While the spring and summer months tend to bring gardeners a lot of excitement with all there is to do and for what's in bloom, fall has just as much to offer. To complement shifts in temperature and season, a fall landscape has its own range of soothing colors and textures. By incorporating plants and trees that are suited for the season, gardeners can enjoy a beautiful outdoor space and cooler temperatures, too.
Plant Fall Flowers
Add immediate impact to your landscape in the fall by planting perennials like mums, asters and sedum. When choosing mums, look for buds that have not fully opened; this will give you more time to enjoy your flowers. These fall plantings will add the appropriate touch of color for the cool months ahead. And because they're perennials, you can look for them to return the following fall. For more intense color, plant annuals like pansies and ornamental kale.
Plant Trees and Shrubs
Many trees and shrubs adapt well to being planted in the fall. A few varieties to try are ginkgo, maple and dogwood for lasting fall color and texture. The ginkgo produces leaves that turn a creamy gold, and the red-twin dogwood serves as a nice complement to nearby plantings. The Japanese larch is also a fall favorite for tree plantings. Its needles turn a vibrant gold that add instant drama to a fall landscape. The viburnum fares well as a shrub, border or hedge, producing showy white flowers among its rich, green foliage. Plan to get your trees and shrubs in the ground before the first hard frost hits in your area. This will give the roots a chance to get established.
Adding mulch to flower beds and to the base of trees in the fall is partially functional and partially aesthetic. A thick layer of mulch, at least 4 inches, will help provide extra warmth that root systems will need in the cooler months. Adding the fresh mulch during the fall season is one more way to incorporate a little color and texture to your landscape.
Prepare for the Season Ahead
When cool fall temperatures are in full swing, it's an optimal time to plant bulbs that will bloom in the spring; daffodils, tulips and crocus are just a few of the possibilities. Be sure to plant the bulbs at the recommended depth and apply some bulb fertilizer while they begin their underground development in the fall and winter.