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LET’S TALK GARDENING – Late Summer Color

By Doug Hensel
Doug's Blog

LATE SUMMER CAN BE A TRICKY TIME OF YEAR FOR COLOR IN THE GARDEN

Here we are in the last days of August. Gardeners are looking for more color for their gardens or containers. Summer blooming annuals continue to produce color as long as you support them with a haircut and monthly feeding. And, of course, we have a Virginia favorite with our beloved Crape Myrtle trees that are still in bloom. But, what else can we plant this time of year that will add fresh color to the garden? Here are a few plant suggestions:

SEDUM

Sedum makes great late summer color

Sedum is a very hardy, sun-loving perennial. There are so many wonderful varieties to choose from when looking at adding Sedum to your landscape. We carry many different varieties that are all just coming into their season. One of my new favorite varieties of sedum is SUNSPARKLER ‘Dream Dazzler’. It is new for us this year. It has incredible variegated foliage with Magenta flowers right now. And, since I love to do container gardening, Sunsparkler does great as a container plant. Very hardy from Zones 4 – 9. We are Zone 7.

ORNAMENTAL GRASSES

Ornamental grasses provide great late summer color

Ornamental grasses are putting on quite a show right now with the plumes. They are very functional when using in the landscape. We carry such a large selection of assorted hardy, sun-loving ornamental grasses. All are very hardy for our region. And, they come in all sizes. My advice—if you are looking to add ornamental grass to your landscape then do some homework first. You want to decide what space you have available and then decide on the dimensions you would prefer. Come see us and let us show you our selection.

ABELIA

Abelia provides late summer color

“Glossy Abelia” as it may be called. The many different varieties of Abelia are just coming into bloom. This evergreen shrub is low maintenance and drought and heat tolerant. Edward Goucher is one variety that is popular with its pinkish flowers. But, my overall favorite continues to be KALEIDOSCOPE ABELIA. Kaleidoscope has multi-colored leaves with tiny white flowers. It has a mounding growth habit and will become 3’ x 3’ at maturity. Later in the fall when we cool down the leaves on the Kaleidoscope become more vibrant and redder in color. It’s a beauty in my estimation.

BUDDLEIA

Butterfly bush is excellent late summer color

“Butterfly Bush” as it is most commonly referred to by. What a great plant for late summer color. And, this is just one attribute that this plant provides. It is true to its name in that our beloved butterflies flock to this woody shrub. Butterflies have a weak sense of smell, but good vision. Their favorite flowers are often brightly colored. Another great attribute for this plant is that it is considered DEER RESISTANT. There are so many wonderful varieties on the market now. When we first started having butterfly bushes for sale it was mainly three varieties—Nanho Blue, Nanho White, and Black Knight—all great varieties and still popular. But, my new favorite is PUGSTER BLUE. Pugster Blue is a dwarf butterfly bush that grows to become 2’ x 2’. Very hardy for our region. Like all the varieties of butterfly bush, Pugster Blue needs to be planted in full sun.

RUDBECKIA

Rudbeckia (black-eyed susan) gives excellent late summer color

“Black-Eyed Susan” as most commonly called. With this selection, I am continuing with very hardy, sun-loving perennials that give color this time of year and also are supporters to many of our pollinators, such as butterflies, songbirds, finches, and others because of their nectar. A great hardy perennial that is relatively low maintenance once planted and established. And, like the Butterfly Bush, all the different varieties of Black-Eyed Susans are deer resistant. The mother of all these different varieties of Black-Eyed Susan is the variety called ‘Goldstrum’. Goldstrum is considered a Native Plant to our region.

PLANT A LITTLE HAPPINESS!!!!!!!!!!!

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4 thoughts on “LET’S TALK GARDENING – Late Summer Color

  1. Debby,
    Good Morning.
    I am so glad that you sent me this message. And, I am glad that you find the educational blogs helpful. Have a great fall season. Doug

  2. What about asters? I recently learned that they are native plants that have very high value for pollinators.

  3. Good Afternoon. Asters are an excellent choice. I did not include Asters with my list of plants because most people call them “fall asters”. We have a great selection right now. They are just coming into bloom. I hope you can come see us soon and let us show you the blooming asters. Doug

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