Just as we enjoy perennials that bloom in spring or summer, there are also perennials that are in their full natural glory in the fall. Growing steadily all summer they wait until early or even mid to late fall to bloom. By planting these cultivars in your garden you will extend your garden season.
When spring and summer bloomers are finished and ready to be cut down, these fall players will enter center stage and take over. If you also have a nice mix of shrubs and ornamental grasses in your beds, your fall garden could turn out to be the most spectacular of all.
I’m a big fan of the fall garden because not only can you have colorful blooms, but many leaves are turning into radiant gem tones adding another layer of beauty to your beds. Here are some of my favorite fall bloomers, all are easy to grow and easy to find.
Sedum spectabile ( Autumn Joy ) is one of the best fall flowers. Tolerant of poor, dry soil this sedum bursts into clouds of rose toned flowers which are highly enjoyed by both bees and butterflies. Sedum looks great matched with fall asters.
Solidago or goldenrod, is another bee favorite plant. Sporting flat-headed plumes of bright yellow flowers they look great planted with blue flowers such as Russian sage or asters. ( This plant will not make you sneeze, that would be ragweed which blooms as the same time )
Himalayan Gentian or Chinese Gentian both bloom throughout the fall. Short at 6 inches they make wonderful rock garden plants.
Aconitum carmichaelii ( Monkshood ) prefers a fairly moist soil and will grow in shady areas. Deer resistant and long lived, does not require to be divided for many years. ( The tuberous roots are poisonous so wash hands after handling as a precaution )
Eupatorium purpureun or Joe Pye Weed stands tall at 3-6 feet. Great as an accent plant or back of the border. Huge, fragrant flowerheads start blooming in late summer and last right through to frost.
Cimcifuga ( snakeroot ) grows well in dense shade or acidic soil. Some cultivars have beautiful all most black leaves. Late in the season a very fragrant tall spire of tiny, creamy-white flowers shoots up high above the foliage.
Echinacea ( Coneflower ) starts to bloom in mid summer but continues right through the fall. A great tall flower for the sunny border. To dry the flowers, cut when the bloom is fully open and hang upside-down to dry.
Asters come in many different heights from ground huggers to tall specimens. If you garden in the north, choose early-blooming varieties as many asters bloom too late for the northern garden. Requiring only average conditions they are also deer proof.
Japanese Anemone can be white or shades of pink and be single or double flowers. Choose early-blooming varieties as some bloom too late for northern gardens.
( Some photos by Pixabay zrenate / solarita / heidimaria ) (some links go to my affiliate Amazon account)
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