Fall Perennials

PA010149I asked my retail manager – Heidi Brosseau – what came to mind on the perennials right now that say “fall”.  She immediately said – “If you take Mums and Asters out of the list (which are the two most popular fall perennials) I would say “Sedums, the Ornamental Grasses and Autumn Bride Heuchera”.

This morning, I had Cory Holcomb, our assistant retail manager – make a display of these perennials so I could take the picture here.  Ornamental grasses are one of my favorites because of the versatility of these plants.  They provide interest almost all year round.  In the spring – you cut them back and they start to grow.  They then provide a nice backdrop to other perennials which are spring and summer bloomers.  Depending on the type of grass you plant – it will start to “blossom” with its seed head anywhere from mid to late summer right through fall now with many of the Miscanthus grasses looking awesome!   You leave the grasses standing through the winter and they provide visual interest all winter.  There is nothing prettier than when you have stalks of ornamental grass catching the hoar frost of early December – the sunlight just glistens off of the frost on the stems of the grass.

The sedums are much like the ornamental grass.  They provide visual and textural interest in the spring and summer perennial garden and  in the fall  they blossom from a muted white to light pink to a brilliant deep pink/red color.  There are two different types of sedum – the groundcovers (or low growing) sedum and the upright type which when you get a mature plant – will look like a small shrub. 

Heuchera – one of my favorites since it is a great shade perennial as well.  The Autumn Bride Heuchera – nice green leaves all season and then when you think the heucheras have finished with their flower stalks of tiny pink or white flowers – the Autumn Bride sends up it’s flower stalks with beautiful creamy white flowers.  A pleasant surprise for the fall garden.  Mixed in with other fall flowers or with a pumpkin or two added in the midst of the plants – a delightful autumn arrangement.