Although spring is often thought of as a time of blooming, autumn brings with it an array of perennials, shrubs, and flowers that are just as vibrant as their springtime counterparts. Rustic shades of brown and orange are popular, but there are also many colorful blooms you can choose from that will brighten your garden. Whether you prefer more subtle shades reminiscent of a prairie garden or seek a rich sea of color, fall offers plenty of opportunities for a lively garden.
As the cool weather sets in, gardening in autumn can be a relaxing hobby for those that shy away from the scorching summer heat. You do not need a large space or even a garden at all to start a fall-themed garden. Many of these flowers are well suited to raised garden beds, which can be combined with vegetables, herbs, and fruits to create attractive and functional combinations in the garden. An elevated rolling garden bed is a great option for those living in apartments or small homes, offering an innovative way to transport delicate plants inside during the winter.
If you are a beginner, then it is useful to understand the hardiness zones of different plants and make sure you adhere to those requirements when selecting which plants to grow. While many flowers bloom abundantly in warm weather, some cool season varieties can linger until the first frost. To protect your plants from the elements or any bothersome pests, consider purchasing a modular cover system.
From autumnal hues of orange and bronze to bold fuchsias and reds, chrysanthemums are a garden staple in many gardens. A ubiquitous fall flower, you can easily find them for sale at inexpensive prices at your local garden center or home improvement store. For continuous blooms, make sure to snip off wilted flowers using garden shears. An easy way to keep all your gardening tools in one place is by storing them in a versatile Vego Garden Bag.
Abundant in prairies and native gardens, coneflowers typically bloom from midsummer to early fall, with their colors ranging from purple, red, yellow, and occasionally white. The cone-like centers of these flowers contain seeds that are popular with butterflies and bees. A hardy plant, it adds elevated visual interest when planted in masses, usually with ornamental grasses and flower perennials. Notable for their ability to tolerate heavy clay and shallow, rocky soils, coneflowers are both heat and drought-resistant.
Often blamed for seasonal allergies, goldenrod is a captivating perennial in the Aster family that has been mistakenly maligned throughout the years. Since it relies on pollinators instead of the wind to spread pollen, much of the cause of allergies can be attributed to the ragweed plant, a highly invasive weed that bears some resemblance to goldenrod. There are more than hundred varieties of goldenrod that exist, most native to the United States. An important late-season pollinator, it features fluffy clumps of yellow flowers that make it ideal for borders or native gardens.
The Canna Lily is a tropical flower with banana-shaped foliage that produces large showy blossoms that come in bold reds, yellows, and oranges. Supported by long stalks that can grow between 3 – 5 ft tall, it adds a distinctive element to a tropical themed garden – or any garden that lacks brilliance. They can be used as focal points or ornamental accents, bringing structure to both ground borders and raised beds. Though they are referred to as ‘lilies,’ they are not true lilies, nor are they true bulbs, as they multiply underneath the soil from specialized stems called rhizomes.
Also known as silver ragwort, Dusty Miller is an interesting plant grown for its distinctive silvery gray foliage. Though considered an old-fashioned plant, it possesses a whimsical charm that makes it an intriguing addition to any garden. The leaves feature soft, silvery hairs that lend it a frosted appearance. Native to the Mediterranean, it flourishes in dry, sunny conditions with well-draining soil. While it does produce small daisy-like flowers, they are usually removed by gardeners who find them insignificant. Suitable for container or raised bed gardening, Dusty Miller provides a subtle contrast to flashier plants.
As beautiful as it is deadly, monkshood produces striking spires of azure to violet flowers. All cultivars are poisonous, especially from the extract from Aconitum lycoctonum. Also known as wolfsbane, monkshood was traditionally used to poison both wolves and criminals. Gardeners are advised to wear gloves when handling, as it can poison by touch, though these are often not fatal. Despite its dark history and notoriety, it is commonplace in garden centers and yards, where few will be foolish enough to ingest parts of the plant.
Ornamental peppers are technically considered edible, but it is inadvisable that you consume them, as they contain a fiery burst of spiciness that most people aren’t able to endure. However, they make great ornamental pieces, appearing in dense, upright clusters in multicolored hues of red, yellow, purple and black. Add them to containers, pots, and garden beds, or use them as non-traditional ground covers for a festive look. As they emerge, they begin with a green color, then transition to orange and purple, and finally turn red when ripened.
With their floppy, disc-shaped heads, sunflowers are seen as colorful symbols of optimism and are a cheerful addition to any garden. While they are most abundant during the summertime, these late-season flowers will persist into the fall. They are commonly depicted in traditional yellows, but are also available in shades of red, bronze, or even white. Style sunflowers as a backdrop behind shorter plants or showcase them in mass plantings for lively visual interest.
Amaranth is an interesting plant that forms tassel-like flowers that trail to the ground, their blood-red color giving rise to its common name, love-lies-bleeding. Evocative of the Victorian gothic aesthetic, amaranth is an unusual plant that serves both ornamental and culinary purposes – the leaves are considered edible in various cultures. Derived from a Greek word that means “ever-lasting,” amaranth has come to symbolize broken love, immortality, and the holiness of Christ. Plant amaranth in well-drained soil in full sun.
Commonly known as “woolflowers,” celosias are a member of the Amaranth family that features feathery-like plumes that will bloom from July to September or October. They are considered easy to grow and are popular with gardeners due to their vivid colors, from bright pink to burgundy and chartreuse. Celosias come in three types – plume, cockscomb, and wheat cultivars – all consist of fun textures that look great in floral arrangements. For best results, grow celosia in well-drained soil in areas that receive full sun.
One of the loveliest fall flowers, camellias are the quintessential southern flower, thriving in temperate zones of 7 – 10. Resembling roses and peonies, camellia is an ever-green shrub that is prized for its arch-shaped blossoms. Unlike roses, they lack the pricklier thorns of true roses, but similar to roses, they do have a reputation as high-maintenance. It is recommended that you grow them in raised garden beds, which allow you to control the soil quality and the growing environment. Plant them in partial shade, as their natural environments are shady woodlands, where they are shielded from the sun’s glare by a canopy of trees.