What’s Blooming in October

bbblargeI’ll admit that most of my plants bloom in the spring and early summer. However, I have one in particular that looks its best just as we are about to get our first snowflakes.

Callicarpa dichotoma ‘Early Amethyst’  or Purple Beauty Berry is a stunner in the garden this time of year.  It’s a deciduous bush which means it loses it leaves in the winter. The Purple Beauty Berry grows about 4 feet tall and wide and produces many beautiful clusters of tiny purple berries that last throughout the winter or until the birds eat them all. It is a cultivar of the native American Beauty Bush and requires next to no care.

The only thing you need to do is cut it back to 6-8 inches from the ground in the spring. This ensures that the new growth will be covered with berries. But be patient as it will take a while to bounce back to its original glory. Last winter I saw a small group of blue birds feasting on my bush which was great because we hardly ever see bluebirds in Southwestern PA.

Of course you can’t miss the fall leaves this time of year. But what about those perennials and shrubs whose leaves turn beautiful shades of gold, red and shiny black. Euonymus alatus or Burning Bush is probably the first one to comes to mind however there are several others that will work in the landscape and make for a great fall show. Itea virginica ‘Henry’s Garnet’also known as Sweetspire  is one of my favorites. Fothergilla major, is another beautiful deciduous shrub that gets great fall color just before it drops its leaves. For a perennial try Penstemon ‘Husker’s Red’ whose leaves turn a deep red in the fall.  Snip of few stems of each place them in a tall vase and you have a beautiful centerpiece for your fall entertaining.

About Patti Estep

Patti is the creator of Hearth and Vine, a home and garden blog filled with projects to inspire your creative side. She loves crafting, gardening, decorating and entertaining at her home in Pennsylvania. When she is not working on a project at home or searching for treasures at nurseries and thrift stores with her girlfriends, you’ll probably find her with family and friends, at a restaurant, or home party enjoying new and different food adventures.

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  1. I loved the 5 shrub to use in your garden but, I’m in Zone 6.
    those listed where up to zone 4

    Can you list some interesting shrubs for zone 6?
    Maybe some beautiful trees that are medium size same zone?

    • Hi Linda,

      I live in zone 6a just south of Pittsburgh. All of these plants will work in your area. Up to zone 4 means that they will survive cold winters as cold as zone 4, so you are good to go. As far as small tree suggestions I always suggest you check out other homes in the area and ask a local nursery. Some trees are now sold as dwarfs. Japanese Maples will grow in your area. I love the look of Crepe Myrtles but it’s a risk here especially with the unusual couple of really cold spikes the last two winters. Some bushes can be trained into a small tree-like shape. I grow Hydrangea limelight and it gets about 8 feet tall every year even though I prune it heavily in late winter, around March or April. I hope this helps.
      Thanks for stopping by,

  2. ERSA FRANKLIN says:

    I once grew a flower which we called a touch-me-not. It self seeded sometimes and had pretty flowers. The seeds would pop open if your hands got close to them without even touching them. What can you tell me about this flower? How can I find it so I can grow it again? It was a favorite of mine.

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