Despite this season’s drought, a garden of well-chosen native perennials can still provide plenty of late-season interest for you (and food for wildlife). The photo above, taken today, shows part of a perennial border that has never been watered this season. The plants were all chosen for their ability to thrive in full sun and very dry, sandy soil. The garden started blooming in May, with columbine, and will probably end sometime in mid-October. The late bloomers include several species of aster, Boltonia asteroides, and two species of Rudbeckia, plus the visual interest supplied by an abundance of colorful autumn leaves, seeds, and fruits. (Notice in the left foreground the golden leaves of a red milkweed plant.)
Below is a wider view of the perennial borders that surround the patio (sadly, we put the patio furniture away this morning). You can see the different colors of the two aster species; on the right,you can see the white and yellow of white snakeroot and goldenrod that volunteer from the miniforest that’s just outside the picture. And aren’t the grasses lovely in the sun!