The perennial guide to late summer and fall blooms

Author: Amy Adams, Contributor: Ruxandra Badulescu
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Planting guide and loving the earth each and every day not just on Earth Day

Every April ‘Earth Day’ comes around as some kind of celebration and I love our mother Earth who supports and nourishes us but I’ve given up on the fake holidays with good intentions. They are intended to remind us about whatever ‘holiday’ is represented but they are hollow and empty. We can’t celebrate the Earth for only one day each year, as we can’t celebrate women or the entirety of the black population (or African American – I don’t know what is ‘politically correct’) one month each year. The earth, women and people – and a little sidebar here -> can’t even believe that we’re identifying people by their gender and skin color – UGH – we’re all just humans [end of sidebar] each and every human deserves much more than that….and you thought you were just going to read about blooms!

“Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web we do to ourselves. All things are bound together, all thing connect.”

Chief Seattle

I’m getting to the blooms but the reason why this information is shared here is to help you nourish the earth and plant flowers and plants that will return each year but also so YOU can be nourished. Our relationship with plants is reciprocal – lest you forget you and I rely on their production of carbon dioxide for LIFE. So let’s plant gardens everywhere, in likely and unlikely spaces, let’s enjoy and care for the earth each and every day

Originally I published an article on bloom succession that covers all seasons so people can plan for endless blooms. In case you are learning about gardening and/or just want a handy visual guide we broke it down into bite-sized pieces so you can imagine how your garden might look as the seasons pass.

Now to this part of the series of bloom successions – late summer to early fall.

Late Summer Flowers/Early Fall

30. Aster (Aster sp.)
31. Chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum sp.)
32. Japanese Anemone (Anemone japonica)
33. Showy Sedum (Sedum sp.)
34. Hosta Plantain Lily (Hosta sp., H. sieboldiana)
35. Bergenia (Bergenia lingulata)
36. Blue Fescue (Festuca species)
37. Pampas Grass (Cortaderia selloana)
38. Hardy Cactus (Opuntia pyracantha)
39. Foxglove (Digitalis sp.) (biennial)

Here’s what to plant for non-stop blooms and color in your late summer and early fall garden.

The numbers that correspond to the images in this article are in sequence with the series. You get the full list of plants to include in your garden year-round and in succession here.

Aster

The purple blooms of the ASTER plant
Aster (Aster sp.) by Shirley Hirst

The aster shown here looks surprisingly large but in real life they are much smaller flower heads but they are clustered together and make a spectacular display especially as some of the other flowers start to wilt away. They are hardy and a must have and will continue to delight you each year as they return. In fact, they might even surprise you as their subtle but stunning beauty grows into a full blown love affair year after year.

Chrysanthemum

Chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum sp.) by Kristina Flour
Chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum sp.) by Kristina Flour

One of the most common and known flowers of fall. The Chrysanthemum is also used to decorate graves and tombs on the Day of the Dead in Eastern Europe. There is a sea of color and immense beauty in the market come October. They will return each year but can get scraggaly so be sure to feed them and care for them and prune them earlier in the year.

Anemone

Sounds like a sea creature!

Japanese Anemone (Anemone japonica) by Monika
Japanese Anemone (Anemone japonica) by Monika

I have planted them and forgotten about them to later in the season discover them much to my surprise. Although frankly I can say that I’m not sure they have ever returned again but my garden has unique conditions as it is on the balcony which can have extreme weather and its own microclimate. This year I will plant them again.

Showy Sedum

Showy Sedum (Sedum sp.) by Monika Schröder
Showy Sedum (Sedum sp.) by Monika Schröder

Again don’t let this image deceive you. We’re showing you the magnified version of the flowers here – Sedums are succulent plants and their flowers are small and often in clusters. They like the sun and are hardy.

The trusty Hosta plant

Hosta Plantain Lily (Hosta sp., H. sieboldiana) by Hans Braxmeier
Hosta Plantain Lily (Hosta sp., H. sieboldiana) by Hans Braxmeier

The Hosta or plantain lily is quite different in many ways than other ‘lillies.’ This beautiful and common perennial gets overlooked sometimes and because it is often used on border edges can get mangled by foot traffic as it’s pretty green leaves spill over the edge. Even with the abuse it returns year after year. It loves shade and part sun and provides years of beauty increasing in size and beauty as time passes. There are other larger varieties that are stunning with darker leaves as well.

Bergenia and Foxglove

Both Bergenia and Foxglove have not taken root in any versions of my gardens through the years. Although I keep a poisonous plant Oleander in my garden and overwinter it in my house, I have always been concerned about Foxglove since little fur companions have shared both my home and gardens with me and oleander is a bush – it’s habit is quite different than Foxglove. Bergenia never made it in because I don’t think it was readily available? Looking at its beautiful five petal blooms clustered together I’m intrigued.

Two ‘Grasses’ Blue Fescue and Pampas Grass

These aren’t your everyday grasses. Blue Fescue reminds me more of a plant that is imitating a grass and Pampas Grass well that is more like the showy peacock of grasses without the bright colors. Both have been planted when I had a small back garden and a house. On the balcony this hasn’t made it here. The only grass that has been grown is a variety that my dogs like to eat because they think they are cows. 🙂

Opuntia (Opuntia phaeacantha)
Opuntia (Opuntia phaeacantha)

Opuntia did grow in my rock garden when I had a house that was built on a hill. The prickly pear’s thorns were tiny and they really hit a nerve when one got stuck in you. The fruits are edible but I think making a jam or something might be the way to go and they just seem like too much trouble to pick and prepare to eat. However, don’t pass up growing this beauty. It attracts a variety of insects and the flowers look spectacular and delicate against the prickly nature of the plant itself.

You can find the all seasons bloom succession list here. Linked within that document you’ll find links to more detailed posts on the other seasons with images. We hope you found this guide useful and we’d love to see how your garden grows. Post your pix on Instagram and tag us @consciouslifespace

Join our mailing list here and receive free 24 page gardening workbook that can help you track 30 different types of plants, includes some journal pages and an annual notes page allowing you to keep additional notes and observations. You can print it and handwrite in it or just enter the information directly in the PDF on your fav device. Get it here.

Free Garden Workbook

Learn More:

First Blooms of Spring
Mid-Spring to Late Spring Blooms
Early to Mid Summer Blooms
Bloom Succession List
Late Summer to Fall Blooms (you are here)
Planning Your Garden
Build a raised garden bed
Garden Focal Points, Make a Fountain


Pronoia Dog Women's Bright Pink Short Sleeve T-shirt
Pronoia Dog Women’s Short Sleeve T

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Photo Credits for Late Summer Flowers and Early Fall blooms
Creative Entrepreneur | Website | + posts

Amy Adams is the editor of Conscious Life Space a lifestyle blog that focuses on living life consciously. Amy is an entrepreneur, publisher and creative. She hosts Conscious Life Space’s Conversations, a talk show distributed as a podcast. She is also a fine artist, periodic code warrior, supreme lover of dogs, epic gardener, and sometime self-proclaimed yoga goddess.

Ruxandra Badulescu
Ruxandra Badulescu
+ posts

Ruxandra is a pharmacist by trade. She loves science and natural health too. She enjoys gardening, photography and travel. She resides in Cluj-Napoca with her family.

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