Fall, the second planting season, is the perfect time to dress your garden with new plants that will reflect your personal style through Thanksgiving. Just a little time and creativity will result in remarkable changes in your yard. Tried and true mums are fine in their place, but trying something new can make a dramatic difference.
Dress Up Your Container Gardens
Decorate your patio, deck, or terrace for that Halloween or football party with interesting containers. Wake up tired flowerbeds and foundation plantings with some of these newcomers planted among existing small trees and shrubs. Plant low tubs with sassy color, drop them into an existing groundcover, add a few luminarias along the path and voila! Instant party. How about greeting your guests with a pair of elegant urns to flank the front door? Or, plant a colorful container as a surprise gift for a mom recovering from the last minute, back-to-school frenzy. Welcome home a new mother with a patio pot planted in blue or pink?
Tips For A New Look
Your sense of color and style will dictate which plants you choose. Monochromatic color schemes are trendy or you might prefer a mixture of colors. As for the plants, sun-lovers and shade-lovers do best with their own kind. Look at the pot labels for guidance here. Texture is as important as color: Grassy leaves, for example, played against larger bolder ones create real drama.
Try a dwarf blue aster such as Sapphire, which blooms its head off till frost, partnered with chartreuse foliage perennial, Heuchera hybrid Dolce Key Lime Pie or the fine grassy, caramel leaves of Carex Toffee Twist.
Annual strawflowers (or Bracteantha) produce stiff, shiny-petalled daisies in traditional fall colors. Look for Sundaze Flame, with bicolored red-and-yellow flowers, and Sundaze Golden Beauty, a solid gold. Plant them in the ground among dark evergreens or solo in a terra-cotta pot or whiskey barrel grouped with other containers. Perhaps add Euphorbia Efanthia Improved and Carex Toffee Twist for a striking effect.
Hybrid loosestrife, Lysimachia Snow Candle, has elegant spikes of white flowers that look amazing with Calibrachoa Superbells Blue. Borrow a trailing perennial (such as Lamium or variegated vinca) from the garden to spill over the edges of the pot. Plant the trailer and the loosestrife into the garden later on.
Got some shade? Contrast the foliage textures of Heucherella Strike It Rich Pink Gem, and Euphorbia Efanthia, and jazz it up with Oenothera 'Lemon Drop'.
Add Drama To Your Landscaping
Exciting nontraditional plants, such as Marguerite daisies or Argyranthemum (pale lemon yellow Butterfly is a standout), Superbells calibrachoa in blue or pink, and Intensia hybrid phlox Neon Pink and Lilac Rose are just the ticket for a vibrant fall garden.