Top Tips for Extending Garden Colour into Autumn.

summer border
©Shutterstock – Take stock of borders now to begin planning for autumn colour.

August is a great time to take stock of your borders and containers. Right now, they should be in full swing; a riot of colour! But in a couple of months they will begin to fade and so it’s worth planning ahead now. Make sure that you have some plants waiting in the wings if you want to keep your display looking fresh and colourful.  

Here are some top tips for extending your display well into autumn.

Plug gaps in borders

If you can see any obvious gaps in borders then aim to plug them with late summer shrubs and perennials. These will revive fading planting schemes, year after year.

Late summer perennials such as Sedums are worth investing in for their colour.  They also provide a bountiful supply of nectar which is invaluable to the insects in your garden in autumn. Grow them in gerenous clumps at the front of sunny borders. Try Sedum ‘Herbstfreude’ – the clue is in the name which translates to ‘Autumn Joy’!

Sedum flowers
©Shutterstock – Sedum ‘Herbstfreude’ is a valuable plant for late summer colour in sunny borders.

Cyclamen hederifolium can be dotted about in the rockery. This useful little ground cover plant also thrives in the dappled shade of deciduous trees and shrubs. When planted densely, it will create a stunning carpet of late summer and autumn colour.

Buy big!

At this time of the year you will need to buy mature potted plants if you want to make an impact.  Choose plants which are supplied in 2 or 3 litre pots. Go larger if the budget allows! These can be planted directly into borders and containers, and will be instantly noticeable! Take a look at our range of larger potted plants for some inspiration.

Look for seasonal interest

It’s not all about flowers! Berries and bright foliage are a great way to add colour and interest to the garden. The birds in your garden will appreciate the berries too.

Callicarpa
©De Nolf – The purple berries of Callicarpa bodinieri var. giraldii ‘Profusion’ provide late summer interest.

Callicarpa bodinieri var. giraldii ‘Profusion’ makes an eye-catching shrub for its striking purple berries with an intriguing metallic sheen.    Symphoricarpos x doorenbosii ‘Mother of Pearl’ is another good choice with plump pink fruits that remain on the stems well into winter.

Autumn foliage delivers a bright splash of colour when flowers are few and far between.  Choose specimen shrubs that will transform to shades of red and gold as summer ends.

Spiraea autumn foliage
©Shutterstock – Spiraea is a useful deciduous shrub with good autumn colour

Spiraea japonica ‘Pink and Gold makes a useful shrub for late summer colour, or why not try Viburnum x bodnantense ‘Dawn’ which also boasts boasts winter flowers for an even longer period of interest!

Add colour close to the house

You might not feel like wandering around the garden on chilly, grey days in November.  Make sure that there is plenty of colour to enjoy each time that you look out of the window.

Chrysanthemum Anastasia
©Van Meuwen – Chrysanthemum x hortorum ‘Anastasia’ delivers bold autumn colour long after other blooms have faded.

Fill patio pots with the bright blooms of Chrysanthemum x hortorum ‘Anastasia’. Its shocking pink flowers begin as late as September and will flower right through to November.

Replace annual bedding now

Start planting up hanging baskets and patio pots to replace your summer displays.  Pansies are always a favourite for the cheery blooms and versatility. Look for varieties such as the ‘Coolwave’ series which have been specially developed for year round flower-power!  Pansy ‘Coolwave Berries ‘n’ Cream Mix’ is unbeatable in baskets, window boxes and containers, where they can cascade downwards.

Pansy Coolwave Berries 'n' Cream
©Ball Colegrave – Plant baskets up now with Pansy ‘Coolwave Berries ‘n’ Cream Mix’

Don’t forget to order garden ready plants to refresh your annual beds and borders too. Try Primrose ‘Autumn Colours Mixed’. These reliable primroses will start to flower in autumn, but really get into their stride in the following spring.

If you don’t have the time right now, then simply order pre-planted baskets and containers, which will arrive potted up and ready to go. All you have to do is water them and pop them into position!

Van Meuwen

Author: Van Meuwen

Horticultural mail order specialists. Working hard to bring you the best quality well-established plants as well as exciting new varieties.

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