‘Quickfire’ hydrangea has been pink for at least a month (hence the name), and is still looking great.
Hakonechloa is a good-doer all around, but ‘All Gold’ in particular shines in autumn light. Again, all I do to it is cut it back in late winter and I only divide it when I want more of it, which it happily provides.
While all the plants around it are starting to look tattered, especially the slug-damaged hostas and the deer-munched ‘Incrediball’ hydrangeas, the groundcover Lamium maculatum ‘Pink Chablis’, seems to always look fresh and lively.
It wouldn’t be early fall in the garden without Rudbeckia. It’s the standard by which all fall-blooming perennials should be measured. I cut it back in spring, leaving the stems standing for the birds and winter interest.
Sedums just sit back as the unnoticed wallflowers all summer, but come early fall, they are stars. I also leave the standing over winter and I try to cut them back in about June to keep them a little stockier and prevent flopping.
Not all that is beautiful in the early fall garden is foliage or flower. These berries on Viburnun x juddii are so bright and shiny. I will enjoy them until the birds find them. I literally do nothing to this shrub other than admire it. What more can you ask for?
Roses hardly fall under the “low maintenance” category that the rest of these plants fall under, but it would be remiss of me to ignore them in a listing of the best plants in the garden in early fall. Here in zone 5, now is the time when most roses get a stunning second flush of flowers, so long as the gardener has been diligent about deadheading earlier in the year. This is ‘The Alnwick Rose’, which I planted in late spring.
Nature has a way of reminding us to enjoy every day and not rush to what’s coming next. Plants like this are proof.