Summer has come and gone. It is that time of year when crisper air bears witness to the joyous cries and sighs of eager children everywhere as classrooms swell to capacity. Do not succumb to the temptation of climbing into your backyard hammock. Take the time to relish your backyard paradise before the weather makes it impossible! Now is the ideal time to appreciate and savor your fall foliage. And fall-blooming perennials are meant to be savored.
The loyalty of fall perennials
Extending garden intrigue even into winter, fall-blooming perennials provide a range of colors from pink and purple to white and gold. Perennials, like loyal friends, accompany us along the journey of the seasons, year after year. Dried flower heads and stalks left to stand over winter will add structure and form to your garden while, simultaneously, providing shelter and nourishment for birds and other wildlife.
Stalwarts of sustainability
From an environmental standpoint, perennials encourage wildlife – birds, bees and other animals- to feed on the seeds and nectar. A mutual benefit as pollination is also key to mankind’s existence. As the name implies, perennials have the capacity to endure.
4 pleasing perennials:
Sedum– varieties such as ‘Autumn Joy‘ have pink to reddish flowers that turn maroon and ultimately a tawny brown as colder weather visits. It favors full sun and average garden soil. It is also native to the U.S. and a beautiful late-season perennial.
Asters- are classic fall-blooming perennial flowers. They are often planted to complement other fall-blooming flowers such as chrysanthemums. They range in height, color and size, but all have a daisy-like flower. The name “aster” is derived from the Greek word for “star” due to the shape of the bloom. Asters are divided into two main types: the New York and the New England varieties. New York types range from six inches to one foot in height. Whereas the New England varieties average heights of about two to three feet. The majority of the asters are hardy down to USDA zone 5.
Garden Mums- are also known as “Chrysanthemums.” Mums are fall’s ubiquitous flowers. It is one of the most vibrant flowers that can be grown in the home landscape for late summer and fall display. Garden mums require a minimum amount of care and do well in the face of adverse conditions. The key to selecting the right variety and giving it time to establish itself in the garden before the cold ushers. This requires minimal preparation. It is best to leave the foliage on the plant until spring in cold climates. Mulch heavily around the plants after the first heavy frost and plants have died back. Failure to mulch, heavily, may result in the plant being heaved out of the ground. Due diligence will pay off in the end in breathtaking beauty. Perfect in a pot, mums also look splendid indoors.
Goldenrod- often gets a bum rap as a hay fever spreading culprit. But this is a common misconception; ragweed is the source of the pollen torturing hay fever sufferers everywhere. Goldenrod flowers are a mecca for insects and bees. Its pollen is too heavy and sticky to be wind-borne; it cannot be the source of hay fever allergens spread by the wind. Their bright yellow colors and long stalks are a wonderful addition to any garden.