Monrovia: Treat Yourself to a Fall Garden Refresh
Azusa, California – Hot summer weather can wreak havoc on the garden. Thankfully, the cooler days and rain potential in the fall make it a wonderful time to plant. Fall is the perfect time to add shrubs and perennials, especially when it comes to statement plants. “Favorable weather conditions are just one reason,” says Katie Tamony, chief marketing officer at Monrovia. “More time after vacation season and our design focus on home are additional factors. In the fall, there is less urgency to get the entire garden ready for spring—you’ve had time to really enjoy your space and now you can focus on what’s missing.”
Statement plants elevate the garden from ordinary to extraordinary, giving the space a focal point. Planting these varieties now gives them plenty of time to become established, so they’re ready to shine in the spring. From bold and whimsical, to traditional and grand, there is a statement plant to match any garden design and need.
“Treating yourself to a new statement plant can do more than add value to the landscape,” adds Tamony. “Studies have shown that splurging on yourself with living beauty occasionally can be good for your mental health, boosting energy, and improving your outlook. These are great additions to all the health and well-being benefits gardening already offers. Plus, adding a statement plant to the garden allows you to revisit those positive feelings every time you are in the garden.”
Here are a few striking statement plants to consider:
Topiary add instant beauty and style to the garden. Poodle or spiral topiaries can add a little playfulness to your front door, more traditional topiary shapes can create a formal focal point. Espalier trees and shrubs, varieties that are trained to grow in a pattern along a frame, create a stunning screen. “Topiary brings a sense of artistry to the garden,” says Tamony. “They fit the growing trend of architectural simplicity, offering the formality of repetition, or they can provide a sense of transition when creating relaxing outdoor rooms.”
Topiary can take as long as eight years to grow before they’re ready to be sold at retail. Monrovia offers topiary in hundreds of plant varieties, grown and shaped by craftsmen who take great pride in this art form.
Another way to create instant impact in the garden is by adding tree roses. Monrovia’s exclusive Nitty Gritty™ and Grace N’ Grit™ roses are colorful conversation starters with beautiful blooms. In tree form, they add height and interest to an entryway, entertaining areas or along a driveway or path. These low-maintenance roses offer easy care color throughout the season. Zones 4-9.
Velvet Viking™ Japanese Maple
Acer palmatum var. dissectum ‘Monfrick’ PP #31,864
Trees are one of the most recognizable statement pieces in any landscape. The distinctive, intricately cut leaves of Japanese Maple trees draw the eye and give any garden an instant focal point. Velvet Viking™ Japanese Maple is a dwarf variety with lacy, deep maroon foliage. Available in both tree and mounded forms, this Monrovia exclusive is also exceptionally hardy. Velvet Viking was discovered in Minnesota and is reliably hardy to Zone 4. 3 feet tall, 4 to 5 feet wide. Zones 4-9.
Physocarpus opulifolius ‘Minbla3’ PPAF
After trialing dozens of Ninebark varieties, the clear winner was Darkstar® Ninebark. Available exclusively from Monrovia, Darkstar adds a dramatic statement to the garden. Its leaves are larger than typical Ninebark foliage giving the plant a fuller more open look. Its shiny, burgundy new growth ages to the deepest, dark purple. This compact variety grows to about 5 feet tall and 4 to 5 feet wide. Perfect for the back of the border or as a dramatic focal point plant on its own. Full to partial sun, Zones 4-8.
Lilla Smoke Bush
Cotinus coggygria ‘Lilla’
Lilla Smoke Bush creates a statement in every season. Moody, purple-red leaves highlight pink plumes of flowers in the summer. As fall sets in, the foliage creates a show of orange, coral, and red hues. Lilla is a dwarf form of ‘Royal Purple’ Smoke Bush, growing only to 4 feet tall and wide. This Monrovia exclusive is recommended for Zones 4-8.
JeanGenie™ Colorado Blue Spruce
Picea pungens ‘MONEVA’ PPAF
Evergreens add a structure and year-long interest to the garden. JeanGenie™ Colorado Blue Spruce was selected for its eye-catching, creamy-yellow new growth and stunning bright blue needles. JeanGenie is a slow grower that stays compact, bringing pyramidal stature to the garden. 15 feet tall and 8 feet wide. Partial to full sun. Zones 2-8.
Statement plants command attention, a role that was made for Hydrangeas. The billowy blooms have a romance all their own, creating an emotional connection in the garden. Planted as a feature shrub, in a collection or as a single variety en masse, hydrangeas are captivating and remind us of the easy days of summer. Monrovia’s Seaside Serenade® Hydrangea collection offers unique varieties with long-lasting blooms, strong stems and stunning features that create an extraordinary experience. Here are a just a few favorites:
Seaside Serenade® Glacier Bay Hydrangea
Hydrangea macrophylla ‘CAMCHO45’ PPAF
The unique features of Seaside Serenade® Glacier Bay Hydrangea put it in a category all its own. On-trend and uncommon, this Monrovia exclusive is quickly becoming the new hydrangea everyone wants. Glacier Bay’s brilliant white, upturned lacecap blooms open to form delicate star shapes on contrasting, dramatic black stems. Plentiful blooms sit atop a backdrop of leathery, dark green foliage. With these eye-catching features, this traditional shrub is right at home in a modern garden design. Partial Sun. 3 feet tall and wide. Zones 4-9.
Seaside Serenade® Newport Hydrangea
Hydrangea macrophylla ‘HORTMANI’ PP #28,085
Seaside Serenade® Newport is not just another beautiful hydrangea. This mophead variety features striking flowers that are a brilliant blue to plum in acidic soils or a vibrant pink in more alkaline soils. Like its siblings in the Seaside Serenade® Collection, Newport features exceptionally strong stems that do not flop in windy or rainy weather. Newport and several other Seaside Serenade Hydrangeas are tetraploids. Tetraploid hydrangeas have a shorter distance between the leaf nodes, keeping the plant compact. It also makes the stems sturdier and stronger. The stems, leaves, and flowers are also thicker and waxier, allowing the blooms to last much longer, up to 3 months, on the plant. Tetraploids enjoy extended beauty as a cut flower in a vase, too. Zones: 4-9, 4 feet tall and wide.
Seaside Serenade® Martha’s Vineyard Hydrangea
Hydrangea macrophylla ‘HORTMAVI’ PPAF
Beautiful pink-red mophead blooms make Seaside Serenade® Martha’s Vineyard Hydrangea a must-have plant. The long-lasting blooms take on a hint of green as they age, making them a beautiful addition to any landscape or bouquet. Martha’s Vineyard is not influenced by soil pH. This variety is a tetraploid, with strong stems and extended enjoyment. Zones 4-9, 3.5 feet high, 3 feet wide.
Watch our Pursuit of Beauty video or access our 2023 Distinctive Plants Guide for more inspiration.
Inspired by the beauty of plants, gardens, and landscapes everywhere, Harry E. Rosedale, Sr. founded Monrovia in 1926 to be a premier grower of shrubs and trees. Monrovia collaborates with plant breeders around the world to introduce improved plant varieties to North America. Monrovia plants flourish once planted to beautify gardens and landscapes. Please visit Monrovia.com to learn more.