This week saw the first frost arrive right on schedule, a blessedly light one as it draped over the Fairegarden. Damage was minimal, if any. The cold often brings the colors and contrasts of fall to a crescendo of brilliance before the season of brown and grey descends. The pink muhly grass, Muhlenbergia capillaris is at its most scrumptious as it fades to shades of purple before going to a honeyed straw hue.
Still attractive as they enter the period of dormancy, perennials are allowed to remain standing well into winter here, the ones that die well, that is. Hosta ‘Blue Mouse Ears’ in a hypertufa trough is more snazzy looking now than when wearing a cloak of blueish green.
The criteria are not stringent for a plant to be considered fading faire, it must be able to stand upright is job one. The edging of tall Sedum alboroseum mediovariegatum along the pathway of the white/yellow bed should have been cut down in May to help make it less lanky. There is no excuse, it was on the list. But what is that one bit of pinky amongst the yellow legs?
This stem will get a piece of string or something tied around it to see if it is growing from the same type of sedum as the rest of the row. If so, it will be propagated and given some type of cool name including the word *faire* and something good to eat. How about Faire Pink Lemonade?
The yellow aster, named for my friend, the owner of Mouse Creek Perennial Farm, Heterotheca villosa ‘Ruth Baumgardner’ produced one seedling, in the gravel path, this year. Let’s see if allowing the seedheads to stand as long as they can will make some more babies.
Dahlias are NOT a plant considered to die well, age attractively or fade faire. Most were covered with a canvas drop cloth and remain unscathed if somewhat smooshed. This one was forgotten but will live a while longer, it is hoped. There is another fat, juicy flower bud just under this bloom. It might be Dahlia ‘Gallery Picasso’, recently purchased at a big box markdown.
The Amsonia tribe turns to a golden splash in fall, there are several species growing here. The Stipa tenuissima never really fades, faire or otherwise, it is considered to have year around interest, and looks remarkably like another fading faire…