Lee Valley Tools Gardening Newsletter
Vol. 3, Issue 4
August 2008
 
Late-Blooming Perennials
 
 
  Many perennial gardens peter out in mid-summer and limp into the fall, tattered, overgrown and virtually devoid of bloom. The traditional potted chrysanthemums and ornamental kale or cabbage (Brassica oleracea var. acephala) offer autumn freshness and color, but several late-blooming perennials can do the job equally well, if not better.

This group of late bloomers includes reliable plants such as tall Sedum 'Autumn Joy', a garden workhorse whose rosy broccoli-like flowers are bee magnets in the fall. Newer sedum selections, such as 'Matrona' and 'Black Jack' with their burgundy-tinged foliage and 'Frosty Morn' with its green-and-white variegation, offer extra interest.
 
     
 
A few of the various Helis
 
 
Glorious "Helis" brighten the autumnal garden.
 
     
  The various "Helis"—Helianthus, commonly known as sunflower, Heliopsis, common name oxeye, and Helenium, also called sneezeweed or Helen's flower—are additional stalwarts of the late-summer to early-fall garden, blooming in yellows, and in the case of Helenium, shades of orange, red and rust as well. Perennial asters in purples and pinks are cooler color options for later in the season.

Besides these mainstays, there are several lovely but surprisingly less well-known perennials that can provide flowers and structural interest in the autumn garden.
 
 
             
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