My September garden
The end of September can be a tough time for gardens. Leaves lose their deep green luster, stems start to brown and many perennials have simply lost their will to survive. Add to that the fact that the lower the sun gets in the sky, the more dull colors can appear and suddenly, the same flowers that looked so vibrant in summer begin to take on a more muted, less enthusiastic look.
Still, a September garden can hold plenty of attractions with many great plants to choose from. It just takes a little spring planning with an eye towards fall, and you can have a beautiful garden that will provide color and blooms all the way until frost.
When planning your September garden, take a cue from the fall landscape and choose blooms in brilliant shades of red, orange and yellow. Even though they’re bright, these colors will look softer under a lower sun. Think dusty reds, golden yellows, tangy oranges and throw in some deep purples to add drama.
One of my garden combos, sedum, coreopsis and cranesbill geranium
And don’t forget pinks. They make a nice transition between all of the other hot colors.
Pink Japanese anenomes
Dried pink blooms of PeeGee hydrangea
TO CUT OR NOT TO CUT
There’s no right or wrong when it comes to removing dried seedheads. I leave the elegant forms of thistle, coneflower and rudbeckia to ride out the winter. Seedheads give architecture to the September garden where they pose as sculptures amongst all the fall blooms.
In September, the dried blooms of my coreopsis add color and dimension to my garden
MULCH ALWAYS MAKES THINGS LOOK BETTER
Often at this time of year, things are looking pretty straggly. Aside from pruning things back into bounds, a new layer of mulch can do wonders for a garden. Dark brown mulch acts as a clean backdrop, helping fall tones to ‘pop.’ Plus, the aroma of new mulch always speaks ‘new.’
I’m currently a big fan of mulch made from shredded leaves. I buy it locally from University of Maryland. Not only does it keep neat and hold its color, but it continually feeds and conditions the soil, making for better, longer lasting blooms.
WHAT’S GROWING IN MY GARDEN NOW
Here are some of the flowers that are still going strong in my September garden. Some of them have only just started to bloom.
Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ (I cut mine down by half in June so it blooms in September)
Dahlias are the stars of the September garden
Roses love the return of cooler weather
Rosa ‘Cardinal Richelieu’
Sweet Autumn Clematis
September planters filled with sweet alyssum and lantana
This re-blooming white iris just reappeared in my garden. The bright white seems a little shocking amongst the other warm colors, so next year I’m switching it out for purple.
White seems a little jarring this time of year
Smoke bush, Cotinus coggygria ‘Royal Purple’
For other great fall planting ideas, click here for last year’s blog post on Maryland’s beautiful Brookside Gardens.
How does your garden grow? Join the discussion and share your ideas for great blooms for September!