PUBLISHED: 12:00 14 September 2015
Plant specialist Keith Clouting, from Taverham Nursery Centre, brings you his guide to getting the best out of your garden.
A group of perennials I particularly enjoy at this time of year are rudbeckias. With clumps of their bright golden yellow, daisy-like flowers dotted throughout the border, they really shine in the late summer garden. There are many good varieties growing from about 45cm to 200cm tall, one of the most popular is R. fulgida var. sullivantii Goldsturm. This reliable perennial produces its golden yellow flowers over a long period and, at about 60cm tall, it’s compact enough not to require staking. Another good variety is R. fulgida Dreamii which has a slightly more open habit than Goldsturm, with tough, hairy stems and leaves which seem to make it more slug and snail resistant (it also tolerates drier conditions better than most other rudbeckias). A stately, tall growing variety is R. laciniata Herbstonne, a vigorous plant with strong branching stems to around 200cm, topped by large yellow flowers with a green central cone which turn brown with age.
Rudbeckias flower best in full sun but will tolerate partial shade. Although they are not overly fussy about soil types, they grow best in moderately fertile, well-drained soil which retains some moisture in summer.