Autumn in Our Gardens
This is my site Written by Geoff on November 1, 1998 – 8:54 am

November finds most of our garden plants well past their prime. Only the hardiest annuals and perennial’s survive into November here in Zone 5, in Southwest Lower Michigan with our last frost free day being around October 15th. Those plants that make it into November usually put on quite a show. 

As we look out into our gardens, here and there a mule marigold or nicotiana pokes out its head. Even an occasional begonia can be seen in protected pockets. For the most part, annuals are gone for the year. 

The ornamental grasses are still looking good, particularly in the morning sun, aglow with nature’s frost. In particular Panicum virgatum “Nine Clouds” stands out althoughMiscanthus snersis “Morning Lite” is not far behind. Team these two with some taller Artemisia such as “Silver King” and you really have a Late Fall show. 

It really is the perennial’s that take center stage in late fall. Our Chrysanthemums Clara Curtis are just at their peak. Five foot mounds of brilliant clear pink three inch flowers. Clara Curtis will survive the coldest of fall weather. In our gardens, it is not unusual for them to keep blooming well into December. Usually, it takes a heavy snow fall to finish this show. An added treat this season was the first blooming of our Eupatorium rugosum “Chocolate.” Until now, we have only had a few weak blooms but that has all ended. They are covered with clusters of creamy white flowers that are carrying well into November. 

We know it cannot last forever; but, for now, at least we have some color left. Who knows, maybe they will last until the Witch Hazel start to bloom. For now, we continue preparing for next season and, of course, we have our birds to watch.

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Modified: March 8, 2009 at 8:55 am UTC

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