September really is a time of scurrying around. Before I had the immense pleasure of raising children, my wife and I would leave this beautiful place every fall for the Rockies. I have had family in southwestern Colorado (Ouray) since the early 70's and I LOVE the Colorado flora. We would try to go for two weeks. One week in Ouray, relaxing by the lake, fishing, hiking, botanizing and gardening for my Nana; and one week exploring the Rocky mountains. We would be the only people in the entire campground, MANY times. Moose would walk through our camp and grizzlies would be browsing for berries two hundred yards away. I collected LOTS of seed over the years. I came to absolutely love fall. (that was a change: growing up as a passionate amateur naturalist and botanist, I had always loved spring, things rising from the dead but fall was depressing, everything was dying...of course it meant going back to school which may have had some impact on my emotional bent.)
I still love fall. I love going hiking when no one else is around. I love collecting seed (many of the native plants we have in the nursery are from our seed collections). I love the warm days and chilly nights. I love the hardiest of perennials that continue to bloom into the fall, in spite of frosts or even snows. AND I love fall colors. I think the show of fall colors is more dramatic and can be longer lived than the explosions of spring. I love the colors of stems and the structure of bare branches. I love rose hips, persistent crabapple fruit and pendulous branches loaded with mountain ash berries.
In spite of the FACT that fall is the best time for planting in our short season and to wait until spring costs gardeners a year's worth of root system expansion, we are slower in the nursery and I am looking forward to getting out and hiking and biking several more times. By all accounts, the wildflowers in the high country are just beginning to explode and many just won't have time to bloom out before it snows.
So... In the Villager Nursery... we have an amazing assortment of plants that deliver late and spectacular fall colors like Rudbeckia laciniata, R. triloba, Heleneum, Phlox, Physostegia, Aster, Erigeron, Eupatorium, Sedum, Campanula, Aquilegia (you know our native columbine blooms for about 3 months!), Spiraea douglasii, Potentilla, Hemerocalis, Clematis, and even more... Under appreciated fall colors from Dwarf Birch (already going dormant), Skunk Bush (looks JUST like poison oak), Mountain Maple and Twin-flowering Honeysuckle (both have etherial, ghostly cream fall color... incredible in dappled shade), Wild Roses (the flowers are a flash-in-the-pan but the fall colors, the showy hips and the cranberry red stems are beautiful)... and AH! Birch-leaf Spiraea (a Cascade native - perfect mounding shape, crisp white flowers in early summer and fluorescent red-orange - like GLOWING - fall colors) AND the Villager only carries the hardiest of bulbs, specializing in wildflower bulbs, naturalizing bulbs and bulbs that animals are repulsed by.