Monday, September 10, 2012

Stars in the September Garden

Having experienced my first Fall in North Carolina last year I am in agreement with Miz Elizabeth Lawrence's opinion in My Southern Garden :   " In the garden this season should be the climax of bloom, rich in a new beauty of its own and not just a period where there is some leftover color from Summer. "  

While the traditional asters, annual mums and sedum are stalwarts of the Fall garden, I delight in seeking out other perennials and annuals to go along with them.    Although I do think that the "leftovers from summer " like Blackeyed Susan, Coreopsis , Coneflowers and Sunflowers and Zinnias fit into my favorite Fall color scheme.

                                                   Above :  Fall colors in my Chicago garden .

I've read that the early blooming Mums we favor in Chicago are not as desirable here and might not survive the heat . I tend to favor the daisy-like mums for their natural appearance and I absolutely love the "matchstick" mums which come in yellow, red and bi-colors.  It is difficult to find specialty perennial mums at even the largest garden centers so those searching will probably have to resort to online nurseries .

I've always been fascinated by the Japanese spider mums and must do further research to see if they can be grown in North Carolina .

In  the chapter on Fall in My Southern Garden  Miz Elizabeth mentions a flower that is popular in almost every garden in the South in September but one I was not familiar with .  Lycoris radiata , a bulb, springs up from the bare ground and its brilliant red graces the garden for two weeks.

The great thing about North Carolina is that one can garden year round here and I look forward to doing that.  In the meantime I am plotting and planning each season to include a lot of bloom and color.


  1. Hi, Carolyn! It's good to see you are planning and plotting for a new garden; I just realized I have never changed your URL on my blogroll, so I missed all your summer posts from North Carolina.

    Yes, it's hard to find anything but the typical mums in garden centers here. I've tried to add more late-blooming perennials to my garden in recent years. I have admired the red Lycoris on other blogs, though, and added them to my plant "wish list." I soon found out why we don't see them in the Midwest--they're not hardy here! Sigh; I guess I'll just have to admire photos of them from all of you in warmer climes.

  2. Hello dear Rose,

    So great to see you in Asheville at the Fling. We Southerners are always "aiming and fixing " and most of mine is for my future garden. Can't wait to get one because I really feel rootless without one.

    A really good online source for unusual perennials is Lazy SS Farms Nursery. They have a good selection of unusual hardy mums-the Koreans are especially good for the Chicago area . I like 'Clara Curtiss ' for its early and long lasting bloom and it daisy-like appearance. The matchsticks are awesome as well. Try looking for the new red sedum that is superior to 'autumn joy ' ( forgot the name of it but you can't miss it because the others are pinkish ).

    Best wishes for another mild winter there. In the meantime enjoy the Fall weather.

  3. To be able to garden year round would be a real treat. Not for us I'm afraid. You are right about fall gardens, they can be just as great for their own merits, it just takes a bit of planning.


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