Monday, September 13, 2010

Flowers that bloom in fall

Actaea racemosa "Atropurpurea". 

At AOL's Shelterpop blog my list of flowers for fall is up. Some lovely plants with lovely pictures.

No more mums! No more mums!

(That's chrysanthemums, to you lot across the pond and beyond)

I jest, sort of. I actually like chrysanthemums, especially when they are allowed to naturalize elegantly. And I love the season that they have come to embody. What I dislike is the fall monoculture of artificial-looking, forced balls that suddenly pop up in otherwise barren seas of mulch or stuck like petrified pom-poms in between the shrubs. It's as if fall arrives and we all rush like lemmings to the nearest box store chanting, "Must have mums! Must have mums!"


  1. I like this time of year.

    Mums can look un natural.

    You're right to decribe Japanese anemones as the Audrey Hepburns of the fall garden.
    Lun 'em. I grow September Charm and Honorine Jobert.

  2. I love this time of year, too, Rob. Perhaps my favourite. Your anemone look gorgeous.

  3. One of the few things I have from my mother-in-law's garden is plain old pink mums. No name, just banks of them filling in every void in the garden. In a couple weeks I'll have a sea of pink. So much nicer than those balls!

  4. Interesting recommendations of plants! I've tried Japanese anemones and the poor things thought the shade they were planted in was way too dry and croaked. I see you recommend cyclamen for dry shade under trees...maybe i should give those cuties a whirl! I just planted a couple of native asters...couldn't resist them at the Farmer's Market because they were covered with bees and butterflies.

  5. I am impressed with your earlier story about Edgeworthia, miraculously flowering, scented, in late winter: and now I have it for the first time in my 6a Cambridge MA garden, just forming buds. Will they survive the winter, as yours did? Your story gives me hope, and encourages me to defy the pundits. Thinking ahead: I wonder what winter protection you gave yours? Mine is in semi-shade, in a tiny but well-sheltered city garden.

  6. webb - exactly. If they are allowed to be themselves chrysanthemums can be graceful creatures.

    QC - ya, the anemones do like moisture...Also the Rabdosia is good for dry shade, though t gets big!

    Rae - that edgeworthia (not mine, but in a garden I designed) had no protection, which is what impressed me. It is in Manhattan but a on roof, so I'm guessing the real zone could have been 6a. A healthy specimen is also at the BBG, considered to be zone 7. So I have hope for yours, as it is well sheltered. I hope to hear good things about it come 2011!


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