August Gardening – Adding Late Color to the Garden

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 21,276
    Mitch Baker with American Plant talks about late color in the garden.

    Mitch Baker: Hi! I'm Mitch Baker with American Plant. Now I want to talk about late color in the garden. Even though summer is coming to an end, there is still time to add color to the garden. Late blooming perennials and woody ornamentals are the perfect tradition.

    So right out front here we have two cultivars of the hardy hibiscus, the true perennial hibiscus with the very large dinner plate sized flowers. Those will continue blooming for the next eight, even ten weeks in a wide range of colors, beautiful, beautiful flowers.

    Right down in front of them here, one of the dwarf crate murdles. Now, of course, everybody is familiar with the big crate murdles, but many of these new dwarf cultivars that have been introduced are a good way to accent that same range of colors within the garden.

    Also, two forms of the lobelia cardinalis, the Cardinal Flower. Now, this is hummingbird magnet. This is a must for the late summer garden. That will tolerate anything from full sun to quite a bit of shade.

    Two forms of rudbeckia back here, the rudbeckia fulgida which is just now starting to bloom. This is a good way to extend that blooming period well beyond the rudbeckia goldsturm. Maybe mix them together, so you have the two blooming, and then that extension of the bloom period later in the season.

    Then, for a really tall accent, the rudbeckia herbstsonne, really big, bold flowers on very tall five, five-and-a-half foot plants, so a great accent for the back of the garden.

    Of course, there is the knockout rose. Now, yes, the knockout rose blooms periodically throughout the summer, but that's the point. It continues to bloom through the summer, well into the fall.

    There is also the late-blooming agastache or hyssop. This comes in a range of colors. The blue is popular, of course, but this Tutti Frutti cultivar is also beautiful in the garden, late-blooming, and attracts a great number of butterflies and bees to the garden.

    We also have the large-leafed succulent-like sedum matrona, late-blooming, but also known just for the really bold leaves, and I love that color. That's on the matrona, that sort of reddish purple coloration in the leaves.

    Last but not least, the swamp milkweed. This attracts a range of butterflies, including monarchs and swallowtails, provides nectar for the adults, but also the monarch butterfly larvae feed on the foliage.

    So, you accomplish a number of things by planting a late-blooming perennial like this, not only adding color to the garden, but attracting beneficial species to the garden as well.

    So, I hope these tips will help keep your garden looking great with late color.