Are you starting to see the changes happening in your garden now that fall is here? My Pacific Northwest garden is still going strong, with bright, beautiful blooms, and fabulous fall containers filled with pumpkins and seasonal flowers.
I’m joining a group of friends for a Fabulous Fall Garden Blog Hop. If you are stopping over from Stacy of Bricks ‘N Blooms, who by the way is our fabulous blog hop host, welcome! Did you fall in love with her autumn garden like I did? Hopefully, I can inspire you with a few of my own seasonal garden views.
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I took a long boat trip from mid-September to the first part of October. I’ve gotta tell you, I was REALLY nervous about coming home after 18 days of vacation. I had no idea what the state of my garden would be. But, I was pleasantly surprised by how many flowers were still blooming this month.
Fall Containers and Pumpkins
I didn’t realize it until the fall flowers started blooming, but I had very few purple blooms in the summer garden, so I get really excited when the purple hues of the asters, pansies, and ornamental cabbages come into play.
You can’t have a fall garden without ornamental cabbages, pumpkins, mums, and pansies, can you? Well, you probably can, but they will make it so much prettier!
Confession…I didn’t actually plant the flowers in the container yet. They were just propped up in a place with some cute little pumpkins for a photo opportunity.
What I’ve learned the hard way, is the importance of placing straw under any pumpkins laying in the dirt to help prevent them from rotting. The straw actually adds to the whole autumn vibe!
I have a love/hate relationship with mums. They are my very favorite fall flower in my garden, but they don’t seem to last for very long. Technically, they can be transplanted in the garden any time before the first frost of fall. Your potted mums may look dead, but they might just be dormant.
Keep in mind, however, that they might not sprout again the following spring. Cut back the foliage to the surface level of the soil. Choose a location with full sunlight and has rich, well-draining soil for best results. Plant them at the same depth as they were in the pot and water them thoroughly after planting. And cross your fingers!
Pansies and violas not only bloom in the fall but again in the spring before the weather warms up. They perform best in cooler weather, so they should be planted outdoors in spring or fall.
PNW Fall Perennials for the Garden
I LOVE these gorgeous purple blooms! There are many varieties out there. Butterflies and bees are attracted by asters. You can divide them every two to three years before they get too big for their space. I will be dividing mine in the spring and will be transplanting them throughout the garden for more pops of color next fall.
Sedum Autumn Joy
This plant is a showstopper no matter what season we’re in, but especially in the fall garden, and for good reason. The succulent leaves come up in late winter and early spring and rosettes and the stems develop soon after. In the summer season, pink flower clusters top the stems, which attract bees and butterflies. The clusters turn to a dark rose, or burgundy color in late summer and early fall. As the flowers become spent, the whole head becomes dried and tan but retains its form, adding interest to the late fall garden.
It’s important to divide the plant when you see signs of it getting too big for the space. If you need to start staking the plant, it’s time to divide them.
This gorgeous flower is a show stopper during the summer months, but in October, the blooms start to fade away and the garden really transforms. It’s probably the hardest bloom for me to say goodbye to because, without the black-eyed Susan, the garden lacks the bright pop of color it had all summer. There are just a few clusters left in the fall garden.
Coneflowers, also known as echinacea, are a gorgeous flower that blooms from June to September, but much to my surprise, I still have a few of these plants that are still blooming in my October garden. Most well-known are the purple coneflowers, but pink, red, orange, white, yellow, and green varieties are available as well.
I still have many zinnias in the garden and their blooms still look fabulous. But I do notice that the stems are starting to mildew, and the blooms are slowing down.
I love my strawflower blossoms because of their vivid colors. Strawflower petals are stiff and papery and remind me of a dried flower. They actually aren’t true petals at all, but modified leaves are called bracts.
I am always asked what my favorite flower is. Can you guess? Here they are.
They are the last summer flower standing in my garden and will bloom well into October if the stars are aligned.
There are three things dahlias do not like.
- Heavy rain
- Strong wind
- Freezing temperatures
So it really depends on the weather in October as to whether or not these beautiful blooms stick around. So far, so good!
One of the questions that have been asked about dahlias is whether I dig up the tubers each year, and the answer is no. Our winters are mild enough in zone 8 that I can leave them in the ground with a layer of mulch on top to protect them. I did dig them up one year, and it was a tremendous amount of work, but definitely doable, and worth it if you live in a very cold climate.
It amazes me that there are still so many new blooms on the dahlia plants well into October.
I know this may sound strange, but my love affair with these beautiful blooms starts in the fall. They make the most stunning dried flowers.
Nothing says fall like a sunflower (or two).
Sprucing Up the Greenhouse
One of the first things I do when autumn arrives is to spruce up the greenhouse. I add 2 cornstalks on each side of the structure, along with some pumpkins and fall flowers for a festive look.
Thanks for stopping by and touring my fall Pacific Northwest garden! I’d love to hear what your favorite part of the tour was…please leave me a comment. Visit my blog post to find out more about how to prepare your garden for winter.
Next up on the Fabulous Fall Garden Blog Hop is one of my favorite friends, Kristin at White Arrows Home. Kristin lives in the Wisconsin Northwoods where the fall scenery is absolutely stunning!
Make sure you visit my talented friends listed below to bring you more fabulous fall gardens. I know you will find incredible inspiration.