August is a great month in the garden, with many flowers, including dahlias, sunflowers and other hot-coloured blooms at their peak. That means there’s ample pickings for the house, from your borders or a dedicated cutting patch.
Discover cut flowers for every season.
Here are 10 wonderful flowers to pick in August.
Sunflowers aren’t just yellow – they range in colour from deep russet to pale lemon. Some, such as ‘American Giant’, grow very tall and have huge flowers; others, such as ‘Choco Sun’, are more dwarf. Sow seeds in May.
Sunflowers in sunshine
Alstroemeria, or Peruvian lilies, are showy perennials that look great in a sheltered, sunny border. They also make excellent, long-lasting cut flowers. The sap can be an irritant so wear gloves when cutting.
Brown-speckled amber and pink flowers of Peruvian lily Alstroemeria ‘Cahors’
Dahlias are a must for the summer border and make excellent, dramatic cut flowers. They come in a huge array of colours and shapes, including cactus types like ‘Rev P Holian’, pictured.
Spiky crimson blooms of Dahlia ‘Rev P Holian’
Garden pinks are traditional cottage garden plants. Short-lived perennials, they are perfect for growing at the front of borders and in containers. Many varieties have a clove scent and they make excellent cut flowers. Deadhead to prolong flowering.
Silvery foliage and pale pink flowers of Dianthus (Allwoodii Group) ‘Doris’
Zinnias are colourful, easy to grow annuals that combine beautifully with other ‘hot’ coloured plants such as dahlias, in borders and in pots. They also do really well in a vase.
Bright red flowers of Zinnia elegans ‘Scarlet Flame’
Tithonia or Mexican sunflowers are half-hardy annuals that are sown in spring for a glorious summer show. They love a sunny, well drained spot. They are very attractive to pollinators.
Bright orange Mexican sunflowers
Love-in-a-mist, or Nigella damascena, is a cottage garden favourite that self-seeds readily around the garden. Both the flowers and foliage are useful in flower arranging and its seedheads work well in dried flower arrangements.
Pale blue flowers and frothy foliage of love-in-a-mist, Nigella damascena
Asiatic lilies such as ‘Orange Pixie’, shown here, make great garden plants, in pots or borders – but they also make fabulous and long-lasting cut flowers. Be aware that all parts of the plant are toxic to cats, so they’re best avoided if you’re a cat owner.
Light-orange blooms of Lilium ‘Orange Pixie’
Cosmos are easy to grow from seed and work well in borders and pots. They are incredibly long-flowering, often until the the first frosts, and make brilliant cut flowers. Deadhead to keep the flowers coming. Discover 10 colourful cosmos to grow.
White flowers of Cosmos bipinnatus
Globe thistle, or echinops, has spiky leaves and bristly blue flowers and makes a good architectural choice for the back of a border. It is very attractive to pollinators and makes an unusual cut flower.
Spiky, blue flowers of globe thistle Echinops rito