Fall is in full swing. The perennial flower gardens are taking on the colors of autumn with colorful berries, foliage and flowers. While we all know about goldenrod, asters and chrysanthemums as traditional fall flowers, there are other perennial flowers, hardy in our area, that can increase the fall color range and interest.
Monks hood or Aconitum, is a purple or ivory flower colored perennial that grows 2 to 4 feet tall and blooms in fall. The flower's shape resembles a monk's hood. The plants grows in full sun or part shade on well-drained soil. Be careful, though, all parts of this plant are poisonous if eaten.
Chelone or Turtleshead, named because of the flower's shape, is a fun perennial that blooms in white or pink colors. These 2- to 3-foot-tall plants bloom in late summer and fall. They thrive on stream banks or in moist areas and can tolerate some shade. They're fun flowers for kids to play with.
Montauk daisy is a fall blooming daisy. Growing rampantly on Montauk, Long Island, this perennial hales from Japan where it's called the Nippon daisy. The white daisy flowers bloom in fall on 2- to 3-foot-tall plants. The leaves are dark green and succulent, reminding me of sedum. Montauk daisies grow best in full sun on sandy soil. They're salt tolerant so a good choice along the shore.
Not only are these flowers a great way to increase the color and plant shapes in your garden, birds, bees and butterflies love them, too. They'll bloom right until frost when you can cut them back for winter.