fall planting: 21 powerhouse perennials i’d order
I SPENT PART OF THE HOLIDAY WEEKEND ADMIRING the bush clover, Lespedeza thunbergii (the purple cloud in my previous post), and another chunk of time making a list of other plants I really appreciate, each in its own moment, like the species peony Paeonia mlokosewitschii (above). I hope your holiday weekend was a happy one, and that it included some gardening, some delicious harvest bounty—and that you still have energy left for a little garden planning…and maybe some room for just one or two more perennials? Twenty-one perennial plants I’d order if I didn’t already have them (a list you would have had yesterday if you subscribed to my weekly email newsletter, hint, hint):
LESPEDEZA THUNBERGII: A 6-by-6 fountain of late-summer into fall purple glory. Easy, too.
HAKONECHLOA ‘ALL GOLD’: The Japanese forest grass turns my shady garden areas golden tones from May into winter.
HELLEBORE HYBRIDS: Dry shade? No problem. Forgiving, beautiful, extra-early blooming perennials with evergreen foliage to boot.
SEDUM ‘MATRONA’: Maybe my favorite of the taller sedums, all blue-green and pinkish in that sedum-y way.
GERANIUM PHAEUM ‘SAMOBOR’: Perennial geraniums are a must; this one’s perhaps the mustest, showy and cooperative.
LATHYRUS VERNUS: A little perennial pea of early spring (above) that’s delicate and durable; one of my springtime staples.
HOSTA ‘SAGAE’ and ‘JUNE’: If I could only have two hostas (egads!), I guess these would be the ones.
ASTILBOIDES TABULARIS: “What’s that big-leaved plant?” garden visitors always say of this shade standout.
ANGELICA GIGAS: A biennial beauty of mid- to late-summer, its 5-foot-tall, wine-colored umbels really shout. I know, I said perennials, but can’t live without this.
DICENTRA ‘GOLD HEART’: I love bleeding hearts (what intricate flowers!) but this gold-leaf one is the best of all.
2 SPECIES PEONIES: ‘Molly the Witch’ (top photo) and her friend P. veitchii are spring shade-garden surprises, subtle and gorgeous.
2 COLORFUL FERNS: The Japanese painted and the Autumn fern (above) are better than any flower, fronds-down.
4 TOUGH GROUNDCOVERS: My staples for where nothing wants to grow, and I don’t want to weed. Dry shade, here they come.
EUPHORBIA PALUSTRIS: A standout among the spurges (of which I have oodles), tall and golden and impressive.
MY ONLY MUM, ‘WILL’S WONDERFUL’: Any list of perennials created in fall has to include a mum, right? This bawdy maniac is my one and only.