Just Because It's Fall…

doesn’t mean the flower beds are empty.  Actually, I think my garden looks best in late summer and fall than any other time.
My Callicarpa americana (aka Beautyberry) is full of berries.  This Arkansas native shrub grows well in my bed that receives full sun until around mid afternoon.  Birds will eat the berries but I have noticed they are the last of the berries to be eaten.  That’s ok with me.  When the leaves have fallen off the trees, the purple really stands out and I can enjoy the view a while longer.
callicarpa, beautyberry callicarpa, beautyberry callicarpa, beautyberry
The toad lilies (Tricyrtis hirta) have begun their show for the fall, too.
toad lily toad lily
This is a great plant for shade.  I have read that it can grow up to 3 ft., but I’ve had these particular plants for years and they have never grown over 18 inches tall for me.  The flowers are small and orchid-like, so don’t plant too far away from your eyes.
Gaura lindheimeri also known as ‘Whirling Butterflies’ is just now starting to bloom.  I was beginning to wonder about her.  She bloomed all summer last year and not one bloom until now.  I guess she decided she would bloom when she was good and ready.  I understand girl.
gaura gaura
The old-fashioned petunias are still going strong.  They will withstand a light frost/freeze, so I will get to enjoy them a couple of more weeks.
old fashioned petunia
The Spicebush (Lindera benzoin) is really glowing now.  This is more of a small tree than bush.  This is also an Arkansas native plant that can multi task like crazy.  It starts in the early spring with small, yellow flowers.  The leaves then serve as a host plant (food) for the spicebush swallowtail and in the fall you get this gorgeous yellow.  What a hard worker!
spicebush spicebush
Amsonia hubrectii (Arkansas Blue Star) is also a hard worker. It is drought resistant, bug-free, and deer free.   Small blue flowers appear in the spring, turning to lush green foliage in the summer and then yellow in the fall (although it’s just now starting that process).  Amsonia is one of my favorite shrubs in the whole wide world.
And last but not least, I have the garden area that I planted in winter wheat and rye.  This is such a quick-growing cover crop, I was able to let the chickens check it out within a couple of weeks.
It was chicken approved.