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A Fall Season Tour of Our Pacific Northwest Cottage Style Garden

How is your garden looking this autumn? Ours is slowly fading away but there’s still plenty of beauty to be seen. Let me take you on a tour of the fall cottage garden from the beginning of the season to just last week and share what’s happening in the Pacific Northwest, hardiness zone 8b.

fall cottage garden and birdhouse

Welcome to My Fall Cottage Garden.

For those of you who just started following along, we live in the Pacific Northwest, about 60 miles SW of Seattle, Wa. and are in hardiness zone 8b.

As of today, we have not had our hard frost yet, but it looks like the temperatures will get down into the mid-thirties in a week or two.


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I’m a self-taught hobby gardener, not a Master Gardener. Everything I share with you on my blog is my personal opinion and things that worked for me along the way.

Zinnias in cut flower garden

Fall Cut Flower Garden

I think it goes without saying that the cut flower garden is pretty much spent these days.

This is always a really hard time for me because of all the work I’ve put into it since January, but it’s part of the gardening cycle and I will be planning next year’s garden very soon.

I start sowing my cut flower seeds in late winter/ early spring and they grow in the greenhouse. Here are the few flowers that were still blooming in the fall.

colorful zinnias in raised bed garden

Zinnias

These beauties are just about everyone’s favorite cut flower.

Zinnias are one of the first flowers to bloom in the cut flower garden and one of the last flowers standing. And they are so easy to grow!

The picture of my garden above is from September.

zinnias in fall garden

Pollinators love the zinnias and I love how the bloom changes its shape after pollination.

zinnia bloom heads in basket

When I was getting ready to plant my spring bulbs in the raised beds this fall, I saved many of the zinnia bloom heads for next year’s seeds after they have dried.

apricot lemonade cosmos

Cosmos

There is nothing prettier than cosmos in the garden.

pink cosmos overlooking a greenhouse

Cosmos seem so magical to me.

I have heard from many gardeners who still have cosmos in their garden. But ours were pretty much spent at the end of September.

black-eyed Susans in cottage garden

Late Summer/Early Fall Perennial Show Stoppers in the Cottage Garden

Black-Eyed Susans

If you want to transform a garden from August through October, black-eyed Susans are the perennial you want to plant.

It’s the gift that keeps on giving with not only their gorgeous pop of color but also with how many plants you can create from the mother plant when dividing them. I started with one plant and my garden is filled with them now.

coneflowers in fall cottage garden

Coneflower

Here’s another favorite of mine.

Coneflowers or echinacea come in many different colors and bloom before the black-eyed Susans do in my garden.

coneflower in fall containers

To get some color in the fall cottage garden I plant coneflowers in pots and containers throughout and then transplant them to the ground permanently in the spring.

coneflowers in fall cottage garden

These are another pollinator favorite. The bees and butterflies are always hanging out among these beautiful blooms.

fall cottage garden and greenhouse
Anna's Promise hybrid tea roses

Anna’s Promise Hybrid Tea Roses

I got these gorgeous roses from Breck’s Bulbs last spring and it didn’t take long for them to bloom. They were still looking gorgeous in October.

fall cottage garden and greenhouse
purple petunias and yellow marigolds in container

Petunias and Marigolds in Flower Containers

Normally, I don’t plant petunias in my pots and containers because of how leggy they tend to get. But I am so glad I did this year. They absolutely thrived here.

We built this planter in early spring and I can’t think of a more perfect combination than these purple petunias and marigolds.

fall cottage garden and greenhouse

October is Here – Fall Cottage Garden

Now September is over and we are into October.

Let me show you around the cottage garden to show you what’s still blooming and what changes I made as the fall season progressed.

fall cottage garden and bird house

Fall Flower Favorites

Here are my fall favorite perennials that have been going strong for quite some time and continue to add color and beauty to the cottage garden.

sedum autumn joy

Autumn Sedum Joy

There can not be enough said about this extraordinary perennial.

I divide the plant in the early spring. There are so many changes this plant makes throughout the growing season, and no matter what month it is, this plant always adds so much interest.

October is when sedum autumn joy really shows the most beautiful colors and they look great in flower arrangements.

purple asters

Asters

There are many different varieties of asters and I love them all. Isn’t this deep purple gorgeous?

These are some perennials that take a long time to bloom but once they do, you know why they are worth the wait. This is definitely one of those perennials!

To keep them looking incredible through the fall, make sure you deadhead them regularly.

hydrangeas in the fall garden

Hydrangeas

I have such an incredible appreciation for hydrangeas.

Depending on the variety, they are one of the first perennials to have their leaves sprout and flowers bloom in the spring.

But what is so fascinating to me is that this perennial grows more and more beautiful as the months pass on.

Look at this incredible rose coloring. One of my favorite things to do is to dry hydrangeas in the fall.

café au lait dahlias

Dahlias

If you’ve followed my blog for any length of time, you’ll know that my all-time favorite flower is the dahlia.

This is my first year growing the cafe au lait variety from Breck’s Bulbs and I am head over heels in love. This particular plant is still blooming like crazy this first week of November.

colorful dahlias in cottage garden

Dahlias are the last cut flowers blooming in my fall cottage garden and will continue to bloom until our first hard freeze.

colorful dahlias in fall cottage garden

However, we have had an extraordinarily wet and windy fall so far which has caused quite a bit of damage to these fabulous flowers.

If you want to know more about dahlias I have several blog posts you can read including how to store dahlia tubers over the winter and how to split the tubers.

fall greenhouse with scarecrow

Creative Ways to Add Interest to Your Fall Cottage Garden

October is the time of year when most of the summer flowers have been cut back and there isn’t much left to blow you away.

fall cottage garden and greenhouse

Here are some extra things you can add to your garden to create interest for fall.

  • Birdhouses
  • Lanterns
  • Arbors to grow evergreen vines on
  • Fall containers with annuals, grasses, and evergreen shrubs
  • Pumpkins
  • Cornstalk
  • Outdoor garden lights
white picket fence garden and birdhouse with water view
witch weathervane

My Witch Weathervane from Good Directions

Isn’t she the cutest? I switched my mermaid weathervane for this amazing witch for the month of October. I got both my weathervanes from Good Directions.

witch weathervane
fall garden pathway with pumpkins and bike

My Pumpkin Path to the Greenhouse

I thought it would be fun to create a little path with outdoor lights, pumpkins, and a vintage bike with a basket full of fall goodies.

black vintage bike
fall scarecrow and fall flowers in containers

Containers, Pumpkins, and a Scarecrow in the Fall Cottage Garden

Who can resist a scarecrow at the end of the path to greet you?

I’ve had this guy for over 10 years and he’s such a trooper. I added my denim shirt this year just to clean him up a bit.

fall flower containers

When you’re lacking color this time of year that perennials usually provide, adding fall annuals, shrubs, and grasses to containers and pots will help to add some excitement to your garden.

fall flowers in hanging basket

I love showing off my fall cutting and cottage gardens with you.

It’s getting to be that time when I take a break from taking pictures and face the fact that there comes a time to take a little break from the physical tasks of gardening and do something just as fun.

hydrangeas and bike on lighted path in cottage garden

I’ll start to plan for next year’s cutting and cottage garden. It will be fun to try some different things and continue with what has worked well for so many years.

I’d love to hear what your garden is up to these days. Have you already had your frost? Let me know in the comments below.

Until next time,

Happy Gardening!

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8 Comments

  1. SO gorgeous Kim – I wish my summer garden looked as beautiful as your fall! 😉 Thanks so much for sharing it with us, and if your trip to Oregon brings you to Portland and you have some free time, and, and, and … give a holler – I’ll buy you a coffee! 😉 Take care my friend and thanks for another round of fabulous inspiration!

    1. Thank you, Barbara! I will definitely let you know when I’ll be in Portland next. I would love to meet up with you in person!

    1. Thank you, Rachel. I always dread the winter months when there’s no color. Already looking forward to spring.

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