It’s that time of year when we’re making the most of our gardens as the evenings are drawing in, cooler days reminding us that autumn is just around the corner. Late summer colour allows us to cling onto the last remnants of summer with plants that also attract insects and pollinators to keep your garden buzzing with life. Marks Hall Estate Senior Horticulturist Sara Boyles gives her top five recommendations for late summer pollinators…

1. Caryopteris x clandonensis ‘Heavenly Blue’

These deciduous shrubs have small dark blue flowers, which appear in clusters in late summer and early autumn, and attract a whole array of buzzing pollinators. Caryopteris  x clandonensis ‘Heavenly Blue’ can grow up to 1m tall and has arching branches bearing toothed, grey-green leaves. ‘Heavenly Blue’ thrives well in well-drained soil in full sun and grows best positioned near a sunny wall.

2. Hylotelephium (syn. Sedum) ‘Ruby Glow’

‘Ruby Glow’ is an herbaceous perennial which forms a low clump of deep red stems. These stems can reach 25cm in height and have elliptic, purple and green leaves. ‘Ruby Glow’ produces clusters of starry crimson flowers and Bees, butterflies and other pollinators are attracted by the gorgeous colour they display. This drought-tolerant pant likes a moderately fertile, well-drained soil in full sun.

3. Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’

Certainly, a queen in our Walled Garden, ‘Lemon Queen’ is a strong-growing perennial and can get up to 2m tall. Its foliage is dark green which the 5cm wide yellow flowers contrast beautifully against. ‘Lemon Queen’ likes to grow in well-drained soil in full sun. To flower well, a long hot summer is needed.

4. Helenium ‘Kupferzwerg’

This variety of Helenium is a long-flowering elite. Its flowers are bright reddish brown with yellow centres which attract bees and butterflies with their luminous colour from July to September each year. Helenium ‘Kupferzwerg’ can grow up to 80cm tall and prefer a sunny location.

5. Arbutus unedo

Arbutus unedo, also known as strawberry tree, is a large evergreen shrub which has rough brown bark and dark green leathery leaves. The flowers are urn-shaped and white, appearing as the strawberry-like red fruits. Each year they attract butterflies and other buzzing pollinators to our Walled Garden.