Justin W. Hancock

Add Color for Fall

Bergenia, AzaleaLots of gardens start to look a little dull by the time autumn rolls around, but happily, that doesn’t have to be the case with yours.

There are, of course, great fall-flowering perennials such as anemone, aster, and goldenrod. And then there are the trees and shrubs that offer such fantastic fall color, such as maples, birches, and ginkgo.

But there’s another group of plants, too — perennials that have great fall foliage. One of my all-time favorites is bloody geranium, so-called because of the brilliant shade of red its leaves turn each autumn. Many other perennial geraniums also offer fine fall color.

There are also peonies, many of which turn a delightful shade of gold as the days grow short, and hostas, and many grasses (including the stunning ‘Shenandoah’ switchgrass).

And this year I’ve noticed my bowman’s root (Gillenia trifoliata) is also putting on quite a show with its dark green leaves turning a rich shade of amber.

Shown here is another good one — bergenia (also called pigsqueak), which combines brilliantly with an azalea and ‘Queen Charlotte’ pink anemone.

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