Fall’s garden blooms in jewel tones
Thanks to the abundant rainfall this past spring and summer, wildflowers and other plants all over Santa Fe have enjoyed a longer andmore colorful grow season. From the piñons and junipers in the desert to native grasses and perennial flowers that adorn city gardens, the landscape seems larger andmore vivid than in past years. With fall fast approaching, there’s even more in store, and if jewel tones are your thing, September promises to deliver a view painted in shades of topaz, garnet, amethyst, emerald and sapphire.
The key with any good garden is to always have something in bloom. Santa Fe’s early-fall cooling temperatures in the morning and evening still give way to warm afternoons, allowing many flowers to bloomwell into October. With the added moisture from this summer, we can look forward to some robust blooms that will greatly accent the gorgeous foliage in the mountains.
For golden topaz shades, late summer and early fall blooms stand out in showy perennial flowers such as Maximillian sunflowers, cowpen daisies, Mexican mint marigolds, coreopsis (tickweed), chamisa and hardymums. Late blooming sunflowers, in all varieties, will also be enjoying a last hurrah fromgardens to sidewalks all over town. Those gorgeous aspens will start their colorful fireworks in the Sangre de CristoMountains, a trip well worth taking later in the month. Oranges and reds are spotted prolifically in gardens and trees, with the pyracantha shrub and mountain ash tree leading the race for most outstanding berries.
If you prefer the deeper shades of red, fall berries on the viburnum and nandina bushes as well as the hawthorn tree provide a spectacular display, as do red dogwood branches, sedum, mums, celosia, “marmalade” heuchera, zinneas, cosmos, and cottage yarrow. Harvest time brings a dose of ruby red in chile peppers, which can be found in abundance at roadside stands and grocery stores.
Blue mist caryopteris, monkshood, September asters, salvias, veronica blue, ornamental kale, morning glories, thistles, and winter pansies all come in beautiful hues of sapphire and amethyst and should be around for most of the month. For deeper shades of blue and purple, look out for the chokecherry tree and Vigininia creeper vine, which should keep keep their inky berries until the end of the month.
While fall’s foliage may dominate the landscape, September gardens still offer much in when it comes to deeper colors, so make sure to make a trip to your back yard before you head up to mountains. And as always, take your clippers for the berries, which make a great seasonal accent for your home.
Carole has been in the floriculture industry, from international wholesale and retail sales to event planning, for over 20 years. She has floral studios in Santa Fe and Baltimore, was a Santa Fe Master Gardener, and supports local/national flower farms and beautification projects. She is available for demonstrations and lectures. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www. flowerspy.com.
Mountain-ash berries captured on Don Gaspar Avenue