Although the full splendor of our summer gardens has faded there are still plants that can provide color through October. In addition there are shrubs with fruit and berries which are eagerly sought by birds at this season. This selection of fall flowering plants is described in an article by Claudia De Yong and comes from the Houzz website.
Despite the shortening days, the month of October can bring a richness of colour to the garden thanks to the many late-flowering bulbs, perennials, grasses and foliage. Added to this are the fruits and berries on many shrubs, including cotoneaster and crab apples, which provide much needed food for the birds. Below is just a small selection among many favourites.Sedum
Sedums are a staple for the late summer and autumn garden, providing much needed colour and nectar for bees, butterflies and hoverflies. In late May, if you carry out the ‘Chelsea chop’, you can prevent sedums from looking floppy later in the season.Hylotelephium telephium ‘Purple Emperor’, pictured, is part of the atropurpureum group and has lovely deep-plum/black-bronze succulent leaves that carry red to purple floret flowers on branching heads. The flowers can be left on all winter long to add structure to a border. As sedums have fleshy leaves that store water, they cope well in dry conditions. This variety also does well in wetter, cooler conditions if planted in an open, sunny and airy position. Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ has flatter pink flowerheads and sturdier stems. It flowers well into November and looks great with ornamental grasses.Japanese anemone
There are few plants that continue to flower right through the late summer into autumn like the Japanese anemone. It can be known to colonise areas, so plant it where it won’t compete with other plants. The tall and elegant white hybrid ‘Honorine Jobert’, pictured, has lovely neat white flowers with a bright yellow stamen around a green-coloured centre that’s neat like a pin.There are some lovely semi- and double- to double-petalled varieties and Anemone x hybrida ‘Konigin Charlotte’ is a semi-double with masses of large rich rose-pink flowers, with 10-15 overlapping petals on long stems with lovely semi-evergreen vine-shaped leaves. For a deeper shade of pink, choose the semi-double Anemone hupehensis var. japonica ‘Bressingham Glow’.Aster
If you like blue or purple, Asters (or Michaelmas daisies) are invaluable for the late summer and autumn garden, as well as being wonderful pollinators. Aster ‘Little Carlow’, seen here, produces a mass of tiny blue daisy flowers with bright-yellow centres above a mound of small green leaves. A sunny, well-drained spot with good air circulation is the best place to plant this lovely clump-forming hardy perennial.