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'

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Fall Color

Hello all!
When one thinks of fall color, the first thing that comes to mind is the trees. Maybe a burning bush. Itea? Mums? While I am not here to say that any of these are bad, except for maybe the mums, but that there is a lot out there that gets overlooked. Some that would be great as substitutes for mums. I try not to be a plant snob, so I won't go after the Burning Bush, but I'll show you some great subs as well for that. Here we go!
So, I'm not trying to make you jealous, but.....I went to Door County Wisconsin last weekend and the color was unbelievable. Pictures like this were everywhere. Isn't fall great? This particular shot was taken on a road on Washington Island. It was well worth the ferry price to get there.

Corylus americana is a native shrub that has exceptional foliage. In an ice breaker that we had last fall, Christa and Grace voted for this plant as their favorite plant for fall color. What an endorsement! On top of that, it bears great tasting nuts! Good luck opening them though. You definitely need a nut cracker.

Rhus copallina 'Prairie Flame' is the ultimate substitute for Burning Bush. This is it's fall color. I'm not sure if there is any more needed to be said about this plant. My campaign for this plant this year is, "Obama and McCain would rather you buy a Prairie Flame than a Burning Bush."

Viburnum nudum 'Winterthur' is quite the show this fall. Dark burgundy fall color is glossy and lustrous and fades to a red. This plant never looks bad. It does grow big though, reaching 10-12' at maturity. It bears fruit in multiple colors. White and blue and some are red. It's a must have for the shrub connoisseur.

This picture has both Schizachyrium 'Carousel' and Itea 'Scarlet Beauty'. "What a combination," Kim Kaczmarek, outside sales to garden centers said. I agreed. We have a median at our facility showcasing Chicagoland Grows product. These plants look great together. It's quite the collection of plants. If you need more information go here.

Aconitum fischeri: This is a plant that I put in full sun, knowing that it prefers shade. I was scolded for putting it in a no- win situation. Well, they look fantastic in full sun! Hah! This is why I trial things so hard. Sometimes a gem comes out. This plant looks better than the ones that I have in shade. Aren't they gorgeous? Would you plant these? Should we sell them?
Anemone 'Honorine Jobert' I promise, I will soon stop talking about Anemones. I remember when I first started in this business when a fellow plant geek was talking about Anemones, I said, "It's just an Anemone." As he looked at me puzzled, I wondered what I just said. It was his favorite plant. Years later, I was wrong Dave. These are quite the cool plants! Now they are amongst my favorites.

Okay, I promise this is the last one! What happens when you have September Charms meet up with October Skies? A great combination for the fall. Anemone 'September Charm' and Aster 'October Skies' make for a delightful combo.

Amsonia hubrichtii is one of the best perennials for fall color. Although in the past couple years, they've been yellow the whole summer too. But right now, you can tell that they just shine in fall. Think of the reds of the Rhus Prairie Flame with this Amsonia in the foreground. What a combo that would be. Maybe, I'll try that around here.

Quite the unlikely fall color. People don't think about fall when thinking about roses. But they are quite spectacular right now. This is Rosa 'Sunny Knockout'. Roses are thriving from the cooler temperatures, no Japanese beetles, and less humidity.

Easy Elegance Rose 'Kashmir' This is one of my new favorite roses. I know I have a lot of favorites, but I did qualify it as a favorite rose. It produces stunningly fragrant dark red blooms on a single stem. They truly look like a hybrid tea. Very hardy to my surprise, this has been a standout in the garden this year. And now, it's sending up a lot more blooms. So much nicer than those mums we used to plant here.

I almost made it through all the plants before slamming the mums. I apologize to those that like the fall mums. I can be rather biased to plants and I just haven't warmed up to those yet. So, hopefully the rain coming today and through the weekend won't knock everything down and I'll have current pictures for you next week as well. I do have many pictures from throughout the year of plants that will be new in the catalog for 2009. Those will be here this winter! Also, I'll keep updating with winter interest from the garden designed by Piet Oudolf. It's quite magical. But, don't start thinking about next year too soon. There is still time to plant. So enjoy the fall while it lasts, and until next time, have a great day!

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