As summer progresses some containers will lose momentum by late July and August, particularly if they haven’t been fed and watered religiously.
But horticulturist Christine Walkden, a regular on TV and radio, reckons there’s still plenty of scope for enjoying colour throughout late summer and beyond.
The key to longevity is continuous deadheading, watering and feeding, she insists, and if your bedding lobelia and bacopa is looking a bit straggly, give it a trim with scissors and a good feed and it should perk up again.
If, however, some of your pots look like they’re not going to recover, particularly if they have dried out, it may be time to visit the garden centre to replenish those specimens with some healthier ones, which you might even be able to buy in the sale.
“We are past the summer equinox, so we’re less than 12 weeks away before the clocks go back, but how long our late summer blooms last largely depends on what the weather does,” she says.
“But you can buy late-flowering chrysanthemums - you can get dwarf bedding ones - and some garden centres still have dahlias which have some way to go.
August is a funny month for in-between plants.”
If you want bright, strong colours, try Dahlia ‘Roxy’, a deep magenta-pink, and ‘Bishop of Oxford’ a beautiful deep marmalade-orange.
Alternatively, replace one with the crimson-black-flowered and gorgeous ‘Bishop of Auckland’, although be aware that this will need supporting with twiggy hazel but is still suitable for pots.