Pacific Northwest Fall Garden Tour

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.

fall garden greenhouse

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green vintage metal chair with fall flowers and pumpkins

I took a long boat trip from mid-September to the first part of October. I’ve gotta tell you, I was 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.

green vintage metal chair with fall flowers 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 excited when the purple hues of the asters, pansies, and ornamental cabbages come into play.

ornamental cabbages and fall mums

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!

ornamental cabbages, pumpkins and mums in a galvanized container

Confession…I didn’t plant the flowers in the container yet. They were just propped up in a place with some cute little pumpkins for a photo opportunity.

ornamental cabbages, pumpkins and mums in a galvanized container

What I’ve learned the hard way, is the importance of placing straw under any pumpkins lying in the dirt to help prevent them from rotting. The straw adds to the whole autumn vibe!

Fall mums

I have a love/hate relationship with mums. They are my favorite fall flowers 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 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 on greenhouse shelf

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.

purple asters in fall 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.

purple asters, sunflowers and sedum autumn joy in fall garden
purple asters, succulents and sedum autumn joy in fall garden

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 plants, it’s time to divide them.

black-eyed susans in fall garden

This gorgeous flower is a show stopper during the summer months, but in October, the blooms start to fade away and the garden 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 in 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.

yellow zinnias in container

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.

strawflower in cutting garden overlooking the water

I love my strawflower blossoms because of their vivid colors. Strawflower petals are stiff and papery and remind me of a dried flower. They aren’t true petals at all, but modified leaves are called bracts.

View of an October PNW fall garden
dahlias along a split rail fence

I am always asked what my favorite flower is. Can you guess? Here they are.

Close up view of dahlias

They are the last summer flowers standing in my garden and will bloom well into October if the stars are aligned.

dahlias along a split rail fence

There are three things dahlias do not like.

  • Heavy rain
  • Strong wind
  • Freezing temperatures

So it depends on the weather in October as to whether or not these beautiful blooms stick around. So far, so good!

dahlias along a split rail fence

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 doable, and worth it if you live in a very cold climate.

close up view of dahlias
dahlias in the garden

It amazes me that there are still so many new blooms on the dahlia plants well into October.

dahlias along a split rail fence with boat in the water in the background
bright pink hydrangeas

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.

birdhouse with sunflowers

Nothing says fall like a sunflower (or two).

fall garden 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.

fall garden greenhouse
fall garden greenhouse
fall garden greenhouse

Thanks for stopping by and touring my fall Pacific Northwest garden! Visit my blog post to find out more about how to prepare your garden for winter.

If you have any questions or additional suggestions, please share them in the comments below. And be sure to share this blog post link with anyone who may find these gardening tips useful.

Until next time,

I’m a self-taught hobby gardener. Everything I share on my blog is my opinion and what has worked for me

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  1. Kim, I have been saving this post for when I could take in all of its beauty! Your PNW garden is amazing…all of the flowers are stunning! I could get lost in its loveliness. I love every bloom!

  2. Holy moly girl! I’m so excited for my garden next year after reading your post and making my list! I pinned so much so I can reference and remember.

  3. I so much enjoyed touring your fall garden. I must grow Dahlias next year! My grandmother grew many variieties in a section of vegetable garden to use for church and garden club flower arrangements. I hope your trip was fun. Your garden definitely did well in your absence.

    1. Thank you Paula! How wonderful to have memories of your grandmother’s garden. I bet they were beautiful! Thank you for the kind words my friend.

  4. Kim your garden always has me longing to add to ours! I love reading your tips. We have Sedum and I have divided it but now after your advice I think I will divide it even more. Mostly because I had to stake them. They have gotten huge! Can I do this now in the Fall? Thank you!

    1. Thank you Kelly! You can divide them in late fall or early spring. I will probably do mine in a couple of weeks. If you are staking them, I would definitely divide them for next season!

  5. Kim, This is seriously dreamy!! Your Dahlias are really the stars of the show there in October! My garden is winding down quickly; the only things that are still in bloom are my Montauk daisies, Cosmos, and Mums…oh and a couple of new hydrangea blooms and a stray gladiola!

    1. Thank you! Isn’t it hard to say goodbye to all of our beautiful blooms? I was shocked to see some new blooms on my hydrangea plants as well. Thank you for visiting!

  6. Your garden is always pretty. I wish we could plant violas in the ground here but the rabbits cause a mess. Love them so pots are my only option in spring.

    Hydrangeas have my heart.


    1. Those darn rabbits! And deer, and slugs, and aphids! It’s crazy how many pests and animals we have to look out for in the garden. I love your hydrangeas!

  7. Kim your gardens still look amazing! Even after being away for a few weeks! Those asters you have are gorgeous! I love that color! and you know I’m a huge fan of your dahlias!!! xoxoxo

    1. Thank you Stacy. I was shocked by how big my asters gre this year. And What would the garden be without the dahlias.

  8. I absolutely love everything about your amazing greenhouse and garden! The tub full of Fall goodies was so cute!

  9. Kim I so enjoyed reading this post. Your garden is absolutely lovely! I did not know about the tip of putting straw under pumpkins. I am going to do this now! As for leaving your dahlias in the ground, I recommend digging them up every few years as the mother tuber will become weak and eventually your dahlias will start to blow out their center. Your garden is serious dreams! Hope to see it in person one day!

    1. Thank you so much Jennifer. I completely agree about the dahlias. I pull them up every April to remove the mother tuber and split them. This is why an experienced blogger needs to keep me on my toes. I need to add that to my posts. Thank you again!

  10. Kim, your fall garden is a feast for the soul! So many vibrant colors, and your greenhouse is enchanting! Pinned & tweeted, and I’ll be sharing on IG later today! Blessings, Cecilia @My Thrift Store Addiction

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