We often think about the bounty of summer blooms when planning our gardens, but don't overlook the fall season. There are a number of fab-performing plants that will give you results past Labour Day.
Of course, it's always hit and miss in terms of how quickly Mother Nature freezes things up, but we've had success extending our bounty by selecting some stoic late bloomers. Here are top picks for easy-to-grow cut flowers that will give you lots of pretty in your vase even after cozy sweater-weather has started.
Dahlias (Cornel on the left, Terracotta on the right) really get going late in the summer and are lovely season-extenders. With their romantic blooms, range of colours, and staying power, they are a garden must-have. Don't let the fact that you need to dig these non-hardy beauts up each year prevent you from trying them out. A few tubers go a long way and give you plenty of flowers to play with. Well-worth the agro of babysitting them over the winter.
These gigantic creatures (Amaranthus, Velvet Curtains) were stars in the field this year. We direct sowed in the spring and they grew from seed-to-six-feet in one season. All phases of growth produced lovely features. Early on, it was the pinky-burgundy leaves that were lovely as filler or on their own in arrangements. Later in the season, two-foot long, feather-like plumes were show-stoppers. You'll need to stake these babies, but other than that, they take care of themselves and will give you lots of happy.
Chocolate Geraniums, I love you. With your beautifully-scented, fudgey-veined, fuzzy-green leaves you have graced more arrangements than I can count. This variety of geranium does not put out much in the way of blooms but is a go-to for providing abundant verdant foliage to fill a vases. A really great performer in the garden, they last and last. Best part, you can easily propagate by taking cuttings. And, you can over-winter a few pots inside on a sunny window sill.
This Supercrest Mix Celosia offers flowers ranging from light rouge to soft tangerine. My faves are the apricot and blush-tinged hues you see above. Unexpected and a bit prehistoric looking, these stalks provide shape and texture to your fall floral design.
Red Rocket Snapdragons are blooming workhorses. From mid-summer to late-fall, they happily keep producing little rows of lipstick-coloured fleurs on their ruddy-brown stalks. Admittedly, as October comes around, their gorgeous scent is not as strong and they start to get a bit leggy. But there is still plenty to harvest and their cheery persistence make these snaps a highly recommended flower to grow.