Between showers, thunderstorms (and going to work), it’s been a busy week in the garden – lots to cut back, deadhead or dig out! There’s a distinctly Autumnal feel creeping in that’s not yet welcome – I’m hoping for some warmer sunnier days during the next couple of weeks. So to remind myself that it is still summer, my six this week are colourful flowers and there’s plenty of life in them yet!

Tithonia rotundiflora ‘Torch’ or mexican sunflower is an annual in this country, and it’s very easily grown from seed. This vibrantly orange flowering plant grows to five feet tall – a hard worker for the back of a hot colour border.

I really love heleniums, this reliable two footer is ‘Waltraut’ – as you can see flowers range through the yellow/orange/red spectrum and it keeps on going for weeks on end.

Helenium ‘Red Shades’ is a little taller, but the flowers are much smaller and prettier. I’ve planted it this summer, hopefully it’ll be as successful as ‘Waltraut’.

Rosa ‘Summer Song’ is a David Austin English rose, it’s a real beauty, growing 4ft tall by 4ft spread. This is its second year in our garden – it’s a little leggy at the moment and I’m having to support the stems as it flowers for it’s become top heavy. It’s worth the effort though, not only are the roses perfect, it has a lovely strong fragrance.

I planted 5 bulbs of Lilium ‘Black Beauty’ in the hot colour border over ten years ago – and they make an appearance ever year. They’re no longer quite the right colour for the hot border, so this Autumn I’m going to move them to the jewel border (which needs a lot of work, it’s looking rather sad!). Hopefully the move won’t harm them.

Finally, a Japanese anemone – ‘Pamina’. This one is a highlight amongst the white and pale pink varieties I’ve got growing in the pastel border. I’d highly recommend planting any of the Japanese anemones – they are versatile and I find they grow anywhere – sun, shade or partial shade (although they are supposed to be a shade loving plant).

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