Chilly mornings, the smell of crushed leaves, and signs along the road for pumpkin patches signal that fall is near. As any seasonal change approaches, I take time to evaluate the gardens, camera in hand, noting changes to be made, tracking plant performance, and revamping my to-do lists. Now that I’ve finished this season’s evaluation, here are some highlights of the most popular plants from our summer gardens in Amish Country. These have been some of our guests’ favorites, drawing curious questions and comments. At the end, I’ll give a sneak peek of what’s to come this fall season in the gardens here at Honey Run.
A new addition for 2014, Zinnia “California Giants” received the most comments. They’re also a bee and butterfly favorite.
Giant Coneflower (Rudbeckia maxima) is truly a four-season plant. The finch on the property frequently visits the huge foliage beneath towering flower stalks and cheery yellow petals. I leave the plants through winter; the tall stalks and dark seed heads add texture to the winter garden.
This particular cultivar is ‘Big Ears.’ It has much larger leaves and fewer flowers (if any at all) than the normal species.
Hyssop-Agastache, or ‘Blue Fortune,’ is famous for its bee and butterfly allure.
The Arkansas bluestar keeps soft foliage throughout the growing season. It’s a great texture addition for the garden. It gets blue star-shaped flowers in May, but the incredible golden fall color is most noticeable.
A popular fixture at the main Inn building, Japanese sweetflag (Acorus gramineus or ‘Ogon’) is planted en masse at the top of our water feature. The golden foliage color adds brightness to this shade garden.
As fall approaches, Anemone ‘September Charm’ greets visitors in the entry beds.
Pictured at the top of this page, the bright, purple fruit of beauty berry (Callicarpa dichotoma or ‘Early Amethyst’) ripening.