Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Early Fall?

Daylily "Bryan Paul"
What's blooming in your neck of the woods?  Is it the Midwest or is everyone experiencing what looks like the beginning of fall?

Most of my hosta have bloomed, daylilies are winding down, and the foliage of some perennials are turning brown.

We've had unusually cool weather and it may have fooled Mother Nature.  It may keep the electric bill lower because we haven't needed air conditioning but I'm not really into 55 degree nights in July.  It just seems wrong.

What can a gardener plant to make sure there are blooms into late fall you ask.  Or maybe you didn't ask but I'm about to tell you.

Phlox is a dependable fall bit of color - easy and self seeds.  Fall asters is another beautiful perennial with the same qualities.

Daylily "Chicago Apache"
There are many daylilies categorized as late season bloomers.  They patiently wait until most other lilies are finished and they put on a grand show.  I've pictured a few of mine.

Smoke bush isn't a late season bloomer but it does put on a show with the tiny stems from the flowers in the dark burgundy shade that resembles "smoke" - go figure.

Purple Beauty Berry Bush puts on a stunning show with the bright lilac berries in the fall.

No garden is complete without a Burning Bush (some areas of the west prohibit) for the beautiful leaves of red and maroon.

Daylily "Lifting Belle"
Butterfly bushes often wait until August before putting on their flowers.  It's perfect timing to substitute for the summer flowers loved by insects.

Hibiscus are about ready to put on buds and do so in colors from white, red, pinks and sometimes a blue.  Hibiscus, Rose of Sharon, is another easy to care for bush and will start blooming middle August.

Many Hydrangeas start blooming late in the season.  My Hydrangea "Limelight" has just started to bloom, "Hydrangea "Endless Summer" is putting on blooms, and Hydrangea "Annabelle" will continue to put on a show until cold weather.

Another option is bright gold and lime green evergreens.  I have a Privet "Gold", Spirea "Goldmound" (not an evergreen) and Juniper "Old Gold".  The large white pines are putting on pine cones.
Daylily "Star Struck"

If you can find them, it's the perfect time to plant annual bedding plants.  They adapt well to the weather, tend to put on a huge burst of blooming and will last until frost.  Try not to pinch them back too much (maybe one-third of the plant if you must) because it won't have enough time to put on enough growth to flower.

In a month, we'll be talking about the leaves turning beautiful colors and forget that the flowers have finished.  Until then, enjoy these late bloomers and enjoy the days prior to winter.  It will come.

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