Finally, the crisp, beautiful days of autumn have arrived! Fall is an excellent time of year to plant. Planting now minimizes stress on the plant, allows the roots to settle in before frost, and makes the plant overall more resilient by the time the heat of next summer rolls around.
Fabulous Fall Inventory!
- Stop by the nursery this month for your fall planting needs. We are well stocked with many favorite native trees, shrubs, and perennials. To name a few:
- Mid-size to Canopy Trees – oaks, maples, black gum, birch, hornbeams, and sourwoods
- Understory Trees – sweetbay magnolia, fringetree, serviceberries, pagoda and flowering dogwoods
- Evergreens to frame a view – pines, red cedars, American holly and inkberry holly
- Shrubs for filling the tree understory are oakleaf and smooth hydrangeas, bush honeysuckle, sweet pepperbush, Virginia sweetspire, and bottlebrush buckeye. For the sunny border are several types of viburnums, ninebark, false indigo and St. John’s wort.
- Fruiting and berry plants include winterberry, chokeberry, blueberry, elderberry, hazelnut, raspberry, and cranberry.
- Perennials to continue color into fall include iron weed, black-eyed susans, asters and goldenrods. Grasses such as big and little bluestem and switch grass can mingle with perennials with prominent seed heads such as tickseed and cone flower to feed the birds over winter. To prepare to announce spring with perennials there are moss phlox, blue star and beardtongue.
Read on for descriptions of some special favorites now in stock…
In-Stock Favorite Trees
Franklinia & x Gordlinia
If you have a spot in your garden with dappled sunlight and acid, moist but well-drained soil you could be lucky enough to host one of our more unique native trees, Franklinia alatamaha. This storied tree, found by John and William Bartram along the Alatamaha River in Georgia and named in honor of Ben Franklin, is now known to be extinct in the wild but survives through seed propagation and stewardship of North American arboretum and the nursery trade. A low branching, upright to rounded large shrub/small tree has gorgeous white flowers with yellow centers in late summer, beautiful shiny green leaves in summer, turning a lovely rich orange/red in the fall.
X Gordlinia is a fascinating result of an intergenera cross between Franklinia alatamaha and Gordonia lasianthus. Known as Mountain Gordlinia, it sports the best features of its parents, the gorgeous white flowers of the Franklinia and the semi- to evergreen foliage of the Gordonia as well as fabulous fall color.
It’s almost time for Sassafras albidum to put on its fall show of gorgeous rich orange, yellow, and rose. Probably best known for the mitten-shaped leaves, these trees have 3 shapes of leaves. Found in woodlands and along roadsides, this naturally suckering and thicket forming tree can be grown as single stem tree if suckers are pruned off. It could also be left to form thickets and create a lovely woodland buffer. Sassafras prefer acid-sandy, well-drained soil but will tolerate a range of soil that is well-drained. It’s a valuable tree for wildlife and a host plant for the Imperial Moth and the Spicebush Swallowtail Butterfly. And the aromatic branches and leaves make this tree deer resistant. We currently have a bunch of Sassafras on offer in a range of sizes.
The North American’ Tropical Fruit’, our native pawpaw, is a wonderful tree for which we should find space in our gardens. Not only to enjoy the sweet custardy fruit in the late summer but also to host the Zebra Swallowtail butterfly. The trick with pawpaw, Asimina triloba, is that they are self-infertile, meaning two genetically different plants are needed to allow for cross-pollination. But you may not want to plant within sniffing distance as the flowers are cool looking but with a, shall we say, ‘meat-scented’ aroma to attract their specific pollinator insects. You may have come upon a pawpaw patch in the woods; they naturally sucker and if left to grow, will create that ‘pawpaw patch’. Happy growing in the shade but quite adaptable and will grow in a sunny location. More perks for pawpaw: yellow fall color and good deer resistance. This fall we have many in a very portable #1 size and a few bigger plants. Pick up a pair today.
A favorite spring bloomer in short supply this past spring is now here and ready for fall planting. We have the straight species, Cornus florida, and several cultivars of disease-resistant white and pink flowering forms. The upward-facing dogwood flowers appear in the early spring before the leaves emerge and are followed by a just-as-beautiful seedhead. In the fall, you’ll enjoy the reds and purples of its foliage. Choose a partly shaded spot for your dogwood, remember it’s an edge-of-the-woods species.
And of course, Redbuds!
The perfect small scale tree for a sunny spot or tucked in at the edge of woodland, the eastern redbud flowers with a burst of color in the early spring just when we need it. We are stocked with a range of options for this fan favorite. You’ll find several different sizes, tree form, and a few multi-stem form. In addition to the straight species, Cercis canadensis, we have the unique white flower form C. ‘Royal White,’ the deep pink flower form of C. ‘Appalachian Red,’ and the beautiful foliage form of C. ‘Flame Thrower.’
We’ll be leading a class at Longwood Gardens on November 1 & 4, Planting with Fall Natives. Details and registration here.
Mark your calendar for our 4th Annual Winter Market: November 25 & 26. We are still accepting applications from vendors. Interested makers and artisans can apply here.
And watch for pop up announcements of Yard Talks at the nursery this fall.