If you want to add more autumnal colors to your landscape but don’t have enough space for an Autumn Blaze maple, plant perennials that boast showy fall foliage color as temperatures cool.
Amsonia tabernaemontana, commonly called willow leaf amsonia, is a generous-sized selection. After its steel blue flower clusters charm the garden in early summer and its willow-like leaves remain fresh and attractive all summer, the foliage of willow leaf amsonia glows a gorgeous golden yellow in fall. Looking more like a shrub than a perennial, it grows up to 3 feet tall and wide. Its best show of flowers and foliage is achieved in full sun and well-drained soil.
Another blue-flowering perennial that sports outstanding fall color is leadwort. Botanically known as Ceratostigma plumbaginoides, its gentian blue flowers are set off by the bronze-scarlet foliage. This perennial is often planted as a ground cover or short filler in the garden. It is late to emerge in spring, so take care not to disturb its roots or accidentally dig it up during spring clean up. Leadwort benefits from an extra blanket of mulch over winter.
Most gardeners appreciate their perennial geraniums throughout the summer for their long-blooming flowers. But in fall, some types put on a striking display when their foliage turns combinations of orange and red. This group of plants, commonly referred to as cranebills, is adaptable to a wide variety of growing conditions including light shade. They are often used as fillers knitting other plants together into a lovely perennial tapestry.
The shiny, cabbage-like foliage of bergenia is why most gardeners choose this perennial for the front of their shady border. Its broad leaves contrast nicely with fine-leaved companions like astilbes or ferns. Another reason may be its showy flower clusters lifted by stout stems early in spring. Fall color could be another when dazzling bronzy-red leaves create a carpet of color that often lasts well into winter.
The strong lines of ornamental grasses are accentuated in the fall when their foliage puts on their autumnal hues. While many grasses turn a warm tawny shade complementing drying seed heads of coneflowers and sedum, some types of maiden grass dazzle with color. November Sunset turns yellow and orange; Purpurescens glows purple-red.
Even if your yard is space challenged, you can have a landscape filled with fall color. Choose carefully and enjoy the show!
FINALLY! Cold nights look like they are finally behind us so it is time to plant peppers, tomatoes, melons, cucumbers, basil and all those other warm-weather loving plants. Let’s get planting!
All my early gardening memories include my parents. On two acres, they had a huge vegetable garden, an orchard, grapevines, raspberry beds and strawberry patches. They grew enough food to feed our family of four all year long.
While my mom and dad co-star in my food growing, harvesting and preserving memories, it is my mom who plays the lead role in my flower gardening memories. It was my mom who gave me a small space in their garden and a packet of seeds. It was my mom who showed me how to plunge the seeds deep into the soil and how to water them. It was my mom who encouraged me to keep the faith as I waited for signs of life and celebrated with me as we witnessed the emergence of those first little seedlings. And it was my mom who displayed my first flowers in a bouquet on the dining room table.
I am the gardener I am today because of my mom. Mother’s Day is a wonderful opportunity each year for me to remind her how much I appreciate her lessons. Of course, her Mother’s Day gifts are always garden related – some years it’s plants; other years it’s a whimsical piece of garden décor.
Begin to create memories with your children or grandchildren so you will have the lead role in their gardening reminiscences. Plant some seeds or transplants together. Care for them as a team. Eat some vegetables right out of the garden. Pick some flowers and make an arrangement. Just get out there and celebrate your time together.
Thanks Mom for giving me the love of growing. Happy Mother’s Day!
We love April 1st here at The Planter’s Palette. It is the beginning of a new season of helping customers create beautiful outdoor spaces to make their lives happier and healthier. Whether you are an experienced gardener with two green thumbs or a brand new gardener, we are here to help.
If you long for beds and borders overflowing with flowering annuals and perennials, low-maintenance shrub borders, or gardens filled with nutritious and delicious herbs and vegetables, we can help you meet your gardening goals.
We are open every day from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Stop in and let the horticultural hoopla begin!