By Kathi Thistlethwaite, Colorado Master Gardener
Despite autumn ushering in shorter days and cooler temperatures, gardens can still be drenched in vivid colors and multi-seasonal interest.
One cultivar to consider adding to the garden is Fireworks Goldenrod (Solidago rugosa), which comes to life in late summer. Its fronds blossom and turn a vibrant shade of yellow, resembling exploding fireworks. It should be planted in full sun and will tolerate partial shade and varying levels of moisture.
Fall would be incomplete without mums (Chrysanthemum). To enjoy their beauty for more than one season, select mums with most of the flowers closed and when the weather is slightly cooler. Plant them immediately after purchase in well-drained soil where they receive six hours of sun daily, and at the same depth as they were in the pot. Water well during the day, not letting the mum dry out. Remove dead blooms after blooming but leave the foliage. Keep the plant moist until the first hard freeze; apply mulch for winter protection. See this link for caring for Chrysanthemums in the garden.
For even more fall color and four-season beauty, one of the varieties of Serviceberry (Amelanchier spp.) would not only add multi-season interest, the tree (also referred to as a shrub, depending on the cultivar) is a stunning addition to the landscape. Showy white flowers in early spring, edible berries that attract birds and wildlife in June, brilliant orange-red foliage in the fall, its smooth, silvery-grey bark and attractive branching habit capture snow for winter interest. Planted in partial sun, serviceberry is available in single-stem or multi-stem varieties and is drought tolerant.