Dictionary.com defines a late bloomer as a person whose talents or capabilities are slow to develop. Sounds like a negative thing, doesn’t it? Well, not if you are a plant! I cherish the late bloomers in my garden. Like that last burst of energy in spinning class when you know you only have to survive for two more songs, late bloomers enhance our gardens with brilliant blooms and color. A kind of ‘last hurrah’ before the garden beings its decline in the fall.
I’m not alone in loving Anemone ‘Honorine Jobert’ in the late summer garden. In fact, this anemone won the ultimate of plant beauty contests, being named the Perennial Plant of the year for 2016!
|Perennial Plant of the Year 2016 – Anemone ‘Honorine Jobert’
Honorine Jobert has some colorful cousins too, such as this pink cultivar.
|A pink anemone with a backdrop of the long-blooming Phlox paniculata
Begonia grandis is another show stopper in the late bloomer category. Adorned with white or pink flowers, these part-shade plants add sparkle to the garden with delicate blooms and red-veining on the back of the leaves that is magnificent when backlit.
|Begonia grandis – backlit leaves with red veining
While the large, tubular white flowers of Hosta plantaginea may not be the most beautiful blooms you have ever seen, they are among the most fragrant. Place them by the patio or an entryway so you can inhale their intoxicating scent at every possible opportunity and appreciate the hummingbirds they are likely to attract. Who needs perfume when you have Hosta plantaginea blooming in August?
Abelia x grandiflora ‘Rose Creek’ is another lovely late season bloomer. Its plentiful white blooms and rose-tinged stems provide a wonderful presence in the landscape.
|Abelia ‘Rose Creek’
I hope you won’t look down on late bloomers as being something disappointing or undesirable. Late bloomers are to be cherished for extending the interest and beauty of our gardens as we transition to autumn.