Fall Blooms in My Southern Alberta Native Flower Garden

I snapped these photos last week. It is really quite unusual to have such beautiful weather here into mid-October, but we have been thoroughly enjoying it. I even picked a handful of fall raspberries today!

Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)

Young echinacea plant just beginning to bloom in native flower garden in Southern Alberta prairies.

Not technically native to our specific region- but close enough for me- purple coneflower is a carefree, beautiful, hardy flower to grow. (Unless it develops “aster yellows“, in which case we have a major problem.)

I was so surprised when these plugs (that I planted this spring) began blooming in October! It is unseasonably warm, so usually they would start blooming in late July or August.

Blackeyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta)

Bright yellow blackeyed susans blooming in October in native flower garden in Southern Alberta prairies.

These native beauties provide weeks and weeks of vibrant color. Mine began blooming in August this year, and they’re still going strong in mid-October! We woke up to a lot of frost on the ground this morning, but the black eyed susans are still looking stunning!

Blackeyed Susans do reseed very readily, so be aware that they will need to be kept under control by deadheading or pulling seedlings.

Sunflowers

Very tall sunflowers blooming in fall in Southern Alberta vegetable garden.

Again, not sure if these are native varieties, but they reseeded themselves in my garden this year. I love having these sunflowers providing a lovely privacy screen from the busy road! I’d definitely consider growing some native sunflower varieties in the vegetable garden next year.

Smooth Aster (Symphyotrichum laeve)

Smooth aster blooming in native flower garden in the Southern Alberta prairies.

Showy Aster (Eurybia conspicua) is also currently in bloom.

The different aster plants-even from the same species- are proving to be super variable in their bloom times in this first year after planting them. I gathered seed from some while others are just beginning to bloom!

The plants are very short and small yet this year, but I was surprised at the number of blooms already! I expect them to be much taller and more filled out by next year.

Autumn Joy Sedum (Hylotelephium spectabile)

Autumn Joy sedum blooming in autumn in flower garden in Southern Alberta prairies.

Ok, so these sedums aren’t native here either. But again, they provide super long lasting color well into fall, are extremely low maintenance, AND the syrphid flies and other insects love this! All that needs to be taken care of with these beauties is division every few years.

Little Bluestem

Ok, so Little Bluestem is a grass and not a flower. But it turns the most gorgeous shades of purpley red in autumn! Plus, when the sunlight streams through the grasses, the little seed tufts catch the light and I can’t help but stare in awe.

Multiple times, I tried to photograph them to adequately show their beauty…but I’ve been unsuccessful so far. Photos just don’t do it justice, which is why I haven’t included one. You’ll have to take my word for how stunning this grass is.

IF I discover it to be a nuisance grass in my beds after a year or more, I’ll let you know…but so far I am really glad I included Little Bluestem and I highly recommend it!

In conclusion

These are some of my favorite native (and not-so-native) plants that I love to include for a fall garden that’s vibrant and inspiring! Please do let me know if you have other suggestions to include!

Happy Gardening!