This past week fall has winked its eye at us with cooler temperatures and the leaves in the trees are starting to change color. As I was walking to the store one morning I noticed my neighbors beautiful ornamental grasses. They were swaying in the wind and the “flowers” were fluff on a stem. Along my way I saw more beautiful landscapes and gardens. It leads me to start thinking about what my yard needs for fall interest. Does your garden need a blush of fall?
At the moment, Hydrangeas, Rose of Sharon and Butterfly Bushes are blooming beautifully. Roses, Hibiscus and Summer Sweet are showing their final blooms of the season. These shrubs come in many colors and sizes. Jensen’s Garden Center in Greenville has a good selection of shrubs that you can walk through and pick the one fits in your landscape. One of my favorite hydrangeas that I’m adding to my side year is the oak leaf hydrangea. It is a large shrub that grows to about six feet tall and wide. It has gorgeous white cone shaped flower that turn pink to red as they age. Their leaves are shaped like an oak tree’s leaf and turn a beautiful deep red in the fall and stay on the stem after the leaves fall off and winter comes. Their stems add winter interest as the stems peal their bark like a paper bark maple tree. This shrub offers many seasons of interest. Be on the look out for shrubs laden with berries. These plants, such as a variety of viburnums, offer multiple seasons of interest. Pretty flowers in the spring turn into outstanding berries in the fall.
Also offering multiple seasons of interest are ornamental grasses. Now is the time, in my opinion, to purchase these sensational grasses. They are currently in full bloom and it is easier to determine the height, shape and flower type you want and need in your garden in the fall. Take a look around and you will notice some grasses stand straight and as tall as 7-feet while others are 2-foot rounded powder puffs with straight cat-tail shaped flowers. There are so many varieties to choose from that it can get difficult to pick which one fits your space. My advice is to look at the bare spots in your yard. Is it a wide space? Or does it need some height? Do you need a shot of color? Zebra Grasses have golden yellow markings on the blades of grass and reach around 4-feet tall. No bare space, you could plant the grass in an ornamental pot by your front door for a fall foliage display.
Besides the shrubs and grasses now is a good time to add fall blooming perennials. Wayside Gardens, Jensen’s Garden Center and Michael’s Farm Market have a good selection of flowers in bloom. Just walking among the gaillardia, asters and mums in bloom will bring ideas for plantings to mind. Slip them in by the foliage of summer blooming perennials such as peonies to add a splash of color to the June-blooming flower bed. An under-used flower is the fall-blooming anemone. It is a perky flower that floats above its foliage that adds a shot of color floating on the fall breezes.
I’d like to mention one last note on fall planting. If you are thinking of planting a tree in the near future now is a good time to pick one out. Take a walk through the garden center while the trees are turning color and find a leaf color you love. You have now found your new tree that will add beauty in your yard for the years to come. Maybe you don’t need to add to your garden I would suggest just a walk or a drive to enjoy fall’s fabulous colors. One that is note worthy is as you drive into Greenville from M91 North is Jensen’s Garden Center has a beautiful autumn display by their sign.