One of the ways I plan for next year’s garden is to take a look around, make notes & gather ideas from other gardens. This is particularly helpful in planning the fall garden.
I look for what plants have continued to hold their own & still look beautiful into this time of year. I avoid looking for suggestions at the nurseries & gardening centers because those plants have been coddled, fed, trained, trimmed & produced specifically to entice you to buy them as your own garden fades.
Instead, I look at the gardens of my friends. Which plants are in bloom & in which colors? Which have stood the ravages of a long season of pests, fungus & weather to still look stunning? Which plants have resisted the need for staking & other high maintenance gardening chores?
Here are a few of the choices you’ll find in the fall garden:
Chelone lyonii ‘Hot Lips’
This cultivar is a bit shorter than the Chelone oblique & the pink color a bit brighter. It needs no staking & reliably blooms for weeks on end. The dried heads look stunning in the winter sun as they’re popping up through the snow.
Angelica is a sturdy biennial, which reseeds conservatively in the mixed border.
This chest high specimen blooms on tall stalks with purple broccoli like flowers adorning them for weeks on end. Just be careful not to lose them by being to earnest in your springtime weeding or you’ll miss out on this fall wonder.
This 4’ tall and 4’ wide no maintenance fall blooming plant sports pearl like buds of yellow flowers in the shade garden. No staking, no pruning, no pests. Just sturdy, reliable performance.
Call your friends. Visit your neighbors. See what’s blooming in their gardens as you plan for next year’s fall extravaganza.