Dahlia 'American Dawn', blooms year after year, with a little protection

Our favourite August plants

Discover plants that are looking glorious this month, chosen by the Gardeners' World team and our friends in the gardening world.

A table displaying which months are best to sow, plant and harvest.
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
At its best
At its best

Plant is not at its best in January

Plant is not at its best in February

Plant is not at its best in March

Plant is not at its best in April

Plant is not at its best in May

Plant is not at its best in June

Plant is not at its best in July

Plant is at its best in August

Plant is not at its best in September

Plant is not at its best in October

Plant is not at its best in November

Plant is not at its best in December

Our gardens can look a little dried-up and brown around the edges in August, but there are a host of gorgeous plants that look their best right now. Here, we share the loveliest plants that are guaranteed to brighten up your garden this month. There’s something to suit every space, including show-stopping blooms and unusual delights. Our choices include recommendations from the Gardeners’ World team and across the gardening industry.

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Cleome hassleriana ‘Violet Queen’

Known as spider flower, Cleome hassleriana ‘Violet Queen’ is a strongly scented half-hardy annual

Chosen by Arit Anderson, Gardeners’ World presenter

Such a fabulous addition to any border, for colour, height and a slightly exotic feel. I remember, growing cleome for the first time in a new garden, and it flowering away while I waited for the perennials to appear. It may be an annual but it nestles in as if it’s been with you for years!


Rubus x loganobaccus

Loganberries fruit in July and August and are self-fertile, so you only need one plant to get fruit. Photo: Getty

Chosen by Frances Tophill, Gardeners’ World presenter

The prolific climber grows vigorously but doesn’t outgrow its space or layer like its parent, the blackberry. It’s lineage (a cross between a blackberry and raspberry) gives the perfect balance of sweet and sharp, making loganberries delicious for eating fresh or preserving.


Berkheya purpurea

Berkheya purpurea is a hardy perennial and grows to around 60cm tall. Photo: Getty

Chosen by Errol Reuben Fernandes, The Great Garden Revolution presenter

From late June through to September, a mass of large, lilac blooms rise above the soft yet spiky, silvery foliage. Fantastic for pollinators, this drought-tolerant plant is best grown on poor, free-draining soil in full sun. I love to combine berkheya with ornamental grasses for a sultry, low maintenance display.


Hydrangea ‘Annabelle’

The showy flowerheads of Hydrangea ‘Annabelle’ can be up to 30cm wide

Chosen by James Alexander-Sinclair, BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine columnist

I know it is a bit clichéd and I know it is a bit safe, but there are times when only a Hydrangea will do the trick. Hydrangea ‘Annabelle’ is big, blousy, bountiful, brassy, bonny and buxom. Just make sure you give it enough water – if your head was that big then you would need a drink too!


Musa basjoo

With a little winter protection Musa basjoo can bring an exotic feel to your garden. Photo Getty

Chosen by Toby Buckland, director of Toby’s Garden Festival

August is all about my Japanese banana Musa basjoo. In the summer heat, the paddle-shaped leaves are huge and double as compostable plates for BBQs. In a good year, bunches of interesting, if inedible, fruits appear. Food for the eye if not the fruit bowl.

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Rudbeckia subtomentosa ‘Henry Eilers’

Rudbeckia subtomentosa ‘Henry Eilers’ is a perennial coneflower that grows to around 120cm tall

Chosen by Cel Robertson, founder of Forever Green Flower Company

Rudbeckia subtomentosa ‘Henry Eilers’ is a statuesque plant for the August border, as well as a great cut flower with long vase life. I love the quilled yellow petals – the flowers look delicate but they are surprisingly robust!


Sanguisorba hakusanensis ‘Lilac Squirrel’

Sanguisorba ‘Lilac Squirrel’ is a hardy perennial and grows to around 100cm tall

Chosen by Michael Perry, presenter and plant lover

The height of summer in my garden is characterised by these saucy pink tassels. Early summer brings clumps of exotic, blue-tinged foliage, a showpiece in itself. As the flowering stems arch above the foliage, nothing can prepare you for what happens next! The most amusing frothy pink, tasselled flowers – they are absolutely fabulous, and oh so camp!


Penstemon ‘Pensham Just Jayne’

Penstemon ‘Pensham Just Jayne’ grows to around 90cm tall and flowers for months, year after year

Chosen by Catherine Mansley, GardenersWorld.com deputy editor

Penstemons are my go-to when I want a plant that will flower non-stop for months, right through summer and autumn. They’re loved by bees and don’t even seem to be troubled by slugs. And Penstemon ‘Pensham Just Jayne’ is a fantastically vivid shade of cerise, I grow it next to a deep purple salvia called ‘Nachtvlinder’.


Dahlia ‘Bishop of Dover’

Dahlia ‘Bishop of Dover’ makes a wonderful cut flower and grows to around 70cm tall

Chosen by Adam Duxbury, BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine features editor

As we enter dahlia season with gusto, the bishop cultivars bring style and substance to the garden and this one, with it’s mauve-striped, white petals, is just perfect.


Zinnia elegans ‘Early Wonder’

Zinnia Early Wonder chosen by Lily Middleton

Chosen by Lily Middleton, GardenersWorld.com content producer

I grew zinnia from seed for the first time last year, and absolutely loved the intricate and vibrant flowers, which really made a statement in my small space. There are some beautiful varieties to grow, in a range of irresistibly bright colours, and Zinnia ‘Early Wonder’ is a sumptuous mix.


Thymus pulegioides

Broad-leaved thyme has great flavour and the pretty flowers are loved by bees

Chosen by Lucy Felton, BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine content coordinator

Nothing makes me smile more than small pots of flowering thyme on the garden table, nestled around a candle during outdoor suppers. Simple, fragrant and you can snip a handful for BBQ marinades or to dress a G&T. Broad-leaved thyme (Thymus pulegioides) and lemon variegated thyme are my favourites.

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