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Crocosmias, commonly called Montbretia, are corms which form dense clumps of upright sword-shaped foliage. In mid-summer this makes a good background for the sprays of bright, usually orange flowers,carried in branched spikes. It is ideal for growing in swathes through the herbaceous border and the flowers are excellent for cutting. In very cold areas, the plants need a sheltered site and the bulbs should be lifted and stored over winter. The compact variety Crocosmia ‘Emily McKenzie’ flowers in late summer, its large, bright, slightly burnt orange flowers having a mahogany throat. The sword like foliage in this variety is olive green. 50cm tall.
For the purposes of definition, late summer flowering perennials may be described as plants that reliably produce flowers or that have as their main feature of interest (an architectural silhouette, or attractive seed heads for instance) which can positively contribute to the garden after midsummer's day on a year in year out basis.
There is little doubt that the climate is changing,for whatever reason, and that seasons are not as distinct. In Britain the autumn season is lengthening and often there is relatively frost free weather up until December. The majority of gardens in Britain look at their finest in the spring and early summer, leaving many gardens looking relatively lacklustre after June has passed. The use of these late summer flowering perennials in the garden should renew inspiration in the months of the year when the shadows are lengthening.