by Sophia Smith
Tis the season of pumpkin pies and autumn skies! It’s time to put away the BBQ and place the paddling pool (that you probably use once a year) back in the garage. Believe it or not, autumn is a brilliant time to plant- yes, even when the temperatures drastically drop! As trees transform their leaves, a gorgeous palette of crimson, auburn, and gold appears. You can add to that radiance, with the right pick of plants for the autumn scene outside of your window. Here’s Northern Life’s choice of plants that give a spark of colour on the gloomier days when the weather is unbe-leafable…
These flowers love the cooler weather of autumn; they are another simple way to add lively flushes to the garden the rest is glum. The lower the temperature, the more intense the colour of the flower. These colours range from yellows, mauves, orange and fall colours of reds, russets and golds. Hardy Chrysanthemums are persistent, so after flowering in the autumn they will die away over the winter and then reappear the following spring. If all goes according to plan, they will delight you again next autumn with another display of colourful autumn blooms. And.. they’re not too expensive either!
Also known as ‘Little Carlow’, the late bloomer. This plant is perfect for blooming from August till late October. The vibrant violet-blue, scarlet, and purple petals shine out, making ‘Little Carlow’ a beacon of colour. The tints of yellow develop into a pink shade as the flowers age. This iconic fall flower comes in many shades and makes a lovely backdrop for your autumn pumpkins. Heuchera The enchanted woodland plant. This plant is grown mainly for its warm, saturated foliage offering a brilliant floral display, with colours from a zesty yellow to watermelon red. It even holds its colours through all the seasons! It’s very tolerant to cold conditions so it can be planted any time of the year, so get digging!
(Naked Ladies) – If you couldn’t tell by the name, the autumn Crocus is perfect for flowering from September till November. The large goblet-shaped blooms suddenly appear from soil without any leaves – hence the name, naked ladies. The autumn flowering crocus is ideal for brightening up the neutral warm colours of the shrubs, it adds a little kick to the mix with its blue and violet buds. Though the naked ladies might be a glorious spectacle, do not let your pets near the crocus, as they are poisonous…
A crab apple tree in autumn is a sight to behold. These majestic small trees have charming autumn foliage but are best loved for their deep red fruits that swarm the branches. We ‘picked’ an ideal tree for your garden, as crab apples are big enough to catch your eye, but still small enough to avoid overcrowding. They will inject a burst of colour into the garden all year round, not just for autumn! The autumn crop of colourful crab apple fruits should last well into the winter season. The crab apple fruit might not be big enough for apple bobbing this Halloween… but they make a serious treat for birds and wildlife!
As midsummer flowers start to fade and petals start to fall, rudbeckias take over with their cheery yellow blooms, and they are exceptionally easy to grow. The long-lasting flowers of Rudbeckia brighten gardens from late summer into fall with the shades of yellow, orange, red and brown. Another great flower for adding a spark to the rustic colours of autumn.
When many plants in the garden are past their best, these bright evergreens are at their brightest. The colourful array looks glorious in any setting- from your garden to the vase in your kitchen. They are very low maintenance which is ideal for those days when it’s just a bit too chilly to get gardening! They are also bee friendly! Bumblebees do not store food over the cold seasons so they have to make trips out during the frightful weather, luckily, flowering heathers provide food for them! So not only are you improving the garden landscape, you’re saving the bees!
A gardening staple all year round. Be aware, some varieties of pansies stop blooming when the weather gets chilly. So, try winter-flowering pansies that keep blossoming until late spring to stop your flower bed from looking bleak. The difference between the winter and summer varieties is that winter pansies are tougher to they survive the cold conditions. Despite the British weather in autumn being notoriously drizzly, the lingering warmth in the soil from summer helps to support quicker growth as we delve into winter.
Refrain from avoiding your garden this autumn and dazzle it up. The beauty of our autumn foliage goes beyond buying a pumpkin for the windowsill, so turn over a new leaf this time round and get planting early (or even late)!