Many of us thrill at the touch of brisk autumn weather, yet mourn the passing of garden color as flowers die away. However, there are flowers that bloom through autumn and, planted in masses, these can make up for those that didn't last past summer. With a little forethought, you can have continuous blooming through November by varying the plants in your landscape or on your patio.
Asters are reliable enough that, every year in the fall, even supermarkets offer them to gardeners. Don't just browse among those found at the market though. Visiting a nursery or farmer's market will likely provide a wealth of choices, given that hundreds of aster varieties are available. The range of asters means many colors as well as heights to choose from. Some asters grow up to 6 feet tall; others top out at about a foot.
Asters like sun, well-draining soil and bloom from late summer into October. The flower is a perennial.
In many places, the mum---chrysanthemum---is another flower to count on in autumn. For those of us living in colder climates, though, some varieties might be a bit tender. If you want mums as perennials, select a variety that is frost resistant for blooms lasting into fall. Your local county extension agent will have advice on the best local mums.
Many varieties of chrysanthemum exist, ranging from heights of 1 to 4 feet and blooming in many colors and shapes. Common colors are red, pink to lavender and white. Flowers can be simple or complex. If you only leave up to 2 flowers on each cluster of developing buds, these flowers can grow very large, a plus if you intend to use the chrysanthemums for a source of cut flowers. Cut mums can last a long time.
Partial to full sun and well-drained soil makes mums happy.
Monkshood doesn't like heat, a good sign of a fall bloomer. It produces violet to blue flowers that, in shape, are reminiscent of a hood---thus, the name. Use caution with this plant, however. Monkshood is poisonous and shouldn't be used in gardens that children frequent.
This plant grows up to 4 feet in favorable conditions, which means partial shade and moist, rich soil. Monkshood persists even if you end up with an early dusting of snow. Choose the fall-blooming variety.
Crocus is one of the first harbingers of spring, optimistically poking up through snow. Some crocuses, though, are fans of cooler weather and bloom in autumn, appearing in in mid to late fall. Being denizens of autumn, fall-blooming crocuses don't worship the sun, so plant them in areas of partial shade in well-draining soil.
Crocuses are usually grown from corms, which are similar to bulbs, typically producing white, blue or lavender flowers. The plants reach up to 6 inches high.