Nature treats us to a splendid display of vivid colors in autumn. Leaves on our trees and shrubs signal the coming winter by turning shades of red, orange, yellow and brown. Although your gardening season is winding down it is far from over. Extend the flowering season throughout September and into October by planting and decorating with flowering plants that can brighten your yard and gardens until the first hard frost and beyond.
Of course, the most vivid fall flowering colors are provided by chrysanthemums. Most mums purchased in bloom in the late summer or early fall are not winter hardy in our zone 5. They are intended to provide splashes of intense fall color that can last well into November and and then can be recycled on the compost pile. The Growing Place, in addition to annual mums, also offers a wide range of perennial mums, which if planted in the ground in late summer or spring will come back year after year. These perennial mums were bred to be hardy in northern climates. Ask our expert perennial sales staff to help you select hardy mums that will provide you with fall color for years to come.
As a complement to mums there are many other choices, both annual and perennial, that will provide you with extended fall color starting this time of year, after your summer annuals have begun to tire. There are a variety of colorful annual plants that thrive in cool nights and bright, sunny days; and will even tolerate light frosts. They look great in containers as well as in the ground. Among those annuals that provide decorative fall color with their colorful foliage and varied textures include: ornamental cabbage; kale and Swiss chard. Even after the first frost, the colors of ornamental cabbage and kale will intensify. Flowering annuals for the fall garden include: angelonia; calibrachoa; stock; snapdragons, and of course, pansies. (Pansies make their appearance at The Growing Place mid-Septmeber, once it has cooled off a bit.) Combination containers aren’t just for spring. Release your inner designer, or ask us for advice for combining fall plants in porch and patio containers that welcome fall visitors to your home.
Now is the time to consider planting fall flowering perennials so that you can extend the flowering season in your garden next year and beyond. And as a bonus, many of the fall flowering perennials also provide winter interest.Rudbeckia fulgida ‘Viette’s Little Suzy’ a.k.a., black-eyed Susan produces masses of yellow flowers on plants that grow 18-24” tall, and is aGrowing Place Choice variety. It starts blooming in mid-summer and lasts into September. ‘Viette’s Little Suzy’, attracts birds and butterflies and is deer resistant. If you prefer a slightly taller native plant, try Rudbeckia speciosa, also known as Showy Black-eyed Susan. For a touch of red among fall flowering perennials consider Helenium ‘Salsa’, which bears a profusion of deep-red, daisy-like flowers with dark chocolate button centers. ‘Salsa’ blooms well into August and attracts butterflies, yet is deer and rabbit resistant. Calamintha ‘Montrose White’, with its sprays of pure white flowers, starts blooming in July and doesn’t quit until frost. An excellent border plant, ‘Montrose White’ is a good cutting flower that attracts butterflies, yet is resistant to deer and rabbits. Another group of fall flowering perennials are the upright-growing Sedum that start blooming in August and continue well into September, after which their spent flowers provide texture in the winter landscape. Known for their thick succulent foliage and flowers in shades of whites, pinks and reds, Sedum thrive in any sunny, well-drained location. Sedum for the autumn garden include the aptly named ‘Autumn Delight’ and ‘Autumn Charm’, as well as well as ‘Matrona’ and ‘Mr. Goodbud.’ Like the previously mentioned fall flowering perennials, Sedum attract butterflies but are ignored by rabbits and deer.
The arrival of Labor Day doesn’t have to mean your gardening season is over. By taking advantage of colorful annuals that tolerate cool autumn nights, perennial and annual mums and fall flowering perennials you can enjoy a wide range of fall color until frost coats your pumpkins. Come visit us at The Growing Place and we’ll help you welcome autumn.
Posted on 8/27/2014 at 9:15:00 PM