While summer is my favorite season, fall is a close second. The heat and humidity have started to decline, the colors of fall are great and I love my boots and sweaters. Fall is also the season to make canned goods from your garden harvest or freeze your herbs and vegetables. Just because it is fall does not mean that your garden has to suffer. There are many flowers you can still plant to have blooms in your garden. To extend the season, here are some of our choices to plant in your garden or make great containers or hanging baskets.
Here are five flowers we think are great to have in your garden this fall:
Asters - You will find Asters are easy to grow and bloom in the fall when you might want some color because your summer flowers have faded. Asters are perennials, which means their beauty returns year after year but they often need to be divided and replanted every 2 to 3 years in the spring to keep them growing vigorously. Aster flowers resemble daisies in terms of their shape and come in a range of colors including blue, purple, red, pink and white. They are hardy in USDA zones 3 through 8 and their height can range from 2 feet to 7 feet tall depending upon the variety that is grown. Asters make good flowers for centerpieces and vases as their blooms remain intact long after they are cut.
Helenium – This flower is also known as Sneezeweed. The flower is daisy-like with a brown or yellow center and bold orange, red, and yellow petal colors. Blooming in late summer and fall, Heleniums are a great way to keep color in your garden when other plants are not flowering. Helenium is a perennial and can be divided every couple of years. They are tough plants, thrive in sunny areas of your garden, low-maintenance, and are deer resistant. Heleniums look great in a wildflower garden, as a border and they also make great cut flowers.
Marigolds – If you want a no-fuss, easy to grow, and reliable flower try growing Marigolds. They will bloom all summer and into fall. They are available in many colors, from creamy white to bright orange. There are several different varieties. French Marigolds are smaller when compared to Amercian/African varieties. Make sure you dead-head these plants in order to keep the blooms going. Another great thing about these flowers is that they repeal many pests and are a great companion plant. They can also be used in cooking.
Pansies – These flowers are biennials, which means that their growth starts in the late summer or fall and then, usually after a required period of cool temperatures, they finish their growing season the following spring. Another name for Pansies is Johnny Jump-Up. Pansies are also associated with Violas. Pansies come in a variety of colors from yellow to black and there are also some mixed color varieties. Pansies can be grown in partly shady areas but do prefer full sun. The soil should be moist but not saturated and they will benefit from mulching both for moisture retention as well as protection from winter weather. They can be grown from seed but if you want instant gratification buy the plants!
Saffron Crocus – These pretty purple flowers will make a great addition to any fall garden. Plus, you get the extra bonus of being able to harvest the expensive spice saffron. When growing these flowers you will notice red stigmas, which is the saffron. These flowers are very easy to grow and should be planted as soon as you get them. The bulbs do best when planted in the full sun and well-drained soil. Saffron crocus are perennial flowers, so you will have them in your garden for years.
If you have any favorite fall flowers, share them with us on our Facebook page.