As the days grow shorter and temperatures begin their gradual descent, it’s tempting to shift our attention away from our gardens and towards the cozy indoors. However, don’t miss out on a golden opportunity. Autumn, or fall, depending on your location, is an exceptional season for planting perennials and mapping out the future of your garden beds. In this article, we’ll explore the wisdom and recommendations of expert gardeners who are part of the Plant Fairs Roadshow, a consortium of independent plant growers and garden suppliers.
Why Autumn Is the Perfect Time for Planting Perennials
Autumn is often overlooked as a prime planting season, but it holds several advantages for gardeners. The soil remains warm, allowing newly planted perennials to establish their roots before winter sets in. This early start gives them a better chance of thriving during the following summer, as they won’t have to contend with the stress of hot weather immediately after planting.
Practical Planting Tips
Before we delve into plant recommendations, let’s consider some practical planting tips from Steve Edney of the NoName Nursery. He emphasizes the importance of planting now, while the soil is warm. This is the optimal time for most perennials. When planting, take into account your soil type; for well-drained soil, create a slight depression, while in wetter, colder soil, plant on a raised mound. These simple strategies can make a significant difference in your plant’s success.
Top Plant Recommendations for Autumn
Now, let’s explore the top plant recommendations from various expert gardeners:
- Aster ‘Pink Buttons’: This charming aster, with its small leaves and profusion of lilac flowers accented with a hint of purple at their centers, is an ideal choice for your garden’s front or middle section. Asters are known for their resilience and are a must-have for any autumn garden.
- Japanese Maple (Acer palmatum): Known for its vibrant foliage, the Japanese maple is a stunning tree that changes from fresh lime green in spring to mid-green in summer. Come autumn, it dazzles with hues ranging from yellow to red. Its manageable size and mid-summer pruning make it a perfect addition to smaller gardens.
- Anemone ‘Aro capitata’: This upright beauty is a shade-loving plant that boasts delicate white blooms with a touch of pink on the reverse side. Its adaptability to various soil types and ease of maintenance make it a garden favorite.
- Pennisetum ‘Black Beauty’: Grasses take center stage in autumn gardens, and ‘Black Beauty’ is no exception. Its jet-black flowers persist throughout winter, providing a striking contrast in your garden.
- Helianthus ‘Karen’: This compact perennial sunflower, with its lemon-yellow blooms, not only adds a burst of color but also attracts pollinators. Its resilience and ability to thrive in autumn make it an excellent choice.
- Pennisetum ‘Black Beauty’: Another grass worth mentioning, this one offers fantastic textures and tones, even when other perennials are waning. Its jet-black flowers and winter resilience make it a top choice for autumn planting.
Planting Bulbs for Spring Beauty
As autumn progresses, consider planting bulbs for a burst of color in the spring. October is an ideal time for daffodils and hyacinths, while November is perfect for tulips. Expert gardener Dan Cooper recommends using specialized tools like the Dutch planting trowel for precise bulb placement and the Tulip Trowel for planting in root-dense or heavy soil.
Don’t let the beauty of autumn pass you by. By planting perennials and bulbs now, you can ensure a garden bursting with color and life in the seasons to come. Whether you choose the enchanting Aster ‘Pink Buttons,’ the elegant Japanese maple, or any of the other recommended plants, your garden will thank you with a vibrant display of nature’s beauty. Embrace this golden season, and let your garden flourish. Happy planting!
Noah Browning served as a dedicated journalist, covering a wide range of news articles for Reuters, one of the world’s most respected news agencies. During his time there, he demonstrated his commitment to providing accurate and well-researched news stories to a global audience.