People associate beautiful plants and flowers with spring and summer, but there are a surprising number of plants and flowers that really show out in the fall. Here are four plants to include in your yard this fall:
Flowers of blue or purple are associated with the spring and early summer, but bellflower often blooms best in the fall, even late fall. The plant, which has lovely, deep green leaves, ranges from 6 inches to 5 feet. This makes it just right for ground cover and the middle story of a herbaceous border. Trailing varieties of bellflower are also excellent for a rock garden or stone wall. Bellflower thrives in hardiness zones 3 to 9, in full sun to light shade.
Boneset, named because of its usefulness in healing wounds and broken bones, produces flowers until the frost and does best in zones 3 to 9. The plant can range from 1 to 10 feet tall and has clusters of blue or purple flowers that stand out in floral arrangements. The famous Joe Pye weed is a type of boneset. It naturalizes easily without becoming invasive. Plant boneset in moist but well-draining loamy soil in full sun to partial shade.
I, SB Johnny [CC BY-SA 3.0]
Sage’s long, silver-gray, fragrant leaves aren’t just for eating. In the late summer and fall varieties produce blue, purple, red or white flowers in abundance on a plant that can grow from 1 to 6 feet tall. Sage is one plant that prefers soil to be on the dry side, and landscaping services stress that its roots should not stay wet during the winter. Also, different varieties of sage grow best in different hardiness zones. Garden sage is hardy to zone 4 while evergreen sage likes it hot. This type of sage flourishes in zone 9.
The fascination of this vigorous vine isn’t in its flowers but in its fruit, the air potato, which appears in fall. The fruit is oval, warty and appears among masses of veined, heart-shaped leaves. The plant is a type of yam and also has underground tubers that are edible when they’re cooked. Though an annual, air potato is an extremely fast grower and has been known to grow about 8 inches a day, especially in the south. It might take less than a season for it to cover an arbor or even a pergola.
Don McCulley [CC BY-SA 4.0]
These are only four of the plants that give interest in the fall and beyond. They have flowers that arrive even as the temperature cools, interesting fruit or attractive foliage. These plants keep a garden lively even as other plants have faded.