Fall Perennial Suggestions?

dkotchey(z5)September 2, 2007

This time of year of my garden starts to look a little blah. What perennials do you have that are blooming this time of year and into the fall? I have some mums and asters just starting to bloom in my full sun gardens. Any other good late blooming full sun perennials suggestions? And do you have any suggestions on what to plant in my part-sun and part-shady/mostly shady gardens? Even some good foliage suggestions would work too (I have lots of hostas already in my shady gardens). Thanks!

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I love the Montauk daisy...It can get large almost like a bush if you keep cutting it in half early spring. It's just starting to bloom the white daisies

Here is a link that might be useful: montauk daisy picture

    Bookmark   September 2, 2007 at 8:51AM
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Black-eyed Susans bloom here until around Halloween. And hardy plumbago (Ceratostigma) is just now coming into season with its electric blue flowers. Other good seasonal performers are Japanese anemones, toad lilies, various aconitums (all will tolerate/prefer partial shade). And any of the warm season ornamental grasses are looking very good right now - Panicum, Miscanthus, Pennisetum, etc.

In PNW gardens, if you shear back after the first round of blooms, various salvias, hardy geraniums and shasta daisies will reward you with a late summer/early fall flush of flowers. And we also look to asters, coneflowers and mallows for late season color. Other plants here that can be counted on to provide color until frost are hardy fuchsias, Cape fuchsia (Phygelius) and agastache.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2007 at 10:30AM
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MollyDog(6 PA)

Right now my perennials that are looking good are various asters including woods, monch and jin dai asters, chocolate snakeroot for fantastic maroon and white fluffy flowers, blue mist spirea, nepeta walker's low, anemones, agastache blue fotune, joe pye weed, lespedeza, hardy begonia. DENDRANTHEMA RUBELLUM bloom long after other mums are done. They look beautiful for at least two months.

Lazy S Farm is a great source for many online purchases and are a wondereful source of valueable information.

Here is a link that might be useful: Lazy S's Farm

    Bookmark   September 2, 2007 at 10:32AM
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My caryopteris is in full bloom now, and I just love the silvery foliage and cool blue flowers. It's my favorite fall flower. My Montauk daisies never do as well as I'd like, they grow well all season but the flowers are always eaten, and I've never figured out what kind of insect is responsible.

In zone 5 you may have great luck with sweet autumn clematis, which is blooming now. Here on Cape Cod (really zone 7, my member profile's out of date) it's a noxious weed.

Rudbeckia is still going strong here, as are agastache (coral/pink) and coreopsis 'Sweet Dreams'.

My favorite part-shade perennial is hellebores, but they are mostly foliage plants unless planted where you'll see them up close in late winter when they bloom. The only thing in bloom in shade at this time of year in my garden, other than various kinds of hydrangeas, is ligularia dentata, who's flowers I remove to prevent self-sowing.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2007 at 10:47AM
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One plant I forgot to mention is angelica gigas, a lovely biennial or short-lived perennial that self sows just the right amount.

mollydog's right, nepeta is still in bloom and seems to be enjoying the lower temperatures. My joe pye weed is pretty well done, though, except for eupatorium 'chocolate' which is a weed here.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2007 at 10:51AM
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In part-shade, my fall blooming plants include Actea/Cimicifuga 'Black Negligee,' Sedum spectabile, Japanese Anemones, Phlox 'Laura,' Ceratostigma plumbaginoides, Tricyrtis, the plants formerly known as Aster divaricatus and cordifolius, Lobelias 'Monet Moment' & 'Sparkle deVine,' and Geranium 'Rozanne.' Smilacina racemosa & Polyganatum have colorful berries in Fall & their foliage turns a nice yellow. If you have enough room, the native Spikenard also has attractive colored Fall berries.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2007 at 12:20PM
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leslie197(z5 MI)

Nobody has mentioned grasses, but they are great fall perennials. Lots of great varieties are available for zone 5. Some of my favorites are Miscanthus Morning Light & M. Strictus, Panicum Shenandoah, Calamagrostis Overdam & C. Karl Foerster and Pennisetum Hamelyn. Only Shenandoah and the pennisetums are currently in bloom. The rest will bloom in the next month or so. Lots of other grasses are out there and all will look great for a long time.

Other perennials I currently have blooming are Black-Eyed Susans, Hibiscus moscheutos Sweet Caroline & Geranium Rozanne. Rozanne will continue until a hard frost, the others are good for 2 or 3 more weeks. Ed Brown daylily is in rebloom as is Moonlit Masquerade & Royal Frosting, and a few of the Apps dls like Rosy Returns. I also have some good rebloom on David Phlox and Bright Eyes Phlox and some stray blooms on Becky Shasta Daisy, but no real rebloom as some people get on Becky. We get cold a bit too fast, I think. The sneezeweeds (Helenium Coppelia) are on the wain, but still colorful

Clematis viticella Mme Julia Correvon is in full rebloom and is just gorgeous right now. I have a small amount of bloom on a few others including Duchess of Albany (a texensis variety), Polish Spirit, and x Durandii. My two Sweet Autumn clematis are just about to begin to bloom. They both run along the top of my fenceline, providing a mass of creamy white flowers nearly forty feet long when blooming. Their bloom will last a good 3 weeks and then leave glossy seedheads.

One of my dark purple sedums (either Vera Jamison or Bertram Anderson) is in full bloom, but most of the rest haven't started yet - still mostly green heads on Autumn Joy, Morning Light, Mediovariegata, along with Maestro's pale purple grey heads. Sedum sieboldii (October Daphne)only sometimes manages to get to bloom here before frost here, but pretty nonetheless.

The Japanese Anemones have buds but won't bloom for a few weeks yet. Helianthus Lemon Queen still has some bloom, but my dwarf swamp sunflower Helianthus angustifolius First Light won't bloom until late September or early October, always a race with frost!

    Bookmark   September 2, 2007 at 1:36PM
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aachenelf z5 Mpls

I don't think anyone mentioned Goldenrod (Solidago). There are so many of these and quite a few will do well in part shade, but the ones for sun are just spectacular. I only have three varieties: Baby Gold which finished it's first blooming, but will bloom again if cut back, S. ulmifolia blooming now and will continue until frost and S. rigida which is just starting now. I am so in love with these I vow to have many more next year.


    Bookmark   September 2, 2007 at 3:25PM
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mxk3(Zone 6 SE MI)

My garden starts revving up again this time of year!! (it's late July/early-mid August that is the pits for me).

* Ditto the Caryopteris rec

* Japanese anemones!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Honorine Jobert and Pamina are my favorites)

* Sedum

* Plumbago

* Hisbiscus moschetos. Typically considered a summer bloomer, but if you pinch the new growth it delays blooming (as well as yielding you much bushier plants with as abundance of flowers). Mine have been blooming a couple weeks and still going.

* Rugosa roses (they really pick up again in the late summer/fall after resting a good portion of the summer)

* Ajania (gold-and-silver mum). One of the latest bloomers, it's often into late October/early November when this one starts. Foliage is quite eye-catching, too, and gorgeous all season.

* Ornamental grasses - obviously foliage is the main attraction, but I also enjoy the blooms (I'm having a brain freeze - I forgot what the heck you call grass blooms LOL!).

One great OG that doesn't get mentioned often is Wild Oat Grass (Chasmanthium latifoium). It isn't a typically "grassy" plant, rather it is reminiscent of bamboo, and the blooms look like little danging minnows - really eye-catching on mature clumps.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2007 at 4:19PM
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We've definitely turned the corner on the current gardening season. My white phlox are just starting, and the conditions this year were such that I won't have spectacular blooms. Still have balloon flowers blooming, Black Eyed Susans, nepeta, feverfew, dianthus Chinensis, and Pardon Me and Hyperion daylilies have a few buds left. Strawberries & Cream sedum has nice dusty rose blooms, Autumn Joy, Autumn Fire, Jaws, and an unknown "Stonecrop" are just starting to show a little color. And I have some random sunflowers carried in by the creatures visiting my neighbor's bird feeder. Funny how these volunteers show up just where you can use a little something.

Now the annuals seem to have gotten their second wind.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2007 at 4:31PM
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You've gotten great suggestions already, but I just wanted to emphasize goldenrod...especially "Fireworks." I just ordered "Golden Fleece," which I've heard great comments about. They are just coming into bloom now, and will put on quite a show.

I just got some reblooming on my heliopsis "Lorraine Sunshine." But it adds color even without the blooms since the leaves are variegated.

Besides perennials, don't forget about colorful shrubs, like weigelia "Wine and Roses" and "Variegata." Ninebark and purple smoke bush are great, too. They also bloom, but the foliage is the mainstay.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2007 at 10:23PM
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hostaholic2 z 4, MN

My heliopsis goes nonstop till frost, with dead heading my helenium and veronicas are still blooming. Black -eyed Susan and the various sedums are looking great. Tigers Eye sumac has been a bright spot all summer and will be coloring up beautifully very soon . Anemone Robustissima buds are showing color and almost ready to bloom. The grasses are looking great now too.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2007 at 10:45PM
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Just a word to remind you of a great thread initiated by David5311, which has inspired me a lot, and is now in the FAQs...

Here is a link that might be useful: little-known plants for fall garden

    Bookmark   September 3, 2007 at 12:36AM
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Another great thread, which I couldn't find using the search engine...but I had saved most of it on my computer, here it is :
Favorite late summer perennials
Most of my perennials are going to be fading in the next few weeks. What are your top favorites for late summer. I need to work on this time of year but space is limited.
RE: Favorite late summer perennials
Echinacea, asters, chrysanthemums, phlox (just starting here), nepeta.
RE: Favorite late summer perennials
Hands down - Japanese Anemone!! Outstanding foliage from the time it appears in spring straight though the season, blooms late summer on long, wiry stems held high above the foliage. Pictures don't do this stunning plant justice - plant a drift of them, once they get established they will be glorious in the fall garden. I have never, ever been disappointed with this plant, and I can't imagine autumn in the garden without them :)
Anemones do well in sun or partial shade, and like normal garden soil, perhaps a bit on the moist side, moisture being more important in full sun. They will not tolerate dry soil, the growth will be stunted, they won't get lush.
"Honorine Jobert" is an heirloom single white with yellow center. The white is the whitest white, it sparkles against a clear blue autumn sky.
"Pamina" is a bright deepish rose-pink, I have this planted in front of my white brick house and the white really sets of the beautiful color.
"September Charm" is silver-pink. This is new in my garden, so I'm reserving judegment until it gets established and I see it in its full glory.
Other nice fall bloomers are sedum, perennial garden mums, asters. :)
RE: Favorite late summer perennials DAVID 5311
There are so many plants which star in August, and the transition to fall. The best of many:
Helianthus 'Lemon Queen' (probably THE very best)
Eupatorium purpureum
E. perfoliatum
Agastaches of all kinds, just coming to peak now
A. Blue Fortune specifically deserves mention since it is such a garden stalwart
Phlox paniculata in any of dozens of varieties. David, the best
All catmints are going great now
Geranium Rozanne, which has been blooming for a while but notably picks up in August
G. wlassovianum
Solidago Crown of Rays
Patrinia scabiosifolia, fabulous now and for at least a month
Clematis 'Mrs Robt Brydon'
Echinacea purpurea
Coreopsis Moonbeam, Zagreb
Knautia macedonica, blooming for months, still looks great
Heleniums of every ilk, just starting
Lobelia syphillitica
Sedum Matrona
S. Purple emporer
S. Stardust
Reblooming roses, favorites now are Guy de Maupassant, Rotesmeer, Jens Munk, Winchester Cathedral, Mary Rose, Tamora
Hydrangea paniculata Limelight, Brussels Lace
Solidaster Lemore
Alstromeria 'Sweet Laura' etc, etc...
August is NOT a dull month. It can be a peak bloom month for a sunny garden.
RE: Favorite late summer perennials
Japanese anemone (I second the Honorine Jobert, and add Queen Charlotte)
Chelone obliqua
Tricyrtis (won't really get going until late next month, though)
They're not really perennials, but Salvia farinacea is a solid enough reseeder that it acts like one (and looks great this time of year).
RE: Favorite late summer perennials
If space is not limited Kirengeshoma plamata is coming in to bloom now.
RE: Favorite late summer perennials DAVID 5311
Also on the list:
Caryopteris of many ilk, my favorite the herbaceous C. divaricata, just beginning
The Persicarias, how could I forget them. Starring now is 'Firetail'
And while we are mentioning stars, the real star of my "perennial garden" right now is the small tree, Oxydendrum arboreum, our native sourwood. It is in full bloom, looking positively regal with its beautiful drooping panicles of flowers. One of the best 4 season trees for the garden, and wonderful as a major focal point.
OK, I just have to show a picture
Oh and BTW, that's Geranium oxonianum 'Pearl Bolund' at its feet, the longest blooming pink geranium of this type for me, and continuing to bloom its head off.
RE: Favorite late summer perennials
GRASSES! these plants are tough, pest-free, and require vitually NO care. Best of all, they provide late season "interest" AND last through the first really heavy snowfall. Last winter was brutal here... from seasonally temperate to a deep-freeze in under 2 wks.. I won't lie to you... my lovely, mature grasses took a big hit. But it spite of it, they weren't killed outright. These are plants worthy of more attention than many give them. Grasses are tough, elegant, effortless, and impossibly graceful. USE 'EM!
Cimicifuga. Learn what the genus requires; if you have it, USE THEM. But be patient. They grow slowly.
Kirengshoma palmata. Meet its requirements and it will reward you... great plant, but another one requiring patience.
CHELONE. This is a real treat; available in more varieties than those so commonly available... "Hot Lips" is nice, but move "off the board"... look for delicate Chelone glabra... .
Aconitum. I struggle with this plant, but grown well it's a powerful presence in any border.
Eupatorium... Joe Pye Weed. Tall, tough, elegant; yet another native American wildflower that is pest-free and predictably delightful...
Yawn... time for beddy-by-lo, now... ;)
RE: Favorite late summer perennials
Rudbeckia fulgida var. sullivantii 'Goldsturm' (Black Eyed Susan)
Leucanthemum x superbum (Shasta Daisy)
Coreopsis grandiflora 'Sunray' (sunray tickseed)
of course, plenty of roses, too.
RE: Favorite late summer perennials
Check out Allium Ozawa for really late bloom. Cyclamen too are a delight in the garden in late Fall.
I am anxious to see Sedum Gooseberry Fool and Citrus Twist for the first time in my garden...soon. Sedum Bertram Anderson is really tops at this time of year too.
The influorescenses of the grasses are beginning: Pennisetum Karley Rose has started at last, Miscanthus sinensis Sarabande, Calamagrostis x acutifolia 'Karl Foerster' or 'Overdam', Molinia caerulea 'Strahlenquelle', and many others are gorgeous!
Hydrangeas Limelight and Kyushu are about to begin their show.
I have tall Ironweed, (about 6-7'), a beautiful shot of purple for the August garden. (Vernonia)
There are also some very late gentians to be found. Corydalis lutea has been known to bloom here even with snow on the ground.
Don't forget some of the late blooming clematis: Sweet Autumn, Venosa Violacea, Madame Baron Veillard, Stans, Tangutica...and more.
RE: Favorite late summer perennials
The showest things in my garden right now are Heliopsis and Rudbeckia 'prairie sun' which I grew from seed sown the first week in March. I also have Myosotis 'blue bird' which I thought was only a spring flower. Nice surprise. Also blooming now are Caropteris 'longwood blue' and will continue until frost. My gardens were just started in Spring 2003 so I appreciate all the excellent ideas.
David, lovely picture of your beautiful sourwood. We have those on our TN property and the fall color is glorious.
Also I just have to find one of those Geranium oxonianum.
Thanks for sharing the picture.
RE: Favorite late summer perennials DAVID 5311
Raney, there are dozens, maybe 100s of cultivars of G. x oxonianum. Most of these perform far better in cool climates than in warm ones, and some are quite weedy (notably Claridge Druce, which I would never again plant). But Pearl Bolund is one of a few cultivars really adapted to tolerate the heat of the eastern US (though Tennessee heat is maybe a bit more than Michigan, especially this year). Anyway, a really good one to look for.
RE: Favorite late summer perennials
The star of my late summer/fall garden is definitely my Japanese anemone!
I have two kinds. Both have buds by now but the buds have not reached their full height.
Queen Charlotte (pink; must be about five feet tall already)
Whirlwind (white; about three feet tall at this point)
Both are lovely , disease resistant, grow in full or part sun (although much taller and more flowers in full sun.)
They take the place of shasta daisies and lilies which will be done blooming by the time the anemone begin.
I also have some tall pink obedient plant in a mass planting behind a brick walkway. It make a delicate-looking wall of pink when it blooms, but some insect has taken a few bites out of its leaves. Next year, when I thin it, I will likely have no more problems with insects.
I also am fond of my yellow mums, monch asters, various fall-blooming sedum and hosta. None are in bloom yet and they fill in nicely by Sept. and Oct.
RE: Favorite late summer perennials
A new to me favorite is Plumbago, Ceratostigma plumbaginoides.
RE: Favorite late summer perennials
Gee whiz, I was so busy jumping up and down whilst shouting the virtues of amenome, I forgot to mention some other great late summer/fall bloomers I have - they've been mentioned, but I wanted to give them another plug:
* Chelone
* Plumbago
* Ornamental grass: Fountain grass (Pennisetum) is a favorite of mine. Wild oats (Chasmanthium latifolium) is a great grass that will grow in shade; its foliage is reminiscent of bamboo rather than grass, and the seed heads dangle like tiny fish on hooks."
Thanks again to all the 2006 contributors!

    Bookmark   September 3, 2007 at 12:54AM
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laceyvail(6A, WV)

In addition to all the great plants mentioned, here's a few more.

Salvia grandiflora (pitcheri)--Gorgeous blue flowers for full sun

S. koyame - Yellow flowers for part shade

Persicaria 'Crimson Beauty'--related to the dreadful japanese knotweed, but after 4 years in my garden, still totally clumping (as the seller claimed). Very large plant, with tall thick stalks, and coming into bloom now with off white flowers that turn red. Yes red. Great, great plant.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2007 at 6:11AM
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diggerdee zone 6 CT

Goodness gracious! There are so many fabulous plants listed here, many of which I already knew about - so why is my garden so dull?

I've got to get on the ball and start planting some of these things. Every fall I say I will and I just don't seem to get around to it - or at least I don't plant *enough* of them. Next year, next year!


    Bookmark   September 3, 2007 at 7:59AM
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This is great! You have all given some great ideas. I just bought a Montauk daisy 2 days ago - I hope it does ok in zone 5. Thanks for telling me to cut it back to keep it bushy. :)

I wintersowed Anemone Grapeleaf this year, I think I'll have to wait until next year to get blooms.

How do you get your nepeta's to bloom this time of year? I assume you are cutting them back. When do you do that and how late in the season can you but back? I cut mine back about 2 weeks ago because they weren't looking too good. They look better now but I don't know if they would bloom again.

We are having a horrible drought here and my area is on water restrictions so I think quite a few plants in my garden just are not happy right now and reblooming is a bust without the water (I think).

Thanks for the suggestions everyone. I have my list going for next year!

    Bookmark   September 3, 2007 at 9:53AM
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Forgot to mention kirengeshoma - great for a mostly shady site, it has more presence than a lot of shade plants, with yellow bell-shaped flowers on arching stems, blooming now. The foliage looks good all season. It's hardy to zone 5; it likes water.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2007 at 12:57PM
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aachenelf z5 Mpls

Forgot to mention Gentiana clausa for moist sun. I think my picture from last is still in the gallery section. Anyway, it is the most beautiful shade of blue/violet you could ever imagine. The color of the flower mimics the color of the sky at this time of year.

Salivia coccinea is technically a perennial in warmer parts of the country, but behaves as an annual for me. Plant it once and it self-seeds forever, but not aggressively. In my garden, the seeds don't germinate until almost July, but grow very fast and are all coming into bloom now. The clear red flowers are just wonderful with goldenrod. Hummingbirds love them too.


    Bookmark   September 3, 2007 at 1:13PM
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flowerfan2(z8/ WA)

Japanese anemones, phlox, clematis, cyclamen, rudbeckia, colchicums, sedums and asters are the stars of my fall garden. We had more rain this summer and all the perennials are blooming well. It is sad to see summer end, but it sure eases the pain to enjoy all these fresh new flowers in fall. Here are a few colchicums and cyclamens.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2007 at 12:56AM
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nancyd(5/Rochester, NY)

Asters are fall bloomers as well as Japanese anemones (sun or shade) are excellent. Specifically 'Honorine Jobert' and 'Pamina'. Also, goldenrod 'Fireworks' is an especially prolific and long bloomer. Mums, of course, are your typical fall plant although some people find them hard to fit into their gardens because of their bowling ball shape. I gotta have a couple, though. Some of my phlox are still doing well. Grasses are an excellent suggestion. Many of them don't peak until late summer/fall. Helenium are fall bloomers and my Helianthus 'Lemon Queen' is a tall yellow daisy looking plant that has just started blooming. My Joe Pye Weed is just about to bloom - however, my Black Eyed Susans are quickly going past peak. It's interesting how plants perform in different areas of the country. I'd suggest visiting local nurseries and seeing what they have on display. That will give you some ideas. They all have their fall plants out.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2007 at 4:44PM
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blackswamp_girl(6a NEOhio)

It's not just in the PNW that salvias rebloom... I keep mine deadheaded, and my 'Caradonna' is still throwing out bloom spires. So are my echinacea 'White Swan' and Russian sage.

Right now the following perennials (which I believe have not yet shown up on the list above) are also in bloom:

Zauschneria garrettii 'Orange Carpet'
Zauschneria latifolia v. etteri
allium senescens v. glaucum

    Bookmark   September 4, 2007 at 4:47PM
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pitimpinai(z6 Chicago)

Yes to all those. :-) I especially love Ornamental grass.

My Clematis 'Prince Charles' is in bloom again. There are as many blooms as the spring/early summer flush. Amazing. C. 'Betty Corning' has been in bloom non-stop since early June. , while jackmanii, odorata have been blooming sporadically.

Geranium 'Rozanne' also has been in bloom non-stop. This Geranium is weaving and climbing whatever is nearby. One has spread 4 - 5ft wide. Another one is weaving with Perunia and Eragrostis spectabilis. Really pretty.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2007 at 6:09PM
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dee2000_tx7(DFW 7b)

"August is NOT a dull month. It can be a peak bloom month for a sunny garden."

Unless you're in Texas. :)

I just bought a Pavonia Rock Rose & wondered how big it will get. It is in a 4x5' bed with other perennials. I don't want it to shade the others. Is it evergreen or will it lose it's leaves?

    Bookmark   September 5, 2007 at 6:58PM
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shapiro(5a Ontario)

Did anyone mention the lovely Lobelia siphilitica - blue lobelia? It produces spikes anywhere from 12 inches to 24 inches or even a bit more. It is a beautiful true blue, and the occasional one is white. At this time of year, there is nothing else here that produces blue spikes. Great contract to all the asters, rudbeckias, mums and so on.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2007 at 8:13PM
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Savlia 'Mystic Spires' and Achillea 'Moonshine'. Gotta love em.


    Bookmark   September 6, 2007 at 8:35PM
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I haven't read all the responses, but I have to put in a plug for Patrina scabiosa. We are in the middle of a severe drought, and this plant with its acid yellow blooms still looks fresh w/ minimal watering.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2007 at 3:54PM
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david_5311(Z 5b/6a SE Mich)

It is interesting for ME to look back at the threads quoted by Zephirine and others and realize how many plants I have forgotten about myself. They need to find places in my new garden, and they will, as I keep figuring them out more and more.

The reality is that August and September can be among the "bloomiest" months in a sunny garden. And even in the shade there are many choices. If you have a lot of good foliage plants in a shady garden, you don't need that much in bloom to give the sense that your shade garden is really flowering.

My favorite fall bloomers for fairly shady areas are:

Salvia koymae, wonderful butter yellow woodland sage, blooms in October here, fully z 5 hardy
Various asiatic Cimicifugas. My favorite is C. japonica v acerina. There are american species/selections that also bloom in late summer
Hostas. My favorite Hostas for BLOOM are Royal Standard, H. ventricosa, Ginko Craig, and a few other no-namers. I would love to hear from somebody who really knows hostas what the best for flowering effect are, in their opinion.
Aster cordifolius. There are a variety of other woodland asters.
Tricyrtis, of course.

And don't forget your specimen Franklinia at least at the woodland edge. I planted one last spring that is blooming right now. Hope it makes it through a Michigan winter, but I am optimisitc.....

    Bookmark   September 7, 2007 at 4:15PM
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gnabonnand(Zone 8 Texas)

I noticed almost all of the posts here are from people who live in the northern states. Here in Texas, all perennials look horrible this time of year ... all of them. The only blooming plants that look good are shrubs (the old china and antique tea roses, Texas Sage, etc), and a few select annuals. But it's nice to hear about your gardens.


    Bookmark   September 8, 2007 at 4:03PM
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The highlight of my garden from the end of July till a hard freeze is Rudbeckia Herbstonne at 7 feet or so tall with brilliant yellow daisies (though fewer blooms in late fall). Right now the caryopertis is beautiful. Boltonia (white aster type blooms) and aster Alma Potschke are about to bloom. Then there will be the chocolate eupatorium. There are so many beautiful asters that bloom from early to late fall. My latest plants to bloom have been aconitum carmichaelii Arendsii and Sheffield chrysanthemums.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2007 at 9:47AM
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Lots of stuff still blooming here; both annuals and perennials.....most are re-bloomers from cutting back and other's just starting like Maximillian Sunflower, Solidago 'Fireworks', Smooth Blue Aster and Sedum 'Autumn Joy'

Other perennials still blooming:
Gaillardia aristata (common) and G. aristata 'Burgundy'
Agastache foeniculum
Echinacea purpurea, E. purpurea 'White Swan' and
E. angustifolia
Coreopsis lanceolata
Heliopsis helianoides (common species)
Thymus vulgaris 'German Winter' and Thymus serypllum
Joe Pye Weed
Dianthus sp.
Blue Flax
Snapdragon 'Black Prince' (yes, it's been perennial for me)
Nepeta mussinii
Lavender 'Munstead'

    Bookmark   September 9, 2007 at 1:03PM
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mgmb(z5 Madison WI)

I agree with everyone that Japanese anemone are must-haves. I think they spread aggressively in moist soil though. I haven't seen a mention of monkshood, and I heartily recommend it! I have azure monkshood. Its about 5-6 feet tall - doesn't bloom until beginning of October. It is quite frost tolerant, the color is deep purple and goes beautifully with all the yellows and oranges of fall, and the structure of the plant is a good compliment to all the daisy forms of fall bloomers. The leaves are dark green and hold up well all summer, they look like delphinium leaves. Stems are stronger than delphs but you should stake for best results. They are poisonous, so could be an issue with pets and children.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2008 at 1:44PM
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Monkshood is one of my most favorite plants and I've had no luck with it. I've lost about four to some kind of disease. It starts to rot, turn black at the base. I've thought maybe it is botrytis? Have you ever had a problem like that? I wonder if it is the humidity?
It is so frustrating. Breaks my heart.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2008 at 10:12AM
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donnabaskets(Zone 8a, Central MS)

I have lusted for Monkshood since the first time I saw its picture, but everything I read and hear says it's next to impossible to grow in the hot muggy south. Such a shame! Try salvias. They're blue, spiky, and they thrive in our climate. (Why do we always want what we can't have?)

    Bookmark   February 12, 2008 at 8:32PM
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mgmb(z5 Madison WI)

So true about wanting what you can't have! I cope with that initially by refusing to believe it and trying it anyway! I've never had a disease problem with the monkshood so could definitely be climate-related. Sometimes a leaf here or there goes totally yellow but I chalk that up to drought since mine have competition from the neighbor's oriental bittersweet. I agree with the salvia suggestion - hummingbirds are mad about them and there are many kinds to choose from. I have to grow most as annuals here.

Mary Beth

    Bookmark   February 14, 2008 at 3:59PM
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laceyvail(6A, WV)

Momkshood is susceptible to verticillium wilt--I've given up on mine because of that, and what you describe sounds like the same thing. It's a plant for more northern gardens, I think--in NY state, mine were gorgeous.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2008 at 5:55AM
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dkotchey - The Montauk daisy is fully hardy here, so should be fine for you.

I have found myself in trouble with several of the plants mentioned by others above due to rampant reseeding. Up until recently I was a classroom teacher, and due to work demands in late August onward along with earlier sunset, rarely was able to deadhead. I would never put in a typical perennial garden Eupatorium, tall phlox, or any of the native asters or goldenrods because as lovely as they are, removing all the volunteers took way too much of my gardening time. However, I do have a field area along the back foundation of my house that gets full sun, and am considering planting these plants there where they can duke it out among themselves while the few times per year the field gets mowed will keep the spreading in check. I guess it's a matter of right plant, right place.

A couple of other fall blooming plants (not all perennials since my gardens are mixed) that I love include:
- a reblooming candytuft, Iberis sempervirens, called 'Autumn Beauty' - most of these bloom spring only, but this selection blooms spring and fall
- Hamamelis virginiana, the common witchhazel, which if you choose the right plant (one that actually drops all its leaves) has lovely clear yellow flowers with thread-like petals as well as yellow autumn leaves and a winter branch structure that I love. It does get large, and is a bit coarse in leaf, so isn't a front and center plant for all seasons, but would make a nice backdrop to a partly to fully shaded perennial bed if you have the room
-Cimicifuga AKA Actea which although has been mentioned is worth mentioning again. Decorative foliage all season, especially the maroon ones, with pink to white bottle brush flowers in late summer to fall and nice seedheads which I leave up for winter decoration and to feed the birds
- Lady Elsie May rose, which starts blooming in late June and doesn't stop until hard frost and is small and healthy enough to fit well into my perennial bed
- Hydrangeas 'Penny Mac' and 'Endless Summer' which work like perennials in my garden - die back to the ground each winter and bloom on new wood each summer
- Agastache 'Apache Sunset' which has silvery foliage and pinky-orange flowers that start in late August or early September and bloom until frost.
- Autumn blooming crocus and colchicum, which always get attention from garden visitors since blooming bulbs in autumn are unexpected

Thanks to all of you who have contributed ideas.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2008 at 11:41AM
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