoides ‘Hameln’. The knautia is still going strong, while salvia nemorosa ‘Caradonna’ took a break but has now started again. The first aster flowers have opened – there are several of these on the far side of the bed that will keep the colour going into October. The tall solidago rugosa will soon be adding to the display. This has proved not to be self supporting – maybe packing more grasses around it might help to keep it upright?

Autumn is when this style of planting should help prolong the season of interest, so there will be another blog in three months’ time

More blog posts by AndrewR

Previous post: Gardens of Dumfries and Galloway

Next post: Best for bees



It all looks so attractive and is very pleasing to the eye. I have enjoyed looking at these lovely photos and HOPE they will be still here tomorrow.

31 Aug, 2019


Me too Wildrose. It took me AGES to put together my last blog (Gardens of Dumfries and Galloway), and within a few days all the photos had disappeared :-(

31 Aug, 2019


Looking lovely, just goes to show how things change, without you noticing. Lovely idea to have the photo's a few weeks apart. Amazing the difference.

1 Sep, 2019


this is looking very good Andrew. Some lovely planting combos. due you find your Monarda less prone to mildew than Cambridge Scarlet? Having said that it seems mildew free this year.
I have plenty of Cambridge Scarlet if you'd like some.
The Corydalis you sent me are all doing well. I re-potted them up yesterday and all have nice corms. I cant wait for them to flower next spring.

1 Sep, 2019


Sbg - Gardenview Scarlet is reported to have "better resistance to mildew than most" and so far, it hasn't been a problem

1 Sep, 2019


Hi Andrew it's lovely, really like the monarda I was tempted with that one earlier in the season, still on the list. I have aster violetta after seeing your pic a few years ago but it doesn't seem to want to stay upright even when staked, I split it this year and it's the same, any tips?

2 Sep, 2019


Daylily - I find asters are more inclined to fall over if they are growing too strongly. I don't give mine any feed which helps them to stay upright, but I still give the taller ones some discreet support

2 Sep, 2019


Andrew I am really enjoying watching your prairie garden over the weeks, it has filled out so very quickly, you must have some good growing mix in that bed, thankyou for sharing your progress...

2 Sep, 2019


LL - the bed did get a good feed this year before any planting started (with concentrated chicken manure). But I do not intend to repeat that every year as I do not want everything growing too lush and falling over

2 Sep, 2019


Very professional looking bed Andrew, mine are looking awful:-(

5 Sep, 2019


Your previous blogs and photogaphy are so enjoyable to look at in this miserable January 2020 weather.

16 Jan, 2020

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