Monrovia PLANT SAVVY
October 2015
As summer’s bright light fades to fall’s golden rays, the garden takes on a different mood of richer colors, haunting fragrances, and ephemeral blooms—and cooler temps provide a not-to-be-missed opportunity for fresh starts and do-overs. Replace unimpressive or underperforming shrubs and perennials, create a seasonal pivot with fall-flowering stunners, plant herbs, and prune to coax a second bloom. And, lavish color on container plantings (or go spectral such as this white and black combo). Days may be shorter, but the fall garden makes up for lost time by really strutting its stuff.

In the dark

Interior designers use a bit of black to amp-up the drama in a space. Works outside too! Add a moody hue to a bed of roses or a walkway with an edging of Ebony Knight™ Mondo Grass, sneak a few Ruse Black Lenten Rose into a stand of pink camellia, or fill a pot with Black Flowering Fountain Grass. Looks “right.”

Late bloomers

Just when summery plantings are tuckered-out, late season perennials zoom into bloom. Santa Barbara Mexican Bush Sage, Berry Bright™ Saxifrage, super-cool Windcliff Fragrant Pachysandra, spectral-white Wild Swan™ Hybrid Anemone and Real Glory Shasta Daisy are just a few ideas.Time for a garden center visit!

Double duty

What’s better than brilliant fall foliage? When it’s followed in spring by a burst of bloom! Plant these fuss-free shrubs for their rich autumn hues now and flowers from late winter on: Nikko Blush DeutziaGirard’s Hot Shot AzaleaDwarf FothergillaWhorled Class Viburnum, or Henry’s Garnet Sweetspire.

 

Build strong bones

Shrubs solve problems. Some of our favorites include space-saver Green Tower® Boxwood, compact, late-blooming Impish Elf® Lily of the Valley Shrub, water-wise Scarlet Torch™ Bottlebrush and Icee Blue® Yellow-Wood, a perfect conifer for the South.

Scentsational

From clove to vanilla, sweet to spice, the garden scents the October air. For some such as White Bell Winter Heath, Sweet Autumn Clematis or Gilt Edge Silverberry, fall is peak perfume season; for others, including Firewitch Cheddar PinkFlower Carpet® Amber Groundcover RoseVancouver™ Fragrant Star Clematis or Teddy Bear® Southern Magnolia, autumn is a bonus second act.

Waterwise fall color

Succulents look great year round, but for many late fall is when the real show starts. Seasonal rains allow aloes, echeverias, and stonecrops  to expend the energy necessary for blooms. As a defense against cold, their leaves often turn purple, orange or red. Planted now, they’ll thrill for months. (Pay attention to zones; not all can tolerate frost.)