Over Ninety Degree Days Have Me Longing for Autumn

Are you dreaming of the weather breaking too? Cool breeze blowing the falling leaves… Geese honking to each other as they pass overhead… Needing a sweater in the cool morning as the sun warms the ground… Seems like it will never come but that doesn’t mean I can’t wish!  

If you would like some spectacular fall color in the yard, Fothergilla is a great plant to have! This hot weather is not ideal for planting but make plans to include some of this one in your winter planting plans. Here is more information from a post I made a few years ago on my Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/Moll.Dunn/ (if you want to “like” it I will post notification there when I create new content here).

FOTHERGILLA – I know some people will inevitably know this plant but it is delightful and not overused. Pronounce it similar to father-gee-la. It doesn’t have a more common name. As a shrub native to the southeastern United States, it is well adapted to the Atlanta area and doesn’t require special pampering.


with four seasons of interest, this underused native plant will grab the attention of all who enjoy nature’s beauty 

Fothergilla has the amazing fall color that you see in the attached picture and great spring flowers too! The shrub has an attractive summer blue green leaf and keeps a neat appearance that fits right into almost all types of landscapes. Both the fall color and flower will be peak if the shrubs are sited in full sun but partial shade is acceptable.

The ‘Mt. Airy’ is a bigger cultivar topping out at 5-6′ and Fothergilla gardenii is a dwarf form that only gets 2-3′. They are deciduous (loosing leaves in winter) so they look great layered in groups with some evergreen choices.

Take a look at Fothergilla next time you are looking for tough but interesting plant.






praise for bottlebrush buckeye

The first Bottlebrush Buckeye (Aesculus parviflora) I “met” was an old one in the Founder’s Memorial Garden in Athens, GA. It still sticks in my memory as one of my favorite shrubs and I consider it tragically underused in landscape design.

During my undergraduate and graduate years in the landscape architecture program at University of Georgia, I had the privilege of working in the Founder’s Garden in exchange for reduced tuition. The reason I consider it a privilege is I was able to truly know the garden and all it’s plants in every season, and learn what it took to care for them. A typical landscape architecture education does not include dirt under the fingernails!


the coarse textured leaves can be seen stretching out over a small pool in the Founder’s Garden

The Founder’s Garden Buckeye bloomed right at (what was) the time of UGA’s graduation in June. The air was hot and muggy and the large but delicate white flowers seemed oblivious to the weather. The leaves typically stay unblemished through the long summer and a yellow fall color can be expected. 

The Bottlebrush Buckeye is native to the woodlands of Georgia as well as Alabama and Northern Florida. It will bloom best in part shade on the edge of the tree line but can also be placed in full shade. It is slow growing but will eventually get large with an eight to ten foot spread. 

although the main reason for enjoying the bottlebrush buckeye is the flowering period, it holds value in the landscape in every season

I made sure to check that this interesting, native shrub is currently available in the trade. MNI wholesale nursery has them available in a 5 and 7 gallon size. If you don’t have a landscaper who can get it for you there, you may try Pike’s. Very rarely I have seen them available as mature balled and burlapped product and I would highly recommend that if you can get it for a more instant show!