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Seasonal Tip

Fall Perennial Favorites
September 21, 2009

Perennial gardens are constantly changing with the seasons, and the fall garden can be spectacular with bold combinations of color and texture. Fall flowers have all season to grow, so many of them are tall and stately. They also tend to blossom in the color tones of the season, complementing our fall foliage shrubs and trees. A few of our favorites:

Black-Eyed Susan: A classic for the fall garden, with sizes ranging from 18-72" tall.
Helenium: Small russet-toned flowers, in reds, yellows, and oranges. Like clematis, they like cool feet and hot heads: a good choice for poorly drained areas.
Helianthus: Brilliant gold daisy-like flowers make an instant focal point and attract butterflies and birds. The true perennial sunflower.
Heliopsis: Closely related to Helianthus. 'Summer Nights' is one of our favorites!
Goldenrod: Bright yellow blooms are attractive to native butterflies.
Plumbago (Ceratostigma): Electric blue flowers bloom from mid-summer to frost, while foliage changes from green to deep shades of red in fall. Fantastic color!
Echinacea: With so many varieties and colors to choose from, Coneflowers will fit into every garden and color scheme. They are an excellent flower for cutting and songbirds.

Many fall perennials also bloom in shades of pink, white and lavender, which complement late summer shrubs such as crape myrtle, butterfly bush, caryopteris, and hydrangeas. Here are some of our favorite, softer-colored fall bloomers:

Japanese Anemone: Also known as windflower, these delicate, whimsy pink to white blooms are a definite fall favorite.
Asters: Delicate daisy-like blossoms in shades of pink, purple, blue, and white
Joe Pye Weed: A native with deep mauve flower heads that attract butterflies and bees.
Sedum: Brilliant pink blooms and succulent foliage in shades of green and deep purple add color and texture to the garden. Blooms also attract swarms of butterflies.
Chelone (Turtlehead): A well-behaved perennial with dark green, glossy foliage and flowers shaped like turtle heads in pink or white.
Sweet Autumn Clematis: A lovely fall blooming vine with masses of creamy white flowers and an unbelievable fragrance.

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