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Five Must-Have Fall Plants

While some gardeners may be lamenting the end of the summer season, we are looking forward to cooler, more comfortable days in the gardens when we are reinvigorated, and eager to tend to the landscape and add more plants. And, since we plan for year-round interest, there’s always something new to see in the gardens, even in the fall. Here are five fall plants I can’t wait to see in the garden.

Mexican Bush Sage: It may not look like much in the summer, in fact, you may forget it’s there. Come fall, it bursts onto the garden scene, becoming quite tall and them bedecked in velvety, purple and white blooms which the bumblebees adore.

Bees adore the Mexican Bush Sage in our gardens, and you will, too!

Threadleaf Ironweed: This soft, light, delicate plant has thrived for four years in our garden. It started as a very underwhelming plug and has matured into this lush stand that puts on a show of gorgeous purple flowers.

We can’t get enough of the soft, feather look and feel of threadleaf iron weed.

Rudbeckia Maxima. I know, this plant, again? Yes!  When I step out into the garden, I am sure to see goldfinches on this plant. It’s a beautiful reminder that many of our summer blooming plants become natural birdfeeders.

Rudbeckia maxima stands tall in the fall garden. The goldfinches are making quick work of the seeds: nature’s birdfeeder.

Solidago ‘Fireworks’ I am not a fan of native Solidago. I find it’s too messy, unruly and to me, it looks like a weed. Perhaps not what you expected to hear from a native-pollinator garden proponent. But what I do love is Solidago ‘Fireworks’ because it holds its shape rather well, even after several years. The stand grows wider, but I don’t find it popping up here and there. I like that I can design or sculpt with this plant: using it to create bands of yellows blooms come fall through the landscape.

Our Solidago ‘Fireworks’ in bloom its first year: already creating a striking band of yellow throughout the garden.

Oakleaf Hydrangea  This may be one of my favorite shrubs.  The blooms are gorgeous, the pollinators adore them, and they last through winter. The foliage has a great shape and texture and has great fall color. This shrub has great year-round interest.

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