You may remember from my last posting (Wild Senna) how I replanted a border for our Open Garden in mid August. For October, I am going to feature another perennial I added this spring. Not only was it carrying a few flowers six weeks ago, but it’s been getting better and better since then.
If I mentioned helianthus, you would probably think of the annual sunflowers, so often used to get children interested in growing things. But there are also some perennial members of the family; sadly several of them have roots that roam aggressively in all directions, ideal if you have ten acres to spare but not so helpful in the smaller garden. But helianthus ‘Capenoch Star’ is better behaved.
Mac Plants in Scotland, who supplied my plant, call it ‘robust’ on their website, while the RHS have given it an Award of Garden Merit, a signal that it is a good, reliable plant. Like the wild senna, this is a back row plant, reaching five feet, with “bright, lemon yellow flowers with darker centres.” For best results, it likes a fertile, humus-rich soil in full sun although it will take drier conditions and will put up with a little shade as well. Added to this, insects love it too. Certainly a new star is born.