Planting perennials before it’s too late

There’s a little bit of prime time left for planting perennials this fall, and I’ve been musing about the kind of landscaping I want at our place.

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First up is a climbing rose. I had my heart set on John Davis roses because there’s a house down the street with two amazing, mature John Davises climbing up its exterior. But then it occurred to me that I love my red geraniums out front, and the pink and red would compete too much for my taste. So I stopped by the nursery and found a yellow variety that’s just as hardy as the John Davis but will look better with my other flowers.

I planted the rose bush below the kitchen-sink window and am hoping to train it to climb up and around the window. I was inspired by this wild rose in Spring City, Utah, which isn’t a climber per se but is doing its best to make a statement on this gray-stucco house.

Next up on my landscaping list is espalier trees. Man, there could not be a more romantic plant than an espalier tree. I mean, look at these images:

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I also shot these photos in Spring City, where a homeowner trained fruit trees to follow this arch by a barn:

Have any of you had a lot of luck with espalier trees? I’d love some tips.

Last up is tulips and crocuses. Every year I plant 30 tulips, and I am always so glad I did once April rolls around. But every fall I also consider buying crocuses because they’re among the first bloomers and because I have sweet memories of crocuses in my best friend’s yard when we were young. I always cheap out and don’t buy them, then regret it when winter finally starts waning.

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Maybe this is the year for crocuses for me, and I still need to get my tulips planted too—got to get them in the ground before the hard frost sets in! For me, that’ll probably happen within the next week (sigh). What are you planting this fall? •

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