By Joyce Arleen Corson
You know we’ve turned a corner when at any moment leaves will begin to turn, dogwood to a blur of mauve and cutleaf staghorn sumac to a brilliant red.
The neighbors will fill their stoops with straw bales and pumpkins. Many add curb appeal with pots of asters, chrysanthemums and fodder shocks.
Thinking ahead to winter as to what is left in the garden for view. Seed heads, rosy hydrangea blossoms, panicles of prairie cordgrass and plumes of ornamental grasses. Fall garden clean up may continue, but first let’s review many flowers, trees and shrubs that give color well into November.
There are other fall blooming flowers filling the garden with an extra month of summer-like blooms even as the temperature dips. One flower anemone or wind flower that will require pa- tience is the species hupehensis. The foliage and much needed color will enhance a waning late garden. They may reach heights of up to 5 feet tall. These plants are too pretty to worry about becoming invasive. Too beautiful to be annoying as well. The blossoms may seem small but in afternoon light they still may be there for fresh bouquets into November. Even the pearly buds, of anemone, reveal a preview of the beautiful blossoms to follow on long, strong stems that will be suitable for flower arrangements.
The dark green foliage of the wind flower emerges in spring and lasts well past the first frost. As companion and container plants they are well worth the cultivation. Growing silently in the throws of hydrangeas they will be there for you when autumn days grow long. Many smaller varieties of anemone such as Pamina japonica, a candy colored double-flowered will pack a real punch all summer. The smaller varieties doing well in containers may not survive the winter and will need the comfort of solid earth to continue growth over winter. The freezing and thaw in an above ground environment may leave air access which is death to roots. Planting in spring will give plenty of time for fall beauties without disturbing for roots to establish the strong system needed to produce flowers.
Some new to you and maybe to me is this late blooming perennial shrub 1-3 feet tall Bluebeard caryopteris. Seeking blue flowers and pollen for honey bees always leaves a challenge. Other last foraging food for pollinators is the wonderful stand by Goldenrod, Solidago riddellii, and Aster novae-angliae.
For perennials, (shrubs and trees too), such as anemone, bluebeard, goldenrod and asters planting and moving roots in October is a great solution to becoming friends with a Master Gardener, or becoming one yourself. The opportunity is a wonderful relationship to garden together. Call the Purdue Extension office today to find out when classes begin.