High summer is when tall perennials and soft wafty grasses are really coming into their own. They add lovely texture, naturalism and movement to a container display – ideal if you want a prairie feel near the house or have no space for this look in your borders.
Tall grasses such as miscanthus with their arching habit look fantastic as a tall focal point in pots. Calamagrostis ‘Karl Foerster’ or C. ‘Overdam’ with its upright form and feathery plumes also add height. Pennisetum varieties with their fluffy flowers such as P. ‘Hameln’ catch the light beautifully.
Tall perennials in cool whites, purples and pale yellows that would work well with grasses include verbena, fennel and delicate blousy gaura.
Container planting is also a great way to play with brighter, bolder colours such as rudbeckia, Helenium ‘Moerheim Beauty’ and coreopsis to add a splash of yellow or orange. Echinacea such as pink E.‘Magnus’ with their sturdy stems and bold daisy-shaped flowers would look great and salvias stand up well to heat and come in a huge range of colours from dark purple to bright pink.
In shadier spots you could get the same soft effect with astrantia, Thalictrum delavayi ‘Splendide White’ and persicaria along with grasses that cope better with shade such as anemanthele, deschampsia or Hakonechloa macra.
Add some plants to spill over the edge such as sedum, Erigeron karvanskianus, Geranium ‘Rozanne’, osteospermum, petunia and my current favourite trailer, Convolvulus mauritanicus. Use compost with good drainage and remember to keep the container well-watered.