Posts Tagged ‘Buddleia’

Begonia grandis

Last Thursday afternoon I took a walk through André’s gardens. It was a beautiful sunny day with pleasant temperatures in the mid 70’s – glorious!

The gardens are beginning to transition into to their fall colors of reds, golds, oranges, and browns but there are still plenty of vibrant flowers around.

Begonia grandis

Begonia grandis

One of my favorite fall bloomers is the bright pink hardy begonia, Begonia grandis. These hardy perennials are slow to break dormancy in the spring but once they pop up, the foliage remains attractive until the first hard frost knocks them down.

The leaves are a beautiful green above with striking red venation on the underside. In August, clusters of bright pink flowers appear dangling from ruby red stems above the green foliage. They are wonderful plants for brightening the shady garden in the fall. Begonia grandis is hardy to zone 6 and will come up year after year. Even if the tuberous roots don’t survive the winter, many of the small bulbils that form in the axils of the leaves will drop to the ground in the fall and sprout new plants in the late spring. These little seedlings can be transplanted or allowed to grow where they are to create a colorful shady ground cover.

Ceratostigma foliage is just beginning to turn red.

Ceratostigma foliage is just beginning to color up in the Viette gardens.

Another colorful ground cover that is in its full glory in the late summer and fall is Ceratostigma plumbaginoides (plumbago or leadwort). This perennial is also slow to emerge in the spring but once it pops up, it forms a lovely carpet of deep green foliage that grows to about 12″ tall. In August, clusters of rich, cobalt blue flowers adorn the plants adding color to the garden through frost. The outstanding reddish orange fall foliage creates a beautiful backdrop for the deep blue flowers. Ceratostigma makes a wonderful fast growing ground cover for dry sunny banks or in rock walls. It should be cut back in the spring before new growth begins.

A lovely single pink anemone.

A lovely single pink anemone.

Japanese anemones, Anemone japonica, are another of my favorite fall bloomers. These wonderful perennials add a graceful dimension to the late summer and fall shade or part shade garden with their profusion of light and airy blooms. They come in a wide range of colors from white to pink to deep rose and in single flowers or semi-double to double flowers.

Anemone 'Honorine Jobert'

Anemone ‘Honorine Jobert’

These hardy perennials produce a mass of silvery buds and colorful blooms which rise on well-branched stems above their attractive foliage.

André uses mass plantings of several different cultivars of Japanese anemones in many of his berm gardens and they are truly spectacular! They are one of the most asked about and sought after of all the fall blooming perennials in the Viette gardens.

A bumblebee crawls over a Tricyrtis flower

A bumblebee visits a Tricyrtis flower

One of the most interesting of the fall bloomers is Tricyrtis (Toad Lily). Gardeners seeking plants for shade are always pleased to discover Toad Lilies! They offer some of the most unique flowers in the perennial world and produce them in fall, when most shade gardens could use a point of interest. Graceful arching stems bear clasping lance-shaped leaves and clusters of unusual white flowers which are heavily spotted with purple. The flowers, which are rather orchid-like, appear in the axils of the leaves and also at the tips of the stem. They are a true conversation piece in the fall garden. Tricyrtis prefer moist, well-drained soil and make excellent cut flowers.

Aster n.a. 'Hillside'

Aster n.a. ‘Hillside’

Of course it wouldn’t be fall without the glorious fall asters! These floriferous autumn bloomers are true magnets for a huge variety of butterflies! The deep purple New England aster ‘Hillside’ is one of the showiest fall bloomers in the Viette gardens. In September through October, it transitions into a solid mass of purple flowers with bright yellow centers. The bees and butterflies can’t stay away! Asters come in many different colors from vibrant reds to rose-pink to blues and even white. ‘Harrington’s Pink’ is another beautiful fall aster with bright pink blooms.

Aster n.a. 'Harrington's Pink' makes a beautiful tall mound of pink flowers in the fall.

Aster n.a. ‘Harrington’s Pink’ is covered with pink flowers in the fall.

A monarch butterfly visits a Buddleia 'White Profusion' flower

A monarch butterfly visits a Buddleia ‘White Profusion’ flower

Speaking of butterflies, the Buddleia (butterfly bushes) are still blooming strongly and will continue to flower until frost. These shrubs attract loads of butterflies and hummingbirds with their large, fragrant flower trusses. Monarch butterflies in particular seem to be drawn to the Buddleia flowers. In early fall when they are migrating through, we will often see large numbers of them flitting from one to the other throughout the gardens.

Ornamental grasses, Perovskia (Russian Sage), Sedum, Chrysopsis villosa, hardy hibiscus …

The list of beautiful fall bloomers goes on and on. Don’t let fall become the end of the flower show in your garden. Visit a garden center near you and put some pizzazz in your fall gardens!

Click for more beautiful shots of the Viette gardens in fall

Until next time – Happy Fall!

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