Perennials for a Fall Encore

By Kerry Ann Mendez

Fall is right around the corner. To some, this signals a sad goodbye to another gardening season, but why be so glum? There are many spectacular perennials that go into peak bloom at this time, creating a crescendo of color and generating a standing ovation from delighted gardeners. And if the foraging bees, butterflies and birds could add their pleased feedback, the roar would be deafening!

Some Overlooked Gems

Some of the most popular autumn standouts are Sedum, Aster, and ornamental grasses such as Panicum, Miscanthus and Pennisetum, but why not take the garden path less traveled and check out the following gems that we carry at Estabrook's:

Yellow Waxbells (Kirengeshoma palmata) - Part Sun to Part Shade, 32-36", Hardy to Zone 4

Toadlily (Tricyrtis) - Part Shade to Shade, 24-26", Hardy to Zone 5

Japanese Anemone (there is even a variety called 'Curtain Call Pink') - Sun to Part Shade, Heights vary, Hardy to Zone 5

Reblooming German Bearded Iris - Reblooming Iris offers a breathtaking performance in the spring and then return in the fall for an encore. We carry a number of these stalwarts including 'Concertina', 'Earl of Essex', 'Immortality', 'Las Vegas', 'His Royal Highness' and 'Harvest of Memories' (occasional). Sun and Heights vary, Hardy to Zone 3.

Tufted Hair Grass (Deschampsia cespitosa) - Sun to Part Sun, 18-36" in flower, Hardy to Zone 3

It's time to celebrate a fall filled with color and spectacular plants!

Kerry Ann Mendez KERRY ANN MENDEZ is an award-winning garden educator, author and design consultant based in southern Maine. Her latest book is The Budget-Wise Gardener. You'll now find her at our Kennebunk store consulting on garden design, answering your gardening questions and much more.