Monday, September 23, 2019

Falling for Fall Flowers

Spring flowering bulbs provide relief after an intense winter… summer blooms are bold and beautiful…  but by mid-September, I can’t help falling for fall flowers!  

Thriving ornamental grasses sway in gentle breezes.  Ears of corn have been harvested, but who can resist bundling their tall, dry stalks and using them for outdoor décor?
Another solid performer in autumn is Hydrangea paniculata ‘Bobo’ which consistently produces multiple creamy white blooms during summer; in early September, those creamy petals transform to rose gold.  
Hydrangea blooms can be allowed to partially dry in place, and later can be pruned off and air dried.  (These dried plumes look amazing displayed in a basket lined with burlap or lace, or as accents in a holiday bouquet.)

This season’s “star” in my backyard was the lantana shown here.  It flowered constantly, spring through summer—no deadheading needed.  An added bonus, Japanese beetles never bothered the foliage, flowers nor fruit!  
This lantana deserved to be included in my autumn décor, so I placed it in a container with German ivy, white geraniums and a white pumpkin.  
(In Wisconsin lantana is sold as an annual, but my friends in Georgia grow the perennial shrub variety—it can grow six feet tall, and it produces bushels of blooms!)
Rudbeckia (black-eyed Susan) can be disease prone since it is in the Asteraceae family—am grateful the small patch of Rudbeckia in my garden seems happy. 
Foliage is clean and green, even in mid-September. The vivid yellow-gold petal color is truly compatible with autumn décor. 

Our days are a bit shorter; our night time temps, a bit cooler—fall is nearly here!

M. Lynn Schmid,   Certified Master Gardener
A.A.S. Landscape/Horticulture/Arboriculture