You can expand your September garden with all types and sizes of plants in shades of blue, burgundy, pink, yellow and white this autumn season, so don’t settle for the same old flower shapes and plant colors as years past. Take your flower garden to the next level this year by trying some new options along with the old.
According to this Sept. 12 Knoxville Daily Sun article, you should consider sunflowers as one of the plants to promote in your garden this month. But while the flower comes in many more shades than just the standard yellow (think wine-red, for example), if you did not plant your sunflower seeds a month or more ago, then you can forget about enjoying their bright color during the early days of Fall, as it takes 45-60 days for them to bloom.
Likewise, mums might be the typical plant to decorate with around your home from September through November (and if so you really need this Southern Living guide to Chrysanthemums), but many flower garden lovers are ready for a change from them, too. After all, you don’t really want to plant the exact same thing as everyone else this time of year. Do you?
If blue is your color and you live in USDA Zone 4 than you could go with the Beyond Blue Festuca grass-like plant from Southern Living Plant Collection. It fits nicely into the flower garden, taking up only a little bit of space since it reaches no more than a foot in height and little more than that in width. And if you are adventurous you could always try it in your flower garden even if you live in a different zone, like I did in the North Georgia Trial Garden. All three blue festuca plants in that garden are doing exceptionally well this September, and this is a USDA Zone 7 environment.
Burgundy color lovers have more than one choice to select from this year if they are shopping around. There is the Design-A-Line Cordyline plant from Southern Living, which has a cascading grass-like habit in burgundy that is a perfect foil for other brighter-colored plants in the landscape. This plant is perfect for USDA Zones 8-11, but the Atlanta Landscape Design Examiner placed three of them in her trial garden in zone 7. And I’m happy to report that they are doing great.
Garden lovers could also choose to go with the Delta Jazz Crapemyrtle tree from SLPC, which sports burgundy-colored cupped leaves year-round in addition to pink blooms in the summer (USDA Zones 7-10). But if you are into complementary-colored landscaping, like this gardener, choose both the cordyline and the crapemyrtle and plant the cordylines in front of the crapemrytle. That way the long blades of burgundy from the cordyline will hide the bottom of the crapemyrtle and draw attention to the similar colored leaves mirrored on the tree above. It makes for a striking presentation in the landscape.
Hedge lovers looking for something new and bright to plant for this time of year would do well to consider the Southern Living Plant Collection’s Sunshine Ligustrum, which provides a golden foliage color year-round for USDA Zones 6-10. Maximum height for this low-growing hedge ranges from 3 to 4 feet tall, with the same width spread. And fortunately for allergy sufferers, this is a ligustrum they can enjoy, too, as it does not re-seed into the landscape like other ligustrum plants. And since this plant is a fast grower, it will be no time before your winter residential landscape looks bright and cheerful instead of dark and dreary.
Last, but not least, is the Scentsation Gardenia. White perfumed blooms continue to open and permeate the air with a heavenly scent through the fall season with this multiplying beauty. And when it isn’t blooming it is providing dark-green foliage to admire during the bleak days of winter. It’s definitely a must for any garden located in zones 7-10.
With over 6,000 garden centers and a plants by mail option, there is no need to wonder where to buy these plants from the Southern Living Plant Collection. And as the proud recipient of innumerable plants donated from this company for the North Georgia Trial Garden, I can tell you firsthand that based upon their performance I would not purchase any other plant with my hard earned money. And if you are conscientious about the need to be water-wise when choosing when to put your plants in the ground, as this LA Times article advocates, then fall is the perfect time to make your purchases and start planting, as the plants will require less water during that time of year.