come in such bold colors that most gardeners only use them for impact. But
mums come in a rainbow of sophisticated shades that blend beautifully with
other flowers. Many mum's yellow centers match the lemony blossoms and
golden fall foliage of a Hyperion daylily. For a softer
combination, try a pink mum with blue Salvia (sage) and hardy Artemisia.
The last blooms on foxglove and hollyhock (if you've
faithfully deadheaded the spent blossoms all summer) remain.
Radiance continues in the spikes of color with physostegia (false
dragonhead). Its white, orchid-pink, or rose-tinted flowers open from July
to September on 2 to 3 foot tall plants that come back in even the coldest
climates. This can become invasive in the established garden, so site it
Carpet an area with colchicum (autumn crocus). Vase-shaped flowers
emerge from bulbs in the fall, with the ungainly leaves not popping up
until the following spring. Blooms come in rose to white to lavender.
Place colchicum along a shrub row or around a tree, use as a border, or
plant in clumps to fill in any areas that need fall color.
says sunny and bright till frost. This sun-loving annual opens in a riot
of colors - gold, maroon, pink, and white. The papery flowers dry easily
for long-lasting color.
Annual sunflowers with blossoms
ranging from saucer to dinner plate size are still glorious. Beyond
traditional sunny-yellow blooms, you can choose double petaled, silver
leafed, or bicolor flowers on stems from 2 to 10 feet. Sunflowers also
come in swirls of burnished gold, wine, or mahogany.
Asters provide a sure bloom in any garden. Simply give them a sunny
spot and plenty of water, and get set for a banquet of bloom in lavender,
white, pastel pink, bold purple, or fuchsia. You can find asters that open
as early as July and those that don't finish until November. Asters
provide a lovely foil for many season-long, colorful annuals, such as coleus,
dianthus, geranium, gomphrena (globe amaranth), and snapdragon.
Create a pastel fall masterpiece with with pink spikes of Firetail
polygonum (pink variety of Silverlace vine), White Swan echinacea
(coneflower), brown astilbe plumes, and punctuate the bed with spots of
white, such as veronica or Greek anemone.
And don't forget annual
alyssum. This trouper, if sheared back occasionally over the summer,
keeps on until hard frost. The white variety is also fragrant.
Try the pink and lavender shades with other pastels. See the Fall
Flowers article for more late bloomers.
Berries and Seedheads
On Viburnum Opulus Compactum
(European Cranberry Bush), gleaming red fruits dangle among leaves
that shift to brilliant red as fall arrives. The berries hang on in
winter. White blooms blanket the branches in late spring. Big on
color, this shrub is small in stature, reaching only 5 feet at
maturity. Underplant this with the warm yellows or cooling whites
and pinks of the flowers listed above.
The blue-black berries of
pagoda dogwood, Cornus alternifolia is a 20-foot tree that is a
favorite among birds, which will also add color to your yard's fall
display. The leaves of pagoda dogwood turn a with fiery red. Plant Cornus
alba Sibirica for similar fall foliage on a 10-foot shrub with blue and
white berry-bedecked branches. Underplant these with the warm toned
or purple toned flowers listed above.
The Purple-fruited Beautyberry is festive, easy to grow and
survives cold blasts to 20F below zero. Pink flowers in late summer give
way to purple or white berries tucked among yellow fall foliage. The
fruits spread good cheer all winter in the garden or in a vase in the
house. For best fruiting, plant several bushes together. Underplant
this with purple and yellow toned flowers.
The fuzzy seedheads of clematis and kolkwitzia (beautybush)
linger into winter. The bright red or orange rose hips on rugosa (shrub
roses) are cheerful too, and co-exist with the last blooms of the
Bright colored foliage
usually steals the show in the late autumn garden, when frosts have nipped
all the blossoms. For color that lingers, count on the almond cascades of
pennisetum (fountain grass). The dark green, leathery leaves of
pink-flowered bergenia will also recall scenes of the summer garden
border until snow hides them from view. For red bergenia foliage, plant
the variety Perfect.
Blueberry bushes turn a vibrant crimson. Pair blueberries with
white aster-like boltonia for a peppermint-stick planting. For best
yields, blueberries need acidic soil. Add composted oak leaves or peat
moss to increase soil acidity. For a scarlet fall shrub that thrives in
any soil, choose Brilliant chokeberry (aronia).
Eastern redbud (Cercis canadensis) is a lovely, deciduous
tree which covers its bare branches with pink or white flowers in early
spring. But the yellow or red foliage, continues, and the variety
"Forest Pansy" has purplish foliage. Underplant these with
warm or pastel toned flowers.
Crape myrtle (Lagerstroemia indica) blooms in summer.
The bark is good-looking, shiny, and peeling; fall color is yellow to red.
Performs best in hot summer areas. Ask for varieties resistant to powdery
mildew. Underplant with warm-toned flowers.
Flowering crab (Malus) apples are colorful, deciduous trees
that bloom in spring. Flowers are followed by colorful, edible fruit. Ask
for disease-resistant varieties. Underplant these with bright red,
white and blue toned flowers.
Redbud in Fall