Friday, October 16, 2015

Pastel Flowers in the Fall Garden

When I think of fall colors, what comes to mind is yellows and oranges, golds and russets. But the color theme of my front garden is pinks, purples, and blues, and even in fall, some of these pastel colors are still persevering against the changing backdrop of autumn leaves.


There are so many great blooming annuals that continue into fall.  In my garden, I have a lot of purple and white flowering alyssum which flowered throughout the summer and are still going.  My favorite annual, however, is the easy-care, self-seeding Cosmos.  They start blooming in mid summer and just don't stop.


Also still blooming in the garden are my 'Miss Molly' Butterfly Bushes.  I'm so excited about these plants because I grew them from cuttings last year, and I now have nine little Butterfly Bushes going strong.  'Miss Molly' is supposed to be a noninvasive cultivar, and I just love the color.

'Miss Molly' Butterfly Bush
Of course, fall also means the bloom season of perennial Asters, and they come in a marvelous array of pastel colors.  In addition, they are a very important source of nectar for bees and one of their favorites.  You can hear humming coming from my Asters several feet away due to all the bees enjoying them.

Bumblebee on Aster laevis 'Bluebird'
Daisies are my favorite flower, and in my garden, they are a must-have.  Most daisies bloom earlier in the summer, but thankfully there is also one for fall: Montauk Daisies.

Asters and Montauk Daisies
One doesn't usually think of Crocus in fall, either, but Fall Crocus are simply lovely.  I always forget about them until their blue little blooms pop up all of a sudden.  One of the most well-known Fall Crocus is Crocus sativus, or the Saffron Crocus.  The spice saffron is actually the dried stigma of the Saffron Crocus.  Each flower only produces three stigmas, and they must be harvested carefully by hand.  (Now you know why it is so expensive for such a little amount.)

Fall Crocus
Last but certainly not least in my garden are the 'Sheffield' Mums.  If I had to pick one, this would be my favorite pastel flower for the fall.


They are a little different from the common pincushion mums we usually see around this time of year.  Sheffield mums are much more graceful and airy looking, and their blooms are such a subtle color, varying from salmon-pink to pink to near-white.


Just perfect for a pastel garden in fall.


To find out what else is blooming in other people's gardens around the world, visit Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day over at May Dreams Gardens blog.

23 comments:

  1. Love, love your cosmos! Most of mine didn't germinate this year--I think my garden helpers covered them with too much mulch--and I really miss them. The Sheffield mums have been on my wish list for awhile--time to get with it and plant some! Yellow is fine for fall, but I agree it's nice to see some pretty pastels this time of year, too.

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    1. That is too bad about your cosmos! I always rely on mine for late summer blooms when I don't have a ton of other things going on in the garden.

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  2. Your Sheffield mums are a particularly delicious colour.

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    1. Thanks! It is interesting to see the varying color of them. The ones I have in the front open into a pale pink/almost white color, while the ones in the back garden are more peachy-pink.

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  3. Sheffield mums? I've never heard that before. How pretty they are! I like a bit of pastel in the garden at this time of year - it gives a sense of summer continuing. Cosmos are brilliant, aren't they? Miss Molly looks very well behaved - I will keep an eye out for her as I think she'd make a valuable addition to my borders.

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    1. I never really saw them down South, but I see them grown fairly frequently up North, probably because they are fairly hardy. I love butterfly bushes and how they attract so many bees and butterflies, so it's so nice to have ones that won't be invasive in my neck of the woods.

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  4. I agree with the others re: the Sheffield Mums. Delightful! My Mums have slowly disappeared over the years. Several little shoots appeared this year, and were promptly devoured by rabbits! O well, I'm going to have to stick with rabbit-repellent plants from now on, or use cages around any new plantings! I LOVE Cosmos! I don't know if rabbits eat them or not, because I always plant them safely behind triple layers of fencing. Mine are still going strong, too! Yours look beautiful en masse!

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    1. That is too bad! The rabbits in my yard usually go for the coneflowers first, though this year I actually haven't seen any bunnies, either due to the bad winter we had or the couple large snakes we have in the area. I do have a good sized groundhog, but it usually stays in the margins of the yard, thankfully, and hasn't done too much damage yet (knock on wood).

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  5. I made a note of the name of your mums. The ones sold in box stores this time of year never survive our winters. I wonder if the ones you grow are really hardy.

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    1. I've heard mums really like to be planted in the spring, and by fall it's pretty hard for them to get a good enough root system to overwinter them. I got the Sheffield mums one spring from divisions from another gardener. They spread well and are hardy here. They are supposed to be hardy up to zone 4 or 5, so they might be fine for your winters there.

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  6. I have the same mums! I love them! I threw out an old seed mix that I thought had been destroyed with too much heat thinking the birds would enjoy it but they just ignored it. Come spring I had alyssum growing in the patio and the steps! I was so surprised. But I loved it so much I'm scattering alyssum seeds again this fall. :o)

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    1. I love alyssum! And another great thing is it self-seeds, so you will likely get more alyssum next year even if you don't scatter more seeds :)

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  7. Indie, What lovely flowers you have at this time of year! Thanks for sharing about the Montauk daisies, which I did'n't realize were hardy here, and I love your Sheffield mums -- two plants I will have to try to find next spring -- thanks! Have a warm and beautiful fall! -Beth

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    1. The Montauk Daisies do really well here, and they are supposed to be deer and rabbit resistant. They survive on the edge of my garden where I see our local groundhog grazing every so often, so I'm guessing they are groundhog resistant, too, which is a bonus!

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  8. See, you have done much better about planning for fall flowers than I have! The frost took out my annuals, and I'm left with very little. Next year, next year!

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    1. When I first moved into this house, it was late summer, so some of the first plants I planted were fall blooming plants! I haven't really added to them since, other than some that were passed on to me from other gardeners. I think by the end of the summer we often are busy thinking about planting bulbs for spring, not fall-flowering plants!

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  9. All so lovely, but your cosmos is outstanding! I am very fond of pastels in the garden; yours look wonderful. Passers-by must be delighted.

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    1. Thanks! Sadly, the cold snap we just had took out most of my cosmos. Some of the plant are still alive, so we'll see if they manage to conjure up another flush before the cold weather really sets in. I love the cosmos in my garden!

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  10. Those Sheffield mums are beautiful. Perfect shapes, perfect photos. I also love the Saffron Crocus. Do you harvest them for cooking?

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    1. I think the ones I have there are regular fall crocus, not the saffron crocus, so I haven't harvested those. I bought some saffron crocus to plant for next year, though. My mother-in-law has some and harvested and dried them for cooking. You need a lot of plants to make a decent amount, though!

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  11. Lovely, just lovely. I wonder where the bees go when it snows.

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    1. I feel bad for the bees during our long winters! I think honeybees cluster together for warmth and eat their stores of honey, while solitary bees only survive as eggs or larvae or remain dormant somehow. When my crocus pop up in spring, they are usually swarmed by hungry bees.

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  12. Isn't it amazing the soft colors of fall flowers as they clash right up against the bright foliage....still picking lots of these pastels and adding them to vases before the killing frost arrives. Your garden flowers are stunning for fall.

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