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There are still eggplants ripening, purple beans to be plucked and zinnias in every shade of the rainbow that won't stop until frost. Take advantage of their colors now, when they're at their best.
These late-summer crops pair nicely with early-fall purple mums and butternut squash. The purples are delicious against the creamy yellow.
Another surprising bloom color in fall: pink! Typically reserved for Easter arrangements and summer borders, pink is actually going crazy all over my fall garden. Why? Traditional upright sedum is in full bloom this time of year, and it is stunning.
I shun the trendy 'Autumn Joy' sedum in favor of the bright pinks and deeper red-stemmed varieties, such as 'Matrona' (shown). Whichever variety you choose, it will pair well with various greens and blues found throughout the fall garden.
Of course, there certainly is a place for tradition, and I for one cannot resist the peeling berries of bittersweet. Invasive and destructive to some native habitats, this plant takes over a hedgerow on our property in Pennsylvania every fall. I do my duty every year and chop it down to size.
If you too struggle with weedy bittersweet, take advantage of its beauty in fall and consider the chore of ripping it out simply a sacrifice for decor.
If you can't help but be drawn to the yellows and oranges at the pumpkin patch, try to go with a little variety this year. Pick up a few striped gourds to link colors. Try spots and swiggles on your pumpkins for a change of pace, or add in a few ghostly white varieties.