Keep Your Garden Looking Great with Fall-Blooming Annuals
As the days grow shorter, these annual flowers will add color to your fall garden.
You know fall is on the way when pumpkins and mums begin appearing at your local nursery. That’s also when summer flowers in the garden start to fade, leaving things less colorful.
But you don’t have to settle for a boring fall garden. There are plenty of fall flowers that aren’t mums. You can plant all kinds of flowering cool-season annuals now to add beautiful color to your garden. Here are a few of my favorites.
Violas come in many colors and are easier to grow than pansies. You can create a gorgeous fall container, like the one above, by combining five colors of violas.
Lobelia is one of the bluest flowers that you can find anywhere. It looks great as a trailing plant when planted next to taller flowering annuals. In this container, which I saw at an Amish flea market in upstate New York, the lobelia looks like it’s sprouting from the ends of the ornamental grass in the center.
Geraniums do well in the cooler temperatures of fall. I like to plant trailing annuals around them such as alyssum or bacopa (pictured above). Another great combination: bright pink geraniums with blue lobelia.
Marigolds will also flower into fall. The bright orange flowers contrast nicely with this old green wheelbarrow. When the flowers fade, sprinkle some of the seed throughout your garden and they will reappear after winter.
Cosmos are a must-have for any garden. They usually come in shades of purple, but are also available in yellows and orange. Cosmos are easy to start from seed, but for fall planting you’re better off buying transplants. Buy cosmos seeds for spring planting.
A few years ago I drove through North Carolina in October and noticed large swaths of cosmos along the highway medians. They were just beautiful.
If you have kids, then you know snapdragons are one of their favorite flowers, with their opening and closing “dragon mouths.” Snapdragons are a great flowering annual to use toward the back of the garden because of their height. I like to plant petunias in front of my snapdragons.
Trailing petunias are becoming really popular. The flowers are smaller than regular petunias, but their trailing growth habit makes them a great choice for hanging pots.
Here’s a surprise addition to fall gardens — ornamental kale. The purple and white colors of this leafy vegetable deepen with cool temperatures. Plant with purple violas and bacopa for a beautiful cool color combination. Like regular kale, ornamental kale is an edible plant, but don’t eat it. Because it was bred as an ornamental plant, it doesn’t taste as good.
So as your summer flowers fade, celebrate the arrival of fall with these fall bloomers!