Hot Plants for Fall Gardens

Hot Plants for Fall Gardens

Guest Author: Cindy Kerr

Hungry for a little more advice and visuals about the neat plants that will be for sale at this year’s Plant Sale?  Explore the world of fabulous fall plants.


Fothergilla 'Mt. Airy' in lovely fall color. photo credit: R. Manduca

Andrew Bunting, curator and chief architect behind many of the plant selections for the sale, recommends Fothergilla x intermedia ‘Mt. Airy’ as a great plant for the fall garden. This selection was chosen by Plantsman Michael Dirr for its consistent fall color of red, orange, and yellow. This upright shrub also has abundant flowers. Andrew will discuss all of his plant sale favorites at the Plant Sale Preview on Wednesday, August 14th from 10 am until noon in the Wister Center.


Franklinia alatamaha has dependable fall color. photo credit: R. Maurer

As we roll into September, the camellia-like flowers of Franklinia alatamaha will grace the campus plantings. This is a great fall garden plant because of its dependable orange to red fall color with decorative winter bark.


Fall color drapes the many pathways of the Scott Arboretum grounds. photo credit: R. Robert

Examine the features of Franklin tree for yourself during the two Plant Sale Highlight Tours on Saturday, September 7 and Thursday, September 12. Nothing beats falling head over heels for the color or bloom of a little something spilling into the walkway! This is a wonderful chance to ramble across campus and see the early autumn/late summer personalities of many of these great plants.  The campus should be alive with late summer blooms and early hints of fall foliage.  It’s a great way to put together an informal shopping list in advance of the Plant Sale!

Oxydendron arboreum glowing fall color against the grey stone of Parrish Hall. photo credit: J. Coceano

Eyeball another fall performer, Oxydendrum arboreum, for yourself on an informal walk around campus. While marked by the signature blue tags indicating a plant is available at the Plant Sale, you will most likely be struck by the glowing fall foliage from afar. Igniting the corner of Parrish Hall with tones of yellow, red, purple, and maroon, sourwood is a slow grower with all-season interest. Iridescent green foliage in the spring matures to dark green. Drooping racemens of flowers appear in the summer.

A great resource for plant cultural information, the Plant Sale Handbook. photo credit: R. Robert

For more details about these and other fall wonders available at the Plant Sale, browse the online handbook  which is chock-full of cultivation tips and descriptions of the 250+ types of woody and perennial plant. You can also do some plant homework before the sale and take advantage of the free education events this August and September. See you in SeptemberIt’s Not Finished with Fall!

Our guest author, Cindy Kerr, is an avid container gardener and the chair of the 2013 Scott Associates Plant Sale.


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