Monday, September 24, 2012

Turtlehead and other Fall Blooming Flowers

Fall bloomers not only add pastel hues to the jewel tones of the fall yard, they complement the shade garden. Holding back the show until autumn, these subtle blooms are well worth the wait.   

Left to seed, autumn arrivals give impact to the winter garden--robust blooms nabbing snowflakes for interest

Turtlehead a/k/a chelone
Sturdy turtlehead is slow to establish, but a reliable perennial that thrives in the shade garden--adding structure and height through September when lipstick pink blooms arrive.  Low maintenance, disease and fungi resistant, these uncommon plants are worth the search. A batch at the base of the driveway always draws comments from passersby and the hardy gals thrive despite the giant oak that interrupts the sweeping spray of the sprinkler system.

Reliable hosta sprouts elongated blooms of frilly purple or white.

Shrubs do the heavy lifting as burning bush and hydrangea reach their peak of color.

Black cohosh, a native plant, sets out white blossoms resembling giant caterpillars.  These blooms droop gently or wave gaily in the chilly breeze. 

Reliable sedum sets out honeycombed blooms of pink, red and burgundy.  Left on the stem through winter, they deepen giving contrast to the white winterscape.  Red flag grass throws out plum colored tassels which capture the wind. 

Fall blooming plants tend not to be delicate. To survive the heat of summer then gracefully transition to the vagrancies of cool fall requires some strength of character and color n'est pas?

It's not all burgundy and bronzes in the October garden, as dramatic monkshood give the yard  a regal blue hue before winter sets in...

Frost on the pumpkin!