By the end of summer and into fall, gardeners and landscapers are tired. But that doesn’t mean your landscape has to look drab and forgotten. There are a number of ways to keep the color of spring and summer going long into the fall months. This article highlights plants and shrubs that can add color and texture to your fall landscape.
Asters, Asters, and more Asters. The word comes from the Ancient Greek language meaning “star” to denote the shape of the flower. There are many plant species that will continue to bloom throughout summer and into fall, but there is no other fall only blooming plant more stunning and that comes in so many varieties and colors than the Aster. Red, pink, blue, purple, white, and colors in between are all represented by the Aster. From 6” to 4’ in height, Asters run the gamut. Some are compact with grayish foliage, others have strong upright stems. But all have the small and familiar daisy-like “star” flower. They look great alone nestled against a rock in a rock garden, or as mass plantings in a perennial garden. This plant is a must for any landscape.
There are a lot of other species that are fall specific for the Front Range of Colorado. Try some of these in your garden as well. Coronado Hyssop, Hollyhock, Honorine Jobert Anemone, Chocolate Flower, Snowbank Boltonia, Prarie Winecups, Fendler’s Sundrops, Sweet Autumn Clematis, Pink Coreopsis, Sunset Foxglove, Oranges and Lemons Blanketflower, Whirling Butterflies, Gazania, Sneezeweed, Scarlet Gilia, Evening Primrose, White Obedient Plant, Autumn Joy Stonecrop, Russet Showy Stonecrop, Hummingbird Flower, and Orange Carpet California Fuchsia. With all these varieties, don’t miss out on presenting the best of your landscape well into October. And finally, Chrysanthemums. They are a great fall bloomer and come in lots of colors and sizes. They are very easy to grow, are drought tolerant and hardy.
Let’s not forget about shrubs and grasses that have great color and texture in the fall. First and foremost is the Burning Bush. Its vibrant fire red color in fall is unmistakable. Though they can get large (even the dwarf burning bush tops out at 8’), they can be kept pruned to a desirable size and shape appropriate for your garden. No yard should be without a specimen or three. Ornamental grasses are another must for fall texture. Though they lose their green (or red) color after the first hard frost, their unique plumage adds fabulous texture as a great backdrop to other bloomers. The right mixture of grasses with different textures and fall blooming perennials can add a stunning effect to your property. Explore, experiment, and hire a professional to help you design a burst of color and texture into your fall landscape.
If planned correctly, a fall blooming perennial garden can keep the interest going in your landscape into early November. Remember to plant in masses, keep your heights in check, and mix colors and textures so that the eye transitions easily from one to the next. Don’t let this season go unnoticed. You’ll be glad you did!