Just because summer is fading fast doesn’t mean your garden color and excitement has to fade with it. September is a great time to change out those worn out blooming annuals for a fresh harvest look. A standing favorite are fall mums which come in a kaleidoscope of colors from yellows, oranges, reds and bronzes to lavenders, pinks and whites. One of my favorites is the Belgian mum with its giant mounding form. Unlike many other garden varieties, this series doesn’t need to be pruned during the spring and summer months to control its height and shape. It just naturally grows that way year after year if you plant early in full sun and water regularly
Gaining more popularity every year are hardy winter pansies. Planted in early fall, their bright faces smile continuously until a hard freeze shuts down the blooms temporarily. If you planted them in full sun and watered regularly, they will pop right back up, looking toward the sun as soon as temperatures moderate a bit and keep on blooming nicely until the heat of early summer comes.
Fall asters are late summer, early fall bloomers that will brighten a garden spot or pot. They come in blues, purples, pinks, whites and reds. The nice things about asters are that they are hardy perennials and come back year after year.
Ornamental grasses are deer resistant, drought tolerant and come in an array of heights, growing habits, bloom and colors. Many of them are also perennial and require little maintenance except for cutting them back about 6” from the ground at the end of winter.
Although they don’t come back year after year, ornamental cabbage and kale add interest and texture to combo pots and ground beds until late winter to early spring.
Don’t forget black-eyed Susans, coreopsis, sedums and a host of other perennials that will enhance your fall canvas of color. And the changing colors of trees and shrubs can provide another dimension to your fall color plantings.
I hope you have fun and gain healthy benefits planning, shopping for and planting your fall garden whether it’s a large area or simply one pot on your doorstep or patio.