It's always around this time of year when I look around the garden and have a hard time finding anything that makes me swoon. Most plants just look a bit....tired. Like their gardener. The iris have flopped. The coneflowers are fading. The annuals are waiting for the first frost. But looking a bit closer, you find certain plants that are just ramping up for the fall.
Here's a (very short) list of some of my favorites, but please share the ones you love.
We have to kick it off with ornamental grasses. These tough, beautiful plants really make you turn your head in the fall with colorful foliage and flowers. There's a great ornamental grass for any landscape and there's a national study where CSU is a partner with numerous other sites across the U.S., looking at various species of ornamental grasses. Fellow CO-Hort Jane Rozum did her Master's work looking at water use of these plants.
Two of my (current) favorite ornamental grasses are Blonde Ambition blue grama (Bouteloua gracilis 'Blonde Ambition') and Shenandoah switchgrass (Panicum virgatum 'Shenandoah').
Blue grama is a native of Colorado and Blonde Ambition is a selected variety. The dancing "mustaches" (or eyebrows) gently bob on top of delicate foliage. It's so freaking cute, I can barely stand it. I love this grass. I planted three in my yard last year, so they are still pretty small. One worry I have is this is being planted everywhere. Even in the Costco parking lot islands. Will it become the next Karl Forester?
|There's a lot going on in this photo, but Blonde Ambition is in the middle with the straw-colored "mustaches". To the left is orange carpet hummingbird trumpet; behind is Paint the Town shrub rose; to the right is blue fescue.|
|Nosy Maple is sniffing out the sedum and Shenandoah switchgrass. The foliage will continue to develop a deeper burgundy color as fall progresses.|
|Sweet Autumn clematis. This is a nice clematis to plant, since it blooms so late in the summer, unlike some of its cousins.|
|I think it's safe to say that the silver lace vine has pretty much eaten the fence. Pretty though!|
|Angelina sedum. The lime green foliage turns copper with crisp fall weather.|
|Frosty Morn sedum. I love variegated plants...and the color pink. What more could I ask for in a plant?|