Autumn All-Stars

Rose_TurtleheadBY Rob Zimmer

Add some new life to your yard, garden and landscape this fall by incorporating dramatic color, texture and more for an amazing autumn season.

Look beyond the standard fall staples like mums and kale and include a variety of different and unusual plants to add spice to your landscape.

Be sure to bring new life to fading summer containers by replacing spent annuals with flashy new fall bloomers.

Looking for something different this year? Here are some of my choices for amazing autumn all-stars in the landscape.

With their unusual, tubular blooms in pink or white, these long lasting, late blooming perennials attract migrating hummingbirds and monarchs. They prefer part sun and moist soil.

Little Bluestem
My favorite of the native grasses, this compact, colorful and elegant variety shimmers in pink, silver, blue and red, changing to a fiery orange and gold later in fall. Grows 2 feet tall by 2 feet wide forming a nice, compact clump.

Witch Hazel
Our latest blooming wildflower, technically a shrub, witch hazel begins to bloom in mid October, lasting until early January, depending on temperature. Native witch hazel blooms in bright yellow, while garden varieties bloom in shades of red and orange.

Larches and Tamaracks
An excellent tree for color and texture in all seasons, tamaracks and larches are technically evergreens that shed their needles each fall. Before they do so, however, the needles transform into a brilliant, fiery gold.

There are many varieties to choose from including weeping larches, conical forms and asymmetrical forms. There are even dwarf tamaracks and larches for large containers.

Autumn Crocus
Look for autumn crocus bulbs on sale after Labor Day. Plant the large bulbs with their necks at the surface and enjoy their spectacular blooms just a few weeks later. These bulbs naturalize easily in the garden, meaning more blooms year after year.

Blue_LobeliaHardy Hibiscus
One of the most dramatic flowers for the garden, blooms on hardy hibiscus plants may reach 10 inches across or more. Available in a variety of colors including pink, white and shades of red.

Blue Lobelia
Often overlooked in place of its flashier cousin, cardinal flower, great blue lobelia is equally stunning in cobalt blue. Flowering spikes me a reach 3 to 4 feet in height and bloom begins in late August.

Colorful, flamboyant and available in a wide variety of colors, zinnias are classic autumn bloomers that attract migrating monarchs and other late season butterflies.

Just as flashy in foliage as in flower, cannas spend the entire summer season reaching for the sky before putting on their best show in fall.

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