Monrovia - Plant Savvy
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design, inspiration and practical ideas from the plant experts. October 2013
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Dear Savvy Gardener,

“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.” Albert Camus.  Doesn’t it seem like fall materializes overnight?  One day it’s hot and summery…then pretty much the next day there is a crispness in the air and the trees start letting go of a few of their leaves.  For many people, this is their favorite season.  So no need to be missing your summer garden splendor – there is plenty to tantalize in the fall garden.  There are the long season bloomers that will produce all summer and well into fall.  And favorite fall blooming perennials that burst forth with color every year at this time.  You’ll want to add some plants that produce ornamental berries, since they’re both beautiful and an important food source for birds.  Of course, nothing says autumn like the technicolor foliage of deciduous trees and shrubs.


Profusion Beautyberry puts on a show in the fall with abundant clusters of long lasting violet berries along its branches.  Bring some indoors to add interest to a cut flower arrangement.  Be sure to leave plenty of berries on the bush for migrating birds.

Purple Dome New England Aster
they keep on blooming

Hyssop is a perennial shrub in the Mint family and is sometimes called Hummingbird Mint because the little winged creatures love the flowers that bloom from early summer through fall.  Heatwave has lavender-pink blooms; Blue Fortune’s are lavender-blue; and Summer Love has dense clusters of red-purple flowers.  Easy-to-grow Asters just keep putting out plenty of blooms all summer through fall.  Purple Dome creates large mounds of dainty purple flowers. For smaller spaces, Woods Pink and Woods Blue are powerhouses of color. One of our most popular Asters is Farmington Michaelmas.  Its double, lilac blooms are oh so pretty!

Full Moon Tickseed
good for the whole bloomin’ season

Easy-to-grow Tickseed is a perennial that will provide color all summer and into fall, and attract butterflies and bees. Our new Big Bang™ selections are well branched and have great disease resistance. Big Bang™ Redshift  has butter yellow flowers with deep red centers that streak toward the petal edges.  As the weather cools in the fall, they turn ruby red. Big Bang™ Mercury Rising is the first truly hardy red variety; and Big Bang™ Full Moon has bright yellow daisy-like flowers.

fall flower power

When you think of fall blooming perennials, most people instantly think: Chrysanthemums!  There are those big “Football Mums” that find themselves in homecoming corsages…but in the garden, most people grow the daisy-shaped varieties.  Chrysanthemums are easy to grow and their show-stopping color will make you smile.  Our Mammoth™ Series were bred in Minnesota and are the most cold-hardy varieties. Try Lavender, Red Daisy or Yellow Quill, which has interestingly shaped petals.

Eichholz Cotoneaster
plant a birdie buffet

Cotoneaster are known for stunning fall foliage and colorful berries. These low-growing groundcover shrubs tend to deter deer browsing. Eichholtz has showy red fruit and brilliant gold-red foliage in fall. Tom Thumb is a dwarf variety, reaching just one to two feet tall. Coral Beauty has dense, prostrate branches covered with shiny green foliage. In fall, its purple tinged foliage enhances the profusion of coral red berries.

Ignite Red St. John’s Wort
berried treasures

You and the birds will love fall-fruiting Snowberries.  Stunning Charming Fantasy™ has an abundant crop of large white berries tinged in pink.  The berries on Scarlet Pearl are a deep pink; and our new Blade of Sun has brilliant chartreuse-yellow foliage covered with purple flowers in the fall. Ignite Red St. John’s Wort has yellow summer flowers, then red berries.  A Compact Strawberry Shrub has masses of white flowers, followed by red strawberry-like fruit that lasts through late winter. Pyracantha are beautiful in the autumn and loaded with berries for the birds.  Red Elf™ is a dwarf variety, with deep red berries.  Yukon Belle® is popular for its bright orange fruit.

Shishigashira Japanese Maple
plant for the future

Now is a great time to plant a Japanese Maple for fabulous fall color next year, and several varieties are ideal for the smaller garden. Shishigashira has a nice compact habit and its leaves are purple-red with brilliant orange-red patterns in fall. Shaina will reach just 6 - 8 feet, but dazzle you in the fall as it turns a deep maroon-red.  For fall color you’ll always remember, Ginkgo or Maidenhair  trees have interesting fan-shaped leaves.  Our new compact Jade Butterfly is bright green and then turns golden in fall.  Autumn Gold is a non-fruiting Ginkgo that puts on an eye-catching show as the weather begins to cool.  A fabulous perennial for extended season beauty is Color Flash® Astilbe. As flowers fade in the fall, its stunning foliage turns dark burgundy, highlighted with fall colors.



Don’t toss those Halloween pumpkins – repurpose!  Toast the seeds, plant them up and enjoy on the patio. Later, move the plants to the garden or another arrangement. Pumpkin and soil goes to the compost bin.


Get This Look! (clockwise)


1. Frosted Violet Coral Bells, Variegated Japanese Sedge, Vinca minor, Wild Berry Coneflower

2. TigerEye Gloriosa DaisyLittle Henry® Sweetspire

3. Orange New Zealand Sedge, Cape Blanco Stonecrop



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