Beautyberry in a floral arrangement.

The Colorful Joys of the Late Summer Garden

Phyllis Lifestyle 15 Comments

I must confess that I am already counting the days until fall. But my late summer garden is always beautiful. Years ago I discovered the American Beautyberry. I first learned about this interesting plant when Neal and I were seated at a lovely table in a café where a small branch of the shrub was in a small vase. The gorgeous purple cluster of berries intrigued me. I could hardly eat my lunch before inquiring about the identity of this lovely cutting.

I soon learned that the delicate branch was from an American Beautyberry. The shrub grows green all summer, and when autumn is approaching, a gorgeous show of bright purple berries appears. I planted one right outside the door of my potting shed, and I cannot wait to see those violet hues emerge!

Another one of my favorite late-blooming flowers is a Spider Lily. It amazes me that the bloom shoots out of the ground and afterward the foliage comes up. My mom had these in her garden, and I always adored them. I have planted several in my garden, and last year one bloomed. So this year I planted more, realizing the squirrels had Spider Lily dinner one evening. This flower should be called the “surprise lily” as it seems to appear out of nowhere.

The lingering heat of August and September bring wonderful colors to my garden.

What is your favorite late-summer flower?

Southern Home Autumn 2015 cover


Comments 15

  1. Not only is Beautyberry a beautiful plant, it is also great food for the birds. Here in Virginia, the berries stay on the plant all winter. I have a huge bush and for the past two years, I have been lucky enough to see the birds devour the berries in January. A flock of birds will show up, eat their fill and by the end of the day, the berries have all been eaten. It really is quite exciting to see.

  2. Does anyone know where you could purchase one? I had one years ago at a previous home and would love to find one to purchase.

  3. Here in Louisiana we enjoy the fragrant butterfly ginger lilies and magnolias. I am drying a few bundles of Annabelle hydrangeas for fall arrangements. Needless to say, I love white flowers! And I love your blog…how refreshing and wholesome. Thank you

  4. I transplanted a beauty berry from my parents yard. I always loved it when I was growing up in the country. They are abundant here in Mississippi.

  5. I love the beautyberries. I have 2 that I planted & one that a bird planted. I must say, the berries are prettier on the one the bird planted.

  6. I pray for rain to fall on California every day. Hopefully soon the heavens will open and releive your drought. Love French garden house. Thinking of you here in the Midwest.

  7. Love reading articles on gardening, but then can’t find a source for the plants mentioned. Sorry to say, I am not a really dedicated gardener, but I do love perennials – have only recently discovered how nice it is to have a friend return after a cold winter! any source information appreciated.

  8. Thanks for sharing this article and the comments I don’t really have a green thumb with blooming plants I do well with greenery. I’m so envious of you gals that have these beautiful gardens. Keep up the good work in making our world a more beautiful and fragrant place. Blessings to all.

  9. My favorite is really a bush, our Buddliea (Butterfly Bush) blooms in dark purple blooms at this time of year, and smells heavenly. Unfortunately, California is in a severe drought, we are only allowed to water twice a week, and my summer garden is a sad version of its normal, gorgeous self this year.

  10. I have and love what’s called a forgotten lily or resurrection plant. The foliage comes up in the spring, then dies back, is trimmed off and later in early to mid August up shoots this long stem with several beautiful pinkish lavender lily flowers on it – absolutely gorgeous!

  11. I noticed the American Beautyberry right away. I moved to the Fairhope Alabama area last year & this plant was in my natural area. I made a picture & sent it to Petals From The Past garden center to identify. He sent me the name & said it was native to this area and to be sure to keep it so I could see all the different seasons of it’s beauty. Love the fluffy flower in spring. Thank you for sharing.

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