Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Hello Yellow; Fall Flowers by Ann Moore

Chrysanthemums by Carol King
Have you noticed it? The days are slightly shorter and a little cooler.

It is time for the stately cottonwood trees along the irrigation canals, the many ash trees planted as street trees in many cities and of course Colorado’s famous aspens in the high country are turning yellow. There are many many traditional and familiar yellows that are apparent in the fall.

Chrysanthemums come in all shades of yellow from vivid gold to pale almost white and some have two shades on the same blossom. Chrysanthemums are best and easiest planted as container plants and now is the perfect time for next fall show.

There are literally dozens of yellow flowers blooming in the fall. Gaillardia which has many varieties most of which are yellow, Rudebeckia, again lots of varieties including Black Eyed Susan, most of these can be planted from seed. Can they be planted now? Yes this is mother natures time to seed and you can too, however the problem turns out to be next spring. You must remember where you planted them! (so mark you yellow beds carefully.)

Sunflower by Carol King
Then there are the Sunflowers (Helianthus annuus). The wild ones blooming along the highways, the ones with the huge seed heads, planted as an agricultural crop (which the birds love), and some almost miniature ones. Alpine sunflower (Hymenoxys grandiflora) of "old man of the mountains" which always bloom facing the rising sun. Sunflowers are easy to grow, they just need lots of sun and moderate amounts of water.

Rabbit brush (Chrysothamnus nauseosus) blooms where others cannot, love poor soil and a dry location. They are almost always seen as a shrub, need little care, are probably hard to establish in most gardens, but is worth a try because of its showy yellow display.

If you are trying or want to try for yellow blooms next fall, your choices are many and will add to your gardens fall beauty, but a timely planting needs to be done soon.

A helpful resource:
"Kinnikinnick the Mountain Flower Book" by Millie Miller Johnson Publishing Company,. 1980 Boulder, ISBN 0-933472 09 - 9