Filling the Gaps in The Fall and Winter Garden

Photo credit: kazuend

Photo credit: kazuend

By Marjorie Perrelli Day

At the end of the summer, with beds full of worn out perennials and annuals, sad but resolute gardeners often bid farewell to their color-filled gardens and turn their attention to the fall clean-up. The talk turns to the beautiful autumnal leaves, while inwardly gardeners sulk as they scan the vast expanses of mulch in their formally bountiful flowerbeds. With a little planning and some knowledge of the many magnificent but often less popular plants, gardening can easily become a four season affair.  

The fall garden is more than cabbages and a couple of pots of mums. And the winter garden shouldn’t feel like a nuclear bomb hit the landscape.  Garden structures are fundamental to a strong winter landscape. ‘Good bones’ in the garden are not limited to well designed structures and art but should include evergreens, deciduous trees with bark interest, water features, and plants like grasses and perennials with seed-heads to attract wildlife.

Here are some of our late blooming garden favorites:

Perennials and Grasses

(Common Name, Latin Name, ‘Species’)

Blazing star Liatris spp.
Brown-eyed Susan, Rudbeckia fulgida
Tickseed, Coreopsis lanceolata
Purple Coneflower, Echinacea purpurea
New England Aster, Aster novaie-angliae
New York Aster, (Michaelmas daisies), Aster novi-belgii
Lenten Rose, Hellebore
Coral Bells, Heuchera
Hybrid Aster, Aster cvs.
Bluestar, Amsonia hubrichtii, Amsonia montana
Joe Pye weed, Eupatorium fistulsom and E. rugosum
Sage, Salvia spp.
Sedum, ‘Autumn Joy’, ‘Neon’, ‘Pure Joy’, ‘Maestro’
Sneezeweed, Helenium autumnale
Sweet Autumn Clematis, Clematis ternaflora
Miscanthus grass, Miscanthus
Pink Muhly grass, Muhlenbergia capillaries
Red Switch Grass, Panicum virgatum,

Trees and Shrubs

Black chokeberry, Aronia melanocarpa
Staghorn Suma, Rhus typhina
Red-osier Dogwood, Cornus sericea
Winterberry, Ilex verticillata
Blue Mist Shrub Caryopteris x clandonensis ‘Worcester Gold’
Japanese Maples Acer palmatum
Smokebush, Cotinus coggyrgria
Witchhazel Hamamelis x intermedia

Garden structures and paths

New fencing, or staining existing fencing
New garden gates and pergolas
New patios and decks in stone or wood
Outdoor kitchens, ovens and fire features
Transitional pathways of stone
Natural stonewalls and large stone focal points
Sculpture and Garden Pottery
Water features

The Lazy Gardener landscape designers are ready to help your garden star in it’s own spectacular late show.