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Summer is fading away like the purple phlox and magenta bee balm. But I’m still excited about my garden.

Two clumps of perennial hardy hibiscus are packed with buds as big as a Tootsie Roll pops and ready to burst open – probably next week. The variety is called ‘Cherry Cheesecake’ for its ruffled white and cherry streaked flowers. When the bushes are popping with massive fantasy blooms - they look like they belong in Munchkinland.

These hardy hibiscus are a pretty cool creation for northern climate gardeners.They’re as showy and glorious as tropical hibiscus- but all you have to do is spread a layer of mulch at the base before winter.

The tropical hibiscus plant needs a little more TLC. In October, I haul my one container from the deck down to the basement. Then in May, when the night temperatures don’t drop below 50, I haul it back on the deck. Because this is Minnesota, the hibiscus usually takes until the end of August to form its Ft. Lauderdale-like flowers.

It looks like my two hibiscus will be blooming in perfect harmony.

What are you looking forward to in your fall garden?

Photo: Flowerchick.com