As summer comes to a close and fall starts many gardening tidy up and impatiently wait for spring to come around again. However, there is fall foliage, flowers and grasses that will liven up and provide color and life to your garden for another season.
I will be honest, this is not something I have incorporated into my gardening yet. Dreaming of it yes, it is one of the things that I have been looking at. My challenge is balancing my need to want a working garden versus display plants for color.
The display plants that provide color and interest in the garden are pretty, yet I don’t want to take up precious space from edible gardening for them. So currently my yard sits empty and lifeless during the fall and winter.
Some of the plants I have considered for fall interest and color include:
Aster – a lovely plant with small daisy like clouds of purple flowers are a lovely fall color that would provide a bit of cheer in the garden. They thrive in best in full sun and can look a bit weedy when they do not receive enough sun. It doesn’t bother me as I think it lends charm in the visual look of the fall garden. Best to grow in climates like the Pacific Northwest, which makes it an ideal choice for my fall garden.
Helenium – comes in a variety of fall colors; from reddish brown, vibrant red and gold to bright gold and yellow. I like the idea of a shock of color in a fall garden.
Russian sage – is a dual purpose plant that is drought tolerant. It survives drought well, making it a great plant for summer. Also, it grows well in the fall with tall stalks and lilac to deep purple flowers.
Crocus – yes the most well known crocus is a spring flower. However, there is a lovely “Autumn Crocus”, with two tone flowers in white and lavender. The best time to plant these little gems is the end of July or August. When to plant is going to be really dependent upon how your seasons run.
Chrysanthemum’s – better known as mums to the general populace are an all time favorite of mine. Especially the flowers with deep golden orange fall color flowers or the red gold color. If I choose these it will be a section with a mixture of both.
Marigold’s – while not a favorite of mine, I can see them inter mixed in the garden to create a lovely cascade of fall colors. There flowers pop with the vibrant orange color.
I mentioned grasses above, however a word of caution, grasses even ornamental ones will self sow; they can eventually take over and go from being a lovely addition to a nightmare problem. If you would like to add ornamental grasses, be sure and talk to your local garden center about ways to contain them. Or plant them in pots above ground. They do add a lovely and unique element to the look of your garden.
Whatever you’re choice for fall gardening, be it ornamental, practical or a break from gardening altogether enjoy your gardening.