Plant Now for Color Later
By Mary Luchtel, Sargent’s production manager

There are two seasons when gardeners often find themselves admiring the plants in another’s garden and wishing they had thought ahead to plan for that same look: spring and fall.

In the spring, bright colors are enjoyed by planting various bulbs the previous fall. The yellow daffodils, the dazzling tulips and,  later, the purple globes on the alliums stems are the reward for planning ahead. Then, the fall blooms with a display of vibrant colors,  ranging from yellows, oranges, browns, reds and purples.

A dazzling fall planning

Now is the time to plan and plant for the fall. Some perennials such as coreopsis, salvia,  gaillardia and heliopsis will bloom all summer and continue after the first frosts, if they have been deadheaded regularly. Pairing well with these blooms are ornamental grasses.

Ornamental grasses are naturally part of  the “fall look.” The Miscanthus is shorter and transforms into a beautiful reddish purple color. The Panicum grasses also transition in color. The foliage of “Cheyenne Sky”  and “Shenandoah” turn wine-red and  “Northwind” turns golden yellow.

There are many choices to consider for late summer to fall blooming perennials.  Hardy mums are the most known for this. Asters come in a variety of heights and colors. “Purple Dome” is always a hit  Plant Now for Color Later By Mary Luchtel, Sargent’s production manager home & garden:: in the garden with its upright habit and deep purple blooms. “Wood’s Purple” and  “Wood’s Light Blue” are more compact with daisy-shaped blooms.

In place of fall blooms, a few perennials have foliage that slowly unfold to shades echoing the colors of the season.  Amsonia foliage turns a yellow-gold, the  “Bevans” and “Rozanne” hardy geraniums turn hues of reds and browns, while the “Winterglow” bergenia takes on a  reddish-bronze color.

We feel there’s an intrinsic value in the natural world and that by bringing nature into our urban lives, our quality of life increases. Planting for the fall garden now will welcome the season with dramatic transformations of color, enriching our lives through a connection to nature’s beauty.

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