While we love the deep hues of autumn there are still some plants that are summer like in their colour during the later autumn months. One such plant is the Hesperantha. A pretty lily like plant, it is a perennial and will last well into late autumn flowering until the beginning of December. Its common name is ‘River Lily’ and the name Hesperantha is derived from the Greek meaning ‘Evening Flower’. It is a cormous flowering perennial, belonging to the Iris family and sports clusters of pink tinged white starry lily like blooms. It creates quite a picture among the dying perennials of summer.
Another colourful autumn bulb plant is the vibrant pink flowering Nerine bowdenni with its rather dramatic pink spirals. It is a South African bulb so likes the sun and is best planted in a sunny aspect. If the summer is hot and sunny you will get a great show and if not so good they may not even flower. Similar to agapanthus in nature they dislike intensely being moved. So ensure you choose a spot where you can leave them to flower happily alone.
Although not strictly an autumn flowering plant the family of Argyranthemum or marguerites have a very long flowering season. They will flower from May until the end of November. While only half hardy they will survive a mild winter outside and will flower again the following summer. You may noticed though that the stems do tend to become rather woody. The Marguerite ‘Cornish Gold’ has pretty lemon daisy flowers and really brightens the late autumn borders. They may even survive a few frosts!