As a follow-up to an August posting, it is fun to take a look at the same plants two months later. The Aronia melonacarpa 'Viking' and Hydrangea paniculata 'Limelight' have now entered their stage of autumn beauty. When designing a garden, as you may be aware, it is important to consider plants that have multiple seasons of interest, rather than just one season of interest. Both of the above mentioned shrubs have more than one season of interest to offer. Aronia has nice orange/red fall color, while the Hydrangea's blooms have held up well and browned nicely.
Another plant that deserves another discussion is Chasmanthium, or Northern sea oat grass. It's vibrant green seedheads have remained graceful but have now transformed into a carmelly brown color and are even more gorgeous. The photo below is of the only remaining stand of the grass in my garden. In years past, I have allowed all of the Chasmanthium to remain through the winter because I just love the winter interest it offers. However, I decided it was necessary to sacrifice the winter ornamental value if I didn't want my entire garden to be Chasmanthium next year! Recall in an earlier posting that I warned about the aggressive behavior of this Ohio native.
In addition, Heuchera villosa 'Autumn Bride', (a sure winner not only the dry shade garden but a also when it comes to possessing multiple seasons of interest) is still going strong. It has maintained nice foliage and flower heads.