As summer draws to a close, it is important that there are still flowers around for late foraging bees and other pollinators, some blooms you may have seen in August will continue flowering into September.
Wildflowers to look out for include the mauve pincushions of Field Scabious (Knautia arvensis). Did you know: ‘mauve’ is the French word for ‘mallow’ of which the striped pink Common Mallow (Malva sylvestris) and paler sweet scented Musk Mallow (Malva moschata) are blooming now too.
The scrambling purple Tufted Vetch (Vicia cracca) and erect stems of Common Knapweed (Centaurea nigra), bright yellow Hypericums, commonly known as St. John’s Wort and the repeat flowering Birdsfoot Trefoil (Lotus corniculatus), white Dead-nettle (Lamium album), blue Chicory (Cichorium intybus) and Cornflower (Centaurea cyanus) are all still providing pollen and nectar for insects.
September also brings the starry lilac flowers of Michaelmas Daisy and the yellow button-heads of Tansy, both belonging of the Aster family, these will provide colour through the month and even into October if the weather stays mild and feed any late flying bumblebees.
Pink and white heather flowers, Cross-leaved heath (Erica tetralix) and Ling (Calluna vulgaris) carpet habitats such as heaths and moorlands and plants can also be popped into window boxes and beds to provide floral cheer for us and the bees as we head into autumn.
Another oft maligned wildflower blooming from late September right through to November is Ivy, this is a fantastic forage source for bees, butterflies and moths when other flowers are scarce and makes a fabulous green wall.
Toadflax (Linaria vulgaris), Ragwort (Senecio jacobaea), Wild Carrot (Daucus carota), Corn Marigold (Glebionis segetum), Purple Loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria), Red Clover (Trifolium pratense), White clover (Trifolium repens), Yarrow (Achillea millefolium), Corn Chamomile (Anthemis austriaca), Evening Primrose (Oenothera biennis), Borage (Borago officinalis), Meadow Cranesbill (Geranium pratense) and Wild Clary (Salvia verbenaca) can often still be flowering too.
September is a fabulous time to sow wildflower seeds, many including Poppy (Papaver rhoeas), Cowslip (Primula veris) and Yellow Rattle (Rhinanthus minor) for example, require a cold spell to germinate and scattering in autumn replicates the conditions the seeds would naturally encounter growing in the wild.
Wildflowers to sow in September:
Any of our wildflower mixes or single species seed balls can be scattered from the end of August until the first frosts.