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Lacking in Asters?

Lacking in asters? A little light on mums? Whether we like it or not, the season coming up next is fall, and with it comes our realization that we didn’t think it would get here so soon--as in before we got a chance to get some fall-blooming plants.

I've got a round-up of plants you might not have thought of as color contributors for your late season garden. Some of the annuals can still be found at garden centers.

Many Salvias really come on strong come September. Hopefully you haven't given up on the summertime shrinking violets.

Salvia Rockin' Blue Suede Shoes' wakes up in the fall.

Salvia Rock & Role Playin' the Blues stands out amidst the golden hues of autumn_

The local hummingbirds love Salvia, and anything else with a deep throat. They're equal opportunity birds when it comes to color. They are enamored by Salvia 'Roma Red.'

It's hard to find flowers this electric shade of red. Salvia 'Roma Red' comes close.

Don't forget the other parts of a plant that colors up when the weather gets cool. I call them double-duty plants--those that offer pretty flowers, colorful leaves, and even berries.

Fall color with Hydrangea
Oakleaf Hydrangea adds colorful fall leaves to its gorgeous summer performance.

Cornus mas (AKA Cornelian cherry) has tiny yellow flowers in early spring, and bright red berries add to the variegated show in fall.

Looking for something a little different? Go for a dunce cap (Orostachys boehmeri). Its leaves are cool and impervious to drought throughout the summer, but then it produces the cutest little flowers that look kind of like dunce caps.

Throughout the summer, Orostachys boehmeri just concentrates on looking good even without flowers.

If you're patient, Orostachys boehmeri will reward you with its dunce cap flowers.

Speaking of patience, I'll post some that require the utmost in faith that something spectacular will come out of a brown bulb.

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