When you think of fall, gardening might not be the first thing that comes to mind. After all, many of us associate spring and summer as “gardening time”, and resign ourselves to viewing fall and winter as boring. That doesn’t have to be true at all! There are plenty of ways to create a stunning fall garden and transition your late summer landscape into an autumn masterpiece.
First, remember to think outside the box a bit. When most people hear autumn, they think of leaves changing color. It’s true that adding a few trees, such as Maple, Chinese Pistache, Elm, Gingko, Sweet Gum, or Mulberry will certainly invite vibrant autumn color into your yard year after year. Don’t limit yourself! A stunning fall garden can be composed of many more elements.
Ornamental grasses. Ornamental grasses provide much-needed texture to the garden, and are perfect for filling in otherwise plain spaces. Choose the right variety, and it will turn a bright red, yellow, or orange color in the fall. Pink Mulhy grass turns a lovely pink/purple color, while Mexican Feather Grass features a bronzy tan color.
Lush shrubbery. We often think of flowering shrubs for the garden, and those tend to bloom in spring and summer. We can also point you toward a variety of shrubbery that work for a stunning fall garden! For example, Hydrangea is lovely throughout summer, but its foliage turns brilliant shades of red, yellow, and orange in the fall. A Rose Bush produces lovely flowers all through the spring and summer and in the fall can feature colorful rose hips.
Consider all life stages. As your fall foliage fades, your perennials, grasses, and shrubs still have something to offer. Many produce seed heads that serve as unique ornamental additions throughout late fall and winter. Leave them, and much of your local wildlife will appreciate the gesture.
Don’t forget negative space. As with all visual art forms, negative space is also utilized in landscape design. Just think how chaotic and overwhelming it would be, to throw hundreds of plants together with nothing else to break up your design! In gardens, negative space can be accomplished by something as simple as a decorative bench, a stone or pebble pathway, or a patio or porch area. Remember to utilize these elements in your design, as they give the eyes a place to rest. A few simple pots of chrysanthemums can accent these areas, with very little effort.
As always, please give us a call as you plan for your fall garden. We can help you select plants that provide color and texture now, and in years to come.