Friday, November 13, 2015

The Holdouts

Today I am looking back on the golden days of autumn with an eye to fabulous foliage and perennials that continued to bloom well into the season.

 Fantastic Autumn Foliage:

Caryopteris divaricata 'Snow Fairy' is a plant that I always looks spring-fresh in late summer and fall. Full sun to light shade. Height: 60 cm and Spread: 60cm (very similar in size and shape to a small Spirea).

I have a number of Ninebark all of which look terrific in autumn.

Delicate looking Switch Grass, Panicum Virgatum 'Northwind' is one of my favourite grasses. It forms a neat, upright clump of blue-green foliage and tolerates a range of soils and moisture levels. This grass's best feature is the cloud of beige panicles that in appear in late summer. Full sun. Height: 120-150 cm (47-59 inches), Spread:60-90 cm (23-35 inches). USDA Zones: 4-9.

Evening Primrose, Oenothera tetragona is a bit of a nuisance because it spreads a bit to aggressively, but it redeems itself a little each fall when it turns a brilliant red. Height: 30-50 cm, Spread: 30-40 cm. Sun or part shade. USDA Zones: 3-9.

Euphorbia 'First Blush' likes dry, sunny conditions. It has light green foliage with cream margins and a blush of rose. In spring, it has yellow flowers, but the true beauty of this plant is in the foliage. Warning: this plant has a milky sap that is irritating to skin. It's a good idea to wear gloves when you are doing any pruning. Height: 25-30 cm ( 10-12 inches), Spread: 30-45 cm (12-18 inches). USDA Zones: 5-9.

Euphorbia polychroma 'Bonfire' has foliage that emerges as green and then quickly becomes a mix of maroon and green. It also has bright yellow bracts in June. In fall, the color seems to intensify and the plant becomes magical when covered with frost crystals. Full sun and normal or sandy, dry soil. Warning: this plant also has a milky sap that is irritating to skin. Again, it's a good idea to wear gloves when you are doing any pruning. Height: 25-30 cm ( 10-12 inches), Spread: 30-45 cm (12-18 inches). USDA Zones: 5-9.

Frost always does them in, but up until that point, Coleus looks terrific in conjunction 
with other autumn foliage.

One of my birdbath planters. The ceramic mushrooms are from the Dollar Store.

Fabulous Autumn Flowers:

My picture does not do this plant justice. It is a great perennial to have for fall color.

Turtlehead, Chelone lyonii 'Hot Lips' has pink hooded flowers from August into September. Turtlehead prefers moist soil, but does fine enough in my garden. Full sun or light shade. Height:60-90 cm (18-23 inches), Spread: 45-60 cm. USDA Zones: 3-9.

Agastache 'Blue Fortune: I have featured this perennial any number of times, so I'll keep it short and sweet here. I love the frosty blue flowers and the pinkish cast the leaves take on as the temperatures drop. 'Blue Fortune' always looks great well into October.

Dwarf Calamint, Calamintha nepeta ssp. nepeta

 It's a bit of a shaggy dog, but the warm blue flowers are a nice color infusion to my fall garden.

Anise Hyssop, Agastache 'Little Adder' is a new introduction that is much shorter than Agastache 'Black Adder'. It blooms from late spring into fall. 'Little Adder' is only hardy to zone 5, so fingers crossed it makes it through an Ontario winter. Full sun and average growing conditions. Height: 40-45 cm (15-18 inches), Spread: 50-60 cm ( 20-24 inches). USDA Zones: 5-9.

Wild Bergamont or Monarda fistulosa

Wild Bergamont,  Monarda fistulosa is a skyscraper that can reach up to 5 feet. It started blooming in August and continued to flower into late September. Unlike modern hybrids, it can be prone to outbreaks of powdery mildew. Even so, it is well worth having in your garden. Bees and butterflies love it. Full sun to light shade. Average soil. USDA Zones: 3-9.

Two very similar Phlox. Both bloom a bit later than most of the other common varieties of Phlox.

Phlox paniculata Nora Leigh has white flowers with a magenta-colored eyes. The leaves are green with a narrow cream-colored margins. Full sun or light shade. Height: 70-75 cm (27-29 inches), Spread: 60-75 cm (23-29 inches). USDA Zones: 4-9.

Phlox paniculata 'Creme de Menthe' has wonderful green leaves with large, cream-colored margins. The flowers are also white with a magenta-colored eye. Full sun or light shade. Height: 90-120 cm (36-48 inches), Spread: 60-90 cm (24-36 inches). USDA Zones: 4-9.

I'll announce the winner of the latest book draw shortly.
Have a wonderful weekend!


  1. Autumn is lasting a long time this year and the colours of the foliage just get better and better. You still have lots of lovely flowers with food for butterflies, so important to be able to feed them while they are still about.

  2. We've had a couple killing frosts here already, so I'm really appreciating the plants that still look good into the winter. I'm becoming a big fan of the Panicums, too. Love your birdbath planting!

  3. Holy moly - is this all from your own garden? (please say no!!!) I am so envious... beautiful plants, thanks for sharing!

    1. I often feature other gardens, but these are all shots of my garden Anne.

  4. What most impressed me in this post is that those beautiful ceramic mushrooms came from the Dollar Store! I'm using their cake covers for my winter sowing since we don't use big plastic milk jugs. Duct taping one on top of another makes nice, tall planters with cover. Delicate looking Nora Leigh was new in my garden this year. Need to look into Snow Fairy - beautiful. Did my heart good to see a garden that hasn't called it quits for the winter.

    1. Alas, my garden has pretty much called it quits Annie. This was more of a review of the last few months. I have to say that I love my Dollar Store mushrooms. The little ones were just a dollar and the big ones were two dollars, I think. Your use for the cake covers sounds interesting. You may find Snow Fairy hard to find. It is not a common plant, but it is well worth the search.

  5. I am new to your blog and I enjoyed reading your post, and looking at your autumn plants, as we come into spring (I live in Canberra Australia) I was interested to see you had Coleus, whereas here they would only be grown in hot regions with no frost....does that mean they come back after frosts? I would love to have some (..we do get quite a few frosts though). I also loved hearing about your dogs, especially the chief culprit in getting the fridge open! We have always owned dogs, and loved them dearly, but it was so devastating when our last lovely dog (Chocky) died, I think I'll just live vicariously through others for a while!

    1. Glad you stopped by Gerrie. Coleus are treated as an annual here. Frost carries them off every fall. You can take cuttings and keep them over winter indoors. I have done that in years past, but missed my opportunity this fall.
      I am glad you enjoyed my doggie tales. Yes, Scrap can be very clever. It does take awhile to get over the loss of a beloved pet like Chocky. We lost Rusty almost a year ago and I still miss him terribly.

  6. Interesting to see what you still have in bloom - if only I could say the same.

    1. These were plants in bloom earlier in the fall Elaine. This post was intended as a bit of a review. Most of the trees are bare now and we have have a few hard frosts, so there is no much left in my garden either.

  7. Interesting list of autumnal plants, Jennifer. I liked Calamintha nepeta, never grew it but I should. I also liked monarda and coleus, I have them in my garden as well and I think these plants are gorgeous in this season.
    Happy GBBD!

  8. Very interesting plants - I imagine some of them would be hard to find for me but I enjoy seeing them! :-)

  9. I just love those mushrooms - they are perfect!

    You have some good colour in your garden still, lovely photo's.
    Thank you.

    All the best Jan

  10. Lots to add to my want list!!!

  11. Love the choices here...some very special plants with unique foliage...I brought in several coleus to overwinter...and sadly 'Snow Fairy' did not make it in my garden.

  12. What a heavenly Autumn post! I do love Northwind, and as pretty as Evening Primrose is I agree about it being invasive, it even sprouts in my drive!
    I really love your birdbath planter, and those little mushrooms along with the planting....
    Sighs....always lovely to see

  13. Hello Jennifer! So many great plants to review here today. I definitely will go looking for the monad (a favourite of mine.) Also your birdbath planter looks awesome - that's a fantastic idea to use the ceramic mushrooms in this way.

  14. Such a gorgeous garden and wonderful photos! *sighs of admiration and envy*
    I'm dreaming of taking butterfly photos like yours. Thank you for sharing!

  15. Beautiful foliage and flowers. I am especially drawn to your opening photo of the golden leaves. They remind me of stained glass.

  16. Jennifer girl I meant to stop at this post and comment on these beautiful plants but more so on that gorgeous bird bath planting with the toadstools ... that is something I would truly love to have ... I have to make a note of it in my to do for 2016 !
    That caryopteris is also eye candy .... another note taken !
    Thanks !
    Joy : )

  17. I too love the Northwind Switch Grass. I put one in a large planter this year as well. Looked great. Thanks for the tip about the milk in the euphorbia. I hadn't known that before.


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