years, I fought the urge to plant shrubs, trees and
perennials in late spring to early summer.
though garden centers lush with new varieties tempted
me, I decided planting anything after March was doomed
to die, given our increasingly hot and dry summers.
summerís record temperatures and dry conditions
reinforce that feeling.
shrubs and perennials planted now through late October
still have warm soil and good growing conditions for
root establishment. Winterís rains and springís mild
temperatures give them even more chance of surviving
next summerís heat.
also turned my attention to mostly native species in my
garden. Gardeners at the Virginia Living Museum in
Newport News, Va., agree that native plants are the best
choices because they have weathered the good, the bad
and the ugly. They also provide food and shelter for
local wildlife, especially bees, butterflies and birds.
MUST-HAVE NATIVE PLANTS
are three native plants with fall interest that living
museumís gardeners recommend; you can plant them now:
time: June-July, August-October.
Pale lavender flowers, and hot-raspberry-pink fruit
clusters that persist after the leaves fall; grows five
Sun to part shade, and average to poor, well-drained,
medium-wet soil. Cold hardy Zones 5-8.
Flowers and fruit form on new growth, so cut back every
few years after the fruit is gone to maintain size and
good fruit set.
benefits: Birds, catbirds and mockingbirds especially
boneset Eupatorium serotinum
Tiny white flowers in fuzzy clusters; grows one to three
feet tall. Deer resistant.
Part shade, and moist sandy or clay soil. Cold hardy
benefit: Butterflies and birds.
coneflower Rudbeckia laciniata
Large yellow daisy with domed green center; grows two to
six feet tall.
Sun-shade, and average, well-drained/medium soil. Grows
tall in sun, shorter in shade. Cut back halfway before
buds form to get shorter, bushier plants. Spreads by
seed. Cold hardy Zones 3-8.
benefits: Butterflies and goldfinches.