Fall is a tricky time for gardening. With cooler evenings, and more frequent rain, gardens tend to prepare themselves for winter while their owners continue tramping around in their sandals fearful to unpack their cool season sweaters. I see this every day walking around New York City; impatiens linger in forlorn planters while hardier vines fill in spots now left empty from earlier summer spectacles.
The first day of that crisp autumn air always sets off my annual alarm that says it’s time for apple cider, spiced chai lattes, pumpkins, squash, and all things accompanied by the refreshing seasonal changes. Fall is also time to refresh you garden, and a few changes can add just enough zing to last your landscape through frost.
Try these simple tips:
- Add Lights for Evening. Temporary luminaries are terrific for outdoor events, while solar lights are a more environmentally friendly long term option.
- Have fun! Don’t take the garden so seriously. Enjoy the harvest and all things bountiful, mix it up a little and add color or seasonal interest where you may not do so for the rest of the season.
- Look for contrasting foliage instead of short lived blooms as a backdrop for the garden (leave the mums behind)
- Paint a snow scene without using the white paint. Can you paint a fall scene without the typical hues of yellow orange and red? Consider an alternative pallette with rich burgundy, brown and olive. Or how about pink and lime green. Think of ways to translate this into your plantings, and outdoor accessories.
- Skip the flowers and go straight for the berries. Callicarpa americana (Beautyberry) is a personal favorite, and is readily accessible garden centers.