April brings to the spring garden flower bulbs and blooms of varying colors, shapes and sizes that brighten the garden and provide a much-needed burst of color as winter fades. As October approaches, and fall is in full swing, many flowers are emerging to light up the landscape with their unusual foliage, texture and bloom colors.
October Skies Aster
October skies aster (Aster oblongifolius 'October Skies') is a perennial flower that has a spreading growth habit and moderate growth pace. It has a mounding, low-growing form and grows 1 to 3 feet tall and wide. October skies asters produce masses of daisylike, dark sky blue flowers that light up the garden and attract butterflies. Versatile, October skies asters are both deer and frost tolerant. They grow best in full sun to part shade and well-drained soil. Plant October skies asters in USDA zones 4 to 8.
Japanese anemone (Anemone x hybrida 'Margarete') is a perennial flower that blooms from late September through October. It has an aggressive growth rate and spreading habit. The Japanese anemone grows 1 to 3 feet tall and wide, an ideal flower to grow along a flowerbed or border. The plant's large, medium-pink, semi-double flowers have a contrasting chartreuse center and deep yellow stamens. Japanese anemones grows best in light to part shade and well-drained, fertile soil that is moist but not overly wet. Plant them in USDA zones 5 to 7.
Moss phlox (Phlox subulata) is a perennial flower with a low-growing, spreading habit. The notchlike petals on moss phlox have a dark or light center or "eye" and grow in a wide range of colors including, deep to pale pink, lavender, blue and white. An evergreen, the plant has narrow, stiff and dark green or red-tinged foliage that darkens in winter to burgundy and is retained year-round. Moss phlox blooms in April and May and is drought-tolerant to withstand periods of limited moisture. It is an ideal perennial flower to grow along rock gardens or banks or spilling over containers. Moss phlox grows best in full sun and well-drained soil but tolerates sandy, rocky and gravelly soil with low fertility. Plant moss phlox in USDA zones 2 to 8.
Grape hyacinth (Muscari armeniacum) is an April-blooming flower that resembles a bunch of elongated, upside-down grapes, hence the name. It has a maximum spread of ½ foot and grows ¾ foot tall. The plant features urn-shaped, deep-blue to violet flowers edged with a thin white line, borne on conical racemes. Each grape hyacinth bulb produces 1 to 3 scapes that contain 20 to 40 flowers per scape and rise out from small clumps of fleshy leaves. The narrow, 12-inch-long basal leaves appear at the base of the plant. Grape hyacinths require full sun to part shade and well-drained soil. Plant grape hyacinths in USDA zones 4 to 8.