September brings cooler days and nights and the changing of the seasons. The summer plants are being cut back for tidiness and the fall bloomers are starting their show. While not quite as colorful as earlier in the season, fruits are forming on viburnums, crabapples, elderberry and the purple beautyberry. And the ornamental grasses begin to wave their flowers and add their muted tones that will last into winter.
Platycodon grandiflorus 'Sentimental Blue' Balloon Flower
Summer Garden Beds 1,2,3 and 4Photo by Rosanne Sherry, URI MG
This hardy perennial gave its first full bloom in June but after a thorough deadheading, the plants have sent out a second flush of growth to enliven the late summer garden.
Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’ Perennial Sunflower
Summer Garden Beds 1,2,3 and 5 photo by Sue Dunn, URI MG
A stately bright perennial has been blooming since mid July. Periodic deadheading will keep blooms coming. May need sturdy staking in early spring. Does best in the center of island beds or borders. Few pest problems.
Sedum spectibile ‘Autumn Joy’
Summer Garden Bed 1 and 2 and Step GardenPhoto by Rosanne Sherry, URI MG
Brighten the fall garden with this very hardy and pest resistant plant. Late season butterflies love them. Bloom lasts well into October and color remains interesting until snowfall.
Aster novae-angliae 'Purple Dome' New England Aster NATIVE
Summer Garden Bed 1Photo by Sue Dunn, URI MG
Native and durable this aster can be pinched back in mid summer to be lower and bushier. May need staking at any size. Few pest problems. Late summer butterfly magnets.
Miscanthus sinensis 'Silberfeder' Silver Feather Grass
Summer Garden Bed 3Photo by Rosanne Sherry, URI MG
Silvery waving inflorescences are delightful as a shrub substitute in a border or the foundation. Pest resistant and easy care, just cut back to 6 inches in March.
Caryopteris x 'Longwood Blue' Blue Spirea
Summer Garden Beds 1 and 3Photo by Rosanne Sherry, URI MG
Excellent small shrub, 3-4 feet tall, for mixing in the flower garden or shrub border. Blooms after buddleia. Attracts butterflies and has fragrant blooms and leaves. Prune like buddleia.
Ceratostigma plumbaginoides Leadwort Plumbago
Step GardenPhoto by Rosanne Sherry, URI MG
Low groundcover for shade or part sun. Tolerates poor soil and slopes. Pest resistant. Once established is also weed resistant. Our specimen thrives in the shade of the beech tree.
Anemone x hybrida 'September Charm'
Summer Garden Bed 3,4 and 6, Hillside 2Photo by Rosanne Sherry, URI MG
Blooms August through October, full sun or part shade, and deer tolerant. Spreads over time by rhizomes but is easily controled by division. Excellent for naturalizing.
Symphyotrichum oblongifolium 'October Skies' Aromatic Aster NATIVE
Hillside 2Photo by Sue Dunn, URI MG
Fragrant leaves and a butterfly magnet. Tolerates poor dry soils. May need support. Blooms September through October in full sun. Can pinch back in early summer to make it bushier.
Calamagrostis x acutiflora 'Karl Foerster' Feather Reed Grass
Summer Garden Beds 3 and 4Photo by Rosanne Sherry, URI MG
Excellent vertical accent for borders or narrow spaces. Needs full sun. Birds are attracted to the bases for nesting. Tan seed heads rise to 6 feet and give winter interest.