27 Aug Fabulous Flowers for Fall
Perennial ageratum (Eupatorium coelestinum) is starting to bloom next to the buds of Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ in my Middletown garden.
This week as I was fighting the crab grass wars in my perennial borders, I noticed the first of my perennial ageratum flowers coming into bloom. Eupatoriums are a great genus of native plants. Many are tall and dramatic, such as Joe Pye weed and boneset. I have always included the much shorter Eupatorium coelestinum (perennial ageratum) in my gardens.
It is a great filler, weaving in between earlier blooming perennials that are done flowering, perhaps even cut back. It sprouts in late May, so it covers up the gap left by masses of spring bulbs, oriental poppies, and old fashioned bleeding hearts.
Butterflies adore this perennial ageratum, as do pollinating insects. It makes a great cut flower, especially beloved in fall bouquets of zinnias and dahlias.
Perennial ageratum spreads fast. The roots are right up on the surface so I usually yank whole clumps of it out as soon as it appears in May and drop it into the garden somewhere else. Who doesn’t welcome sky blue flowers in the fall?
Another wonderful late blooming blue perennial is Rabdosia longituba, commonly called trumpet spurflower. This is a shade plant, related to perennial salvias, that flowers in October. I was surprised to find it makes a good cut flower. My plant is three years old and has formed quite a large clump beneath my rose of Sharon tree. I look forward to it every year.
Finally, don’t forget to plant fall blooming Japanese anemones. We have beautiful white ‘Honorine Jobert’ in both large and small pots. She is shown in the photo of our Natureworks gardens above, blooming in combination with the smooth aster, Aster laevis ‘Bluebird’.
We have a lot to look forward to as summer slowly eases into fall. Be sure to keep adding late season perennials to your gardens. They will keep getting better year after year if you do.