From the Garden: Your Autumn Garden Must Haves!

By Erin McKenna Breglia

It’s certainly been a rainy summer, but the rain has helped keep our plants green, growing, and blooming all season. Right now, Landis’ gardens are approaching their autumn peak, and some of our standout plants pack real flower power.

We love autumn crocus! Many years ago, gardeners planted several Colchicum autumnale in the Van Loveland Perennial beds, and these bulbs put on a show every fall. Not actually a true crocus, Colchicum autumnale is in the lily family. It grows foliage in the spring that dies back to the ground in early summer. In early to mid-September, the colchicum flowers emerge from the soil in shades of lavender and last for many days. Pollinators enjoy them as well. They are easy to grow and low maintenance, a must have in the autumn garden!

We also love anemone. Landis has both the Anemone hupehensis and the Anemone x hybrida 'Honorine Jobert' (both Japanese anemone) growing in the garden. The Japanese anemone is a hardy perennial whose flowers bloom on tall stems and last through October. These plants are late to emerge from the ground in spring, but they are definitely worth the wait.

Another favorite is the Vernonia noveboracensis (New York ironweed). This native plant is a pollinator favorite, especially for butterflies and bees. Bright purple flowers open on tall stems in late August, a lovely companion for purple coneflowers (Echinacea) and asters as the season transitions from summer to fall.

Landis has two Lespedeza thunbergii (bush clover) in the gardens, and each year during the Fall Plant, Book & Bake Sale, they are in heavy bloom – and these plants sell out at the sale. These deciduous semi-woody shrubs are easy to maintain and are real showstoppers. The plants are cut back each spring, and new shoots grow slowly through the season. Eventually these shoots turn into a large shrub with cascading branches full of small purple flowers, attracting both hummingbirds and butterflies.

You will also find our autumn gardens filled with sedums, asters, chrysanthemum, helianthus, lobelia, and fall-blooming crocus until the cold temperatures and frost set in. Feel free to visit and enjoy all the colors our grounds have to offer and find a few of your own must have plants for your fall garden!

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Fall 2023

Volume 41 , Number 3

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