Posts tagged #Fall bloomer

Sizzling Blaze Of Colour

This year I added a stellar new coneflower to my collection – ‘salsa red’.  The vivacious blooms of this baby are a saturated, stunning red.  Not just a splash of a colour, it’s a sizzling blaze of colour!  There’s even more thrill as the opening blooms are white furls with flashes of magenta, that uncurl to the full hot tomato blossoms.  As with all coneflowers, salsa red offers blooms from mid-summer to fall, with chubby domed seed heads for winter interest, and to keep the birds happy.  Salsa red has bonus qualities of sturdy stems, compact bushy form, and lots of buds.  This perennial’s spicy show will kindle warmth in your heart!

Technical stuff – Coneflower/echinacea ‘salsa red’, hardy to zone 4, prefers full sun, height of about 24” and spread of about 20”, scarlet blooms mid-summer to fall with great winter seed heads.  Read more about coneflowers here, and here.

Posted on November 24, 2014 and filed under Fave perennial, Perennials.

Great Blue

Like many gardeners, I have a fondness for blue flowers.  ‘Great blue’ perennial lobelia not only gives me a taste of sky blue, but also does so late in the season when other blues have faded.  The charming and exquisite flowers cluster at the top of a sturdy stem; their tubular form splays open to offer abundant nectar to appreciative hummingbirds and butterflies.  This woodland native is the blue version of cardinal flower, preferring a moist, sunny location, but mine do fine in part sun and ‘regular’ soil.  They do self-seed gently, though I’ve heard can be more aggressive in ideal moist conditions.  And, multi-purposed as many perennials are, their seed heads provide winter snacks for the birds.  

Technical stuff – Great blue perennial lobelia/siphilitica, hardy to zone 4, prefers full sun but mine does fine in part sun, likes moist rich soil, height 24”-36” and spread of about 18”, blooming late summer into fall.


Posted on November 20, 2014 and filed under Perennials.

Decadent Bronze-Green

Chocolate Boneset graces us over the summer with decadent bronze-green foliage to enhance the shade garden. Then come fall, blooming spectacularly right now, their elegant form is softened by starry white clusters, juxtaposed to burgundy stems.  These pearly sprays of bloom prepare us for the sparkling frost and visions in white to come.  Read more about Chocolate Boneset by clicking here.


Posted on October 21, 2014 and filed under Perennials.

Sunshine Blooms

I think of rudbeckia, alias black-eyed susans, as one of the iconic, traditional perennials.  I remember seeing their sunshine blooms before I had planted my first garden, and thinking 'I want that flower'.  So of course when I started perennial gardening, I bought a few $1.99 starters of rudbeckia to plant in several spots. This makes me laugh now that I know how aggressively it can spread, and every year I pull or donate the equivalent of many, many starter size rudbeckia.  But I have no regrets - I love this sunny, golden bloom as much now as when I envied it in others' gardens.  The dreamy chocolate brown centers romance like big brown eyes.  The simple, golden petals cheer the fading summer garden, mixing well with russian sage, cone flowers or phlox, for a classic cottage garden wave of colour.  As a child, I picked the native wildflower version (brown-eyed susans) from the ditches, to bring my Mom tattered bouquets.

Technical stuff - hardy perennial to Zone 3, height of about 30", can be aggressive spreader in happy spot, likes sun to part sun and most soils, drought-tolerant, blooms mid-summer to frost, with wonderful seed heads for winter interest.


Posted on August 22, 2014 and filed under Perennials.

Enthralled, Enchanted And Enticed

Oh, how the collector in me is enthralled, enchanted, and enticed by the varieties of coneflowers!   The delectable coneflower menu includes creamy yellow, glowing orange, angelic white, or candy pink with ruffles.  And how can you resist with names like ‘Supreme Elegance’, ‘Summer Sky’, or ‘Tangerine Dream’?  Coneflowers are part of the daisy family.  The proper name ‘echinacea’ comes from the Greek word ‘echino’, which means sea urchin, referring to the spiny, arched center.  My next craving is for ‘Green Envy’ (blooms open green and age to mauve) and ‘Milkshake’ (creamy ruffles). Read more about coneflowers by clicking here.

Posted on August 14, 2014 and filed under Fave perennial, Perennials.

Chocolate In The Garden

Many colour descriptors come into play for the foliage of this ‘chocolate’ plant – bronze, green, black, purple, brown, burgundy – and depending on the season, and the slant of the light, they are all correct!  Chocolate boneset is known for its indulgent foliage - the spring foliage has the richest colour that fades to a more simple green moving into bloom season (photos below are September colour).  I also like the burgundy stems that provide even more interest.  It is a great backdrop for other plants through the spring and summer, and then launches its own display of elegant white lacy blooms in late summer through the fall.

Technical stuff:  Eupatorium rugosum ‘chocolate’, is actually related to common Joe Pye Weed, hardy perennial, 3’-4’ tall, full sun to full shade, happy in any soil conditions once established, white blooms late summer through the fall, drought tolerant, easy care.

Posted on October 17, 2013 and filed under Perennials.

Fall Must Have

Along with that thick, comfy sweater and the awesome boots, consider another fall must have - Japanese anemones!  This sweetheart blooms late summer through fall, bringing colour and charm to the quiet fall garden.  Japanese anemones are one of the most fairy like flowers, with simple blooms in shades of pink or white. Most varieties have sunny gold centers to further cheer the soul.  The blooms dance on tall, slender, branched stems that rise from a small bush of deep green leaves.  The leaves are a bit similar in shape to maple leaves.

Technical stuff:  hardy perennial, most varieties are about 3’ tall when blooming (bloom stems are about 3’ tall, but foliage is around 1-1/2’ tall), full sun to part shade but prefers part shade, likes rich moist soil, but will survive in most soil conditions, blooms late summer through the fall.  My fave is the classic ‘September Charm’.


Posted on October 4, 2013 and filed under Perennials.