Eupatoriums are extremely easy to grow and one of my favorite groups of plants. They belong to the family Asteraceae, aka Asters, which are usually in bloom this time of year. This family is responsible for most of the fall coloring on the side of roads this year. Colors range from purple to lavender to white and so on. When this Chocolate eupatorium begins growing in the spring the foliage is purple. Visitors to my garden often mistake it as the wild basil, Perilla frutescens. Wild basil is one plant I will NEVER plant in my garden as wild basil is wildly invasive and very hard to get rid of once established. I have only met gardeners who have regretted planting it. I once was the recipient of this wild basil back in the 80s when my aunt kindly gave it to me. What a mistake! Beware of kind gardeners who give you plants and always know what you are planting BEFORE planting it.
The second picture is also of Chocolate Eupatorium and a wonderful rose, 'The Fairy'. The Fairy is a low grower which blooms all season with a multitude of small pink flowers. This rose requires no spraying or special care in my garden. It will grow to about 3-4 feet by 3-4 feet, which is about the size the Chocolate eupatorium will grow to as well. All of these plants grow in part sun. The Chocolate eupatorium will self seed, but in my garden the seedlings are no problem and easy to pull if I do not want them (never happened as I always want them). I take cuttings of garden mums each summer and grow my own mums. Mums usually come back each year in Tennessee but be sure to plant your mums out by mid-October to allow for them to establish their root systems prior to the really cold weather. It also helps if mums are planted in good well drained soil. I have lost a few over the years.
Garden season is not over so continue to think about what plants you might like around you. It is easy to garden year round here in Tennessee and the stores make it simple by providing in season flowers-just pick and plant-but research first or at least have a general understanding of the plant.
Tonight is the next to the last "Jazz on the Lawn" at Beachaven Winery. Be sure to partake of the wonderful weather and come out tonight and enjoy life.
in the garden....