I think the nicest fall-blooming bulb is what is sometimes called autumn crocus, or more correctly Colchicum. Each of the various species looks like a giant crocus-type flower, in shades of orchid or pinkish or white, and sends out huge foliage in spring (sometimes people hate that), which disappears, and then big, showy flowers in fall. They come single or double–the doubles are pretty over-the-top. There are also a few true Crocus species (such as Crocus sativus, the saffron source, and Crocus speciosus) that bloom in autumn, and another Crocus-lookalike (but in yellow) called Sternbergia. Attempting to show you something to inspire I found a grid of photos at White Flower Farm that makes an easy visual reference, http://www.whiteflowerfarm.com/fall-blooming-bulbs.html, but you can buy from any number of sources (including the bulb specialists listed on the blog). These bulbs arrive in fall ready to bloom, and you plant them and voila! As for anything you’d plant now for fall bloom, though not hardy, dahlias will bloom right up to hard frost, for example. Enjoy. M.
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Welcome! I’m Margaret Roach, a leading garden writer for 25 years—at ‘Martha Stewart Living,’ ‘Newsday,’ and in three books. I host a public-radio podcast; I also lecture, plus hold tours at my 2.3-acre Hudson Valley (NY) Zone 5B garden, and always say no to chemicals and yes to great plants.