Garden lacking in color in fall

ryseryse_2004September 22, 2013

Well, it isn't really because I have my mums and some delphs that have rebloomed but I was at a pig roast and the lady had a very impressive garden.

She had mums and hostas that weren't fried, asters that weren't floopy, yarrow that wasn't invasive and floppy, and some kind of salvia that was wonderful. I wonder if it was annual?

How does this lady do this?????? She stays at home. No outside help.

She had lots of gardens and they were all just perfect. It made me want to vomit. Yes, I was very very green with envy!

I work very hard at all of this but I realized I had more to do.

Did I mention that she has real nice grass surrounding all of the beds???? Ohhhh I think I need a nap.

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laceyvail(6A, WV)

Re floppy yarrows, in my experience all the millefolium yarrows flop and could easily be characterized as invasive. I stick with A. 'Moonshine', 'Terracotta', and 'Fireland' (Feuerland).

Re, fall blooming Salvias--S. koyame likes partial shade, spreads strongly, but is easy to control, has very large leaves and has yellow (yes, that's right) now. S. grandiflora has gorgeous blue blooms now. It's a long stemmed flopper, but looks great, I think, flopping into grasses, Sedum 'Autumn joy', etc.

Also in full bloom are several types of asters, Coreopsis 'Full Moon', Agastache cana and other western hybrids and a whole host of Western Salvias like 'Ultra Violet', 'Wild Cherry', 'Black Raspberry'. Hint: High Country Gardens carries these.

Oh, and pink and white Colchicums are in bloom all over the gardens.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2013 at 6:12AM
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sweet_betsy No AL Z7

I feel your pain. When I look at my garden, green is just about the only color left. If it weren't for the salvias--greggii and guaranitica--and a few encore azalea blooms, there would be nothing. The mums and the confederate rose and the japanese anemone are almost ready but I need to incorporate more plants for this time of year. It is depressing to look out and see nothing but green. When my garden starts to wind down, I start having that thing they call seasonal affective disorder--I am sad.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2013 at 6:35AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

she should be your mentor.. not your Doofenshmirtz .. not your evil nemesis ...

this is most likely.. a person who would teach you all she knows.. and trade plants with you .... if you take time to cultivate the friendship ...


Here is a link that might be useful: link

    Bookmark   September 23, 2013 at 12:01PM
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terrene(5b MA)

Well, there are some Asters and other fall bloomers that are fairly colorful, but if you want a riot of color you generally have to use annuals. I grow a big patch of annuals like Zinnias, Salvia, tropical milkweed, Tithonia, MGs, etc. in the back garden every year and right about now they are really colorful. Well except for the morning glories which normally grow profusely up the 7 foot trellis, but this year they got plundered by the deer (twice) and the woodchuck, so they are a bit thin.

There are some pretty and perfect looking gardens (and grass) around town, and I admire their landscape designer's artistic taste (since in few cases the homeowner designed them), but then I wonder - do they have a landscape crew? Sprinkler systems? How much water are they using? How many pesticides and chemical fertilizers? How much fossil fuel is used to mow and blow? Truck in mulch? Etc.

My gardens and lawn aren't perfect, but they're pretty enough and organic, and I conserve resources, and do a lot of work by hand (no need to go to the gym ever). So they're environmentally friendlier, and I bet they have a lot more birds, insects, salamanders, etc .

    Bookmark   September 23, 2013 at 2:28PM
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mjc_molie(z6 CT)

Rosie, I like Ken's advice --- this is definitely a person you should get to know.

She does all this work herself? Then you know she has to LOVE gardening. Cultivate that friendship and you could learn how to cultivate your own gardens in a different way.

Even if she just gives you the names of what she has or some care "tips" --- that's a plus.


    Bookmark   September 23, 2013 at 2:37PM
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She lives over an hour away and I don't drive but she told me to come some time in the spring and take anything I want. So, my hubby will have to take me there in early spring. She didn't seem to know the names of lots of things she had --- I was telling her what everything was.

It certainly was impressive, but this week looking at what I have --- mine isn't too shabby. I realize that I have to pull out lots of Rudbeckia and Cone flowers though and all of the yarrow. Once upon a time at another house I had Moonshine Yarrow and loved the fact that it just mounded very nicely and didn't get thuggish. Will get some of that in the spring to replace the yellow stuff.

I also have a large bed of zinnias, marigolds and assorted other annuals I plant each year from seed but it is in the back and not with the main gardens. (I sell cut flowers at the farmer's mkt.) Even those right now are looking pretty worn though --- we had a 6 week drought and I never water anything with only a few exceptions so that is probably why.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2013 at 4:04PM
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Here in VT the yarrow is all done and I've started cutting lots of perennials down. (Can't bear dealing with soggy dead foliage in the spring, not to mention the baby voles that make homes in it.) I second the idea of annuals for fall color, but we'll soon have a hard frost and that will be it. Still blooming: helianthus, dahlias, roses, annual rudbeckias, cimicifugas.......quite a bit actually.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2013 at 9:11PM
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river_crossroads z8b Central Louisiana

Ditto - late blooming salvia!

Native liatris . RyseRyse, I saved your post about how you lay the whole liatris stalk down to propogate so I know that you are good at growing liatris. Many different kinds so maybe you could find some late blooming ones for your area.

Tender perennials such as coleus that might make good houseplants for the winter. I have read that many coleus hybrids are bred to bloom very late so the plantâÂÂs energy goes to making beautiful leaves all summer. Some pretty coleus can be grown from seed, of course.

Sounds like you have a big yard. Maybe you could set aside a small area for coleus or similar that will be your âÂÂfall colorâ and water just that one small area, since watering everything may be too much. Just before the winter, you could take 1 or 2 plants inside. You could dig up the rest & sell them at your stand at the farmerâÂÂs market or some other place that is open that time of year. Help other people have lovely houseplants for the winter. Win/win! On my link below I have put the date in the title of my pictures:

Late summer / fall color at our house (z8b, heat zone 9)

Here is a link that might be useful: GW salvia forum

    Bookmark   September 24, 2013 at 1:01AM
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valeriepa(z5-6 NEPA)

Amsonia hubrectii has linear willow like leaves that turn bright yellow in the fall, has sky blue flowers in the spring.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2013 at 9:50PM
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Thyme2dig NH Zone 5

Shrubs, shrubs, and more shrubs mixed in with perennials really help extend the season if they have fall foliage and/or berries. Throw in a few great fall trees and the season is spectacular.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2013 at 5:27PM
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docmom_gw Zone 5 MI(5)

I love all sorts of asters, many of which bloom in late fall. They are deer candy, however. I agree with those who suggest annuals. My Rudbeckia are still incredible today.


    Bookmark   October 10, 2013 at 8:10AM
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Blooming at this time in zone 4 - Geranium 'Patricia' and Rozanne, Astrantia 'Roma' and 'Venice', Heliopsis and Rudbeckia, Helianthus and Persicaria, Agastache 'Blue Fortune' and so on. Even the Phlox 'David' and 'Eva Cullum' are still going.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2013 at 5:35PM
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Following up on the above post by boday, blooming here now are these:

Toad lily/Tricyrtis hirta (speckled purple)
Obedient plant/Physostegia virginiana (Pepto-Bismol pink)
Geranium 'Rozanne' (lavender/purple)

Granted not a lot but the colors are all most welcome in any event.

Suggest doing your homework and investigate things that bloom late in your zone--that's what I did and I took a chance on some things thriving that were borderline in my zone. So far, it turns out they're thriving. At the moment there are more blooms on my toad lily growing in part sun I can't begin to count them + the pollinators love them.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2013 at 8:32PM
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When I'm picking plants for a bed, I usually try and find the ones that are variegated or have leaves other than run-of-the-mill green.

Variegated varieties: Solomon's seal, Jacob's ladder (touch of class), obedient plant, heliopsis (Lorraine sunshine), brunnera (variegata), lysmachia (alexander), toad lily, phlox (nora leigh)

Silver leaves: lamium (I find it to be somewhat invasive), brunnera, pulmonaria, lychnis (gardners world), bleeding heart (burning heart)

Dark leaves: cimicifuga, lysmachia (purpurea), eupatorium (chocolate), ligularia, lobelia (queen Victoria), penstemon, euphorbia (bonfire)

Chartreuse leaves: bleeding heart (gold heart), spiderwort, (sweet kate) columbine (leprechaun's gold), agastache (golden jubilee), lamium

Hostas and heucheras are pretty snazzy too, and epimediums change color in the fall

Also, check into native plants - they're beautiful and butterfly magnets!

    Bookmark   October 15, 2013 at 11:32AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

With ornamental grasses you can have tons of color at this time of year...and motion & sound as well! I adore them... and there are some for shade, humid areas and more! (Asters look fabulous with them.) Grasses can be red (Japanese blood grass) gold, brown, green, chartreuse.....variegated (such as Morning Light). Tall, medium or short. Heucheras offer various colors as well and Allium Ozawa blooms at this time of year as does Verbena bonariensis. I agree that foliage is autumn's good friend as far as color is concerned! And Amsonia hubrectii (mentioned above) is truly to die for....

This post was edited by gardenbug on Wed, Oct 16, 13 at 22:01

    Bookmark   October 15, 2013 at 10:31PM
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