Greetings from your outdoor horticulture crew at Roger’s Gardens. Fall! Autumn! Autumnal Equinox! Halloween! Thanksgiving! Whatever you call it, the seasons are changing and even though in Southern California our seasons change a little more grudgingly, we can still feel it in our (iced?) pumpkin spiced latte blood.
This seasonal change can be difficult if you’re thinking pansies, violas, ornamental cabbages & kales while the sun is still burning down and the Santa Ana winds are threatening. So, what do your favorite Roger’s gardeners do when this time demands a little color switching or freshening, at the least?
If you’re our resident fruits & veggie guru, David Rizzo, you wait for just the right time to switch to your cool season crops but his favorite is Broccoli romanescu, “That’s my favorite one!” and he loves waiting for it to ready to eat. He also likes sugar snap peas and lacinato kale.
Our general manager, Ron Vanderhoff, spoke eloquently about his love of this season’s light. He said that he loves planting grasses at this time because, “There’s something about the light at this time of year. It’s just special and so warm, it makes the grasses light up at the end of the day”.
Our buyer, Rex loves violas in all colors. He has brought in some wonderful seasonal colors and even a pansy/viola hybrid called a “panola” that has the most beautiful deep purple velvet-like flowers.
Rex’s assistant, Laura said that she loves the grasses, too. She loves the pennisetum and miscanthus and the way they sway in our fall winds.
One of our excellent maintenance team members, Cody, said that he loves seeing the rudebeckias and plants them until we sell out.
Our indoor galleries fairy garden expert, Barbara McGraw, had a great answer for my question about which fall plant did she like to use for this unique transition time. She said, “Nothing! I just wait until the winds and hot weather die down and then head straight into winter color.”
My colleague & friend Kim said, “Foxgloves, stock, delphiniums, canterbury bells, iceland poppies & pansies and rununculus bulbs all together because the pansies give you good color now and then the rest bloom from February until the end of spring.”
My favorites in the garden right now are my pentas ‘Nova’ and some black panolas. I have such strong color that very little more is needed. The bright pink of the pentas make me happy every time I walk out the door and the black pansy/viola flowers remind me that cooler weather is on its way.