This weekend the Hall County Master Gardeners held their annual Fall Expo. This is a fabulous event with over 60 quality vendors with a wide range of plants from the exotic to the basics. There is something for everyone. I realize I have a bias since I am a member of this fabulous group of gardeners; however, I even do my share of shopping at this event.
I picked up several trees for the woodland gardens. A gorgeous Blue Shadow dogwood which is a Kousa. Check out the spectacular blue-green foliage on this tree. It blooms late spring through summer.
Blue Shadow Dogwood
I planted it amongst the bleeding heart and hellebore. If nature times it right this part of the garden should now be a winter, spring, summer show of dramatic blooms.
I also picked up two Japanese Maples...a coral bark maple (Acer palmatum 'Sango-kaku') and a red lace-leaf maple (Acer palmatum 'Tamuke yama')
I couldn't pass up the swamp sunflowers (Helianthus angustifolia). I know they get crazy tall (5-12 ft.) but they have such showy blooms (2-3" daisies) that will give some much needed color to the fall garden. Not only will they provide color but they will offer food to the birds in the winter (if they are not deadheaded). Even better, they are a native wildflower to Georgia. It does seem a little funny to buy this plant since they grow wild in the ditches around Georgia but they just called to me at the Expo. There are many women in this world that can't pass up a good pair of shoes. I'm a gal that can't pass up a gorgeous plant!
The name swamp sunflower is a bit of a misnomer. They don't have to grow in a swamp at all but they do like to have moist soil and do best in full sun. I planted them along the back corner of the orchard along the fence at the bottom of a small slope where they will get full sun. They can be invasive but frankly in this part of the garden I don't mind. If I have a sea of sunflowers blooming in fall I will be a happy lady!
Another plant I picked up was a Shrub Bush Clover (Lespedeza sp.). This shrub will provide some late summer flowers which the garden is in dire need of.
This beauty has arching branches full of clusters of sweet pea shaped flowers. According to the expert at Smithgall Woods it will tolerate hot, dry conditions and infertile soil. What more could a woman ask for!