There's so much that changes in the MG landscape throughout the year...we thought a plant trial and garden blog was the best way to start sharing "what's new" and "what's happening with all those new varieties" with you! Visit often for updates on how trial plants are performing in the gardens and to see photos throughout the season as we grow and change!

Welcome to the Midwest Groundcovers Landscape Blog

Welcome to the Midwest Groundcovers Landscape Blog
Astilbe 'Vision in Red' with Hosta 'Patriot' and Carex 'Ice Dance'

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Fantastic Fall Flowers

Hello all,

In the past I've shown great looking seed heads, fall colors and more. But I've omitted the beautiful fall flowers that we have. One thing I promise, is that there are no pictures of mums following this paragraph. Everyone knows what a mum looks like. But I'm more in favor of looking at the plants blooming now that are underused, or they are not thought of as fall flowers. Without further ado, here they are.
Calamintha nepeta ssp nepeta
Why isn't this the hottest perennial on the planet? It blooms from late June to frost, going from a clean white to a light lavender. Furthermore, it attracts honeybees and plant geeks alike. Plant a Calamintha in your yard and soon enough you'll have someone ask you what great prize you have! And in times where the bee populations are at risk, why not help them out?

Aster oblongifolius 'October Skies'
Okay, I realize this isn't groundbreaking. But how many Asters do you know that will creep over a curb and look stunning. Plus, these look great all year. They have very nice green foliage which is also aromatic. The fragrance is definitely for the flower children of the world as it has a distinct patchouli smell.

Anemone 'September Charm' This is the beginning of the underused. Now, if you have used Anemone 'Robustissima' and were afraid to use it anymore because of how aggressive it is, try this. This is an entirely calm and collected plant. It's dainty flowers floating above the foliage are fairytale-like. It really adds a nice bloom at a time where little is offered.

Anemone 'Pamina' Adding to the great Anemones, this one has double blooms and is a little shorter plant. The overall habit of this plant is much more compact and tidy than others. Not quite the fairytale plant like above, but quite nice in it's own right. I can't speak for everyone, but I would sure rather have this come back every year than have my mums possibly come back.

Rosa Double Knock Out(TM) What about roses for your late season color? The Knock Outs and virtually all the other roses in the trials here are in full bloom. It looks great!!! Maybe they don't come in the autumnal colors of the fall mum, but they are working on it. Flower Carpet(R) Amber would be a step in that direction.

Geranium 'Intrinsic Pink' Would you buy a Geranium that only bloomed in the fall? That is the characteristic of this plant. When I first saw the plant, it was in October, and I remember being very excited about the bloom at that time of year. A year later, I learned that's the only time it blooms. I'm not sure this is bad. I like the plant a lot and people have commented on how nice the late flower is. What do you think? It's currently in trial status only.

Geranium 'Pink Penny' Another trial status perennial. This one has been tauted as the "pink Jolly Bee'. While the flower does have that look, it is not quite as vigorous as 'Jolly Bee' is. But I have grown to really like this plant. It is very floriferous at this time of year, but doesn't start flowering until much later than 'Jolly Bee' and 'Rozanne'. Still worthy of my garden, but not worthy of cult status the way 'Jolly Bee' has become.

Geranium 'Jolly Bee' If you have ever come to Midwest Groundcovers for a tour, you then know that 'Jolly Bee' is my favorite plant. I try being careful about what is and isn't my favorite plants, because I have so many. But this is truly one step ahead of all the other plants I love. To me this is the best introduction of a plant to the nursery industry in my 10 years on the job. If you have not used this plant, try it. I must say that I did not like or understand perennials before I worked for Midwest Groundcovers. My background was completely with woody plants. The day I saw 'Jolly Bee' it all changed.

Hydrangea paniculata 'Limelight' This is quite the plant. Another real long bloom time for a plant. I try not to copy what others have done when I work on the landscape here. I like to be unique and offer our guests something different than what they'd see on the Internet or at another nursery. But sometimes, things look so good, that it's worthy of mimicking. There is no better hedge in America than the 'Limelight' Hydrangea hedge at Dale Deppe's home, owner of Spring Meadow Nursery. Once I saw it, I knew we had to have that here! I can't wait for a couple years from now, when this hedge stops people in their tracks like it did the day I first saw it.

One heck of a container! Around our buildings and in our Retail Shoppe area, we have containers planted with mostly our product line. While you'll find a couple annuals here and there, the perennials and shrubs have really become a hit. This one in particular stood out to me. The Physocarpus 'Summer Wine' is quite attractive all by itself. But the Geranium at its' base adds another great color to the container. Of course, you need to pick a great Geranium to make it bloom for a long time, so of course they picked 'Jolly Bee'!!!

So I leave you with this question. What is your favorite fall flower, fall foliage, or fall grass? Email me at kmcgowen@midwestgroundcovers.com and let me know. I'll let everyone know what the favorites are in the next post. Until next time, thanks for reading, and have a great day!

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