This season is one of the busiest in the garden: fertilizing the plants, pruning them, scarifying and aerating the lawn, reseeding... We have a lot to do if we want to be ready for the winter.
But why not also add some new species? Cold weather does not mean that we have to give up a colourful garden. We just need to choose right.
In this article, we are giving you a selection of ideal plants to create a beautiful autumn garden.
Autumn flowering plants
Most of the plants bloom throughout spring and summer, and in autumn they defoliate to enter a period of dormancy. However, there are some flowering species that show all their colour only with low temperatures.
Here you have several ideals to fill your garden with flowers even during the cold season.
Chrysanthemum is one of the autumn flowering plants with a wider variety. The tones of its petals can range from white to blue, through red, orange, yellow, pink and purple. For this reason it is frequently used to form colourful groups.
Chrysanthemum flowering begins with the arrival of autumn and continues through the winter. To bloom, the plant will need to receive several hours of indirect light a day.
Being a plant that does not withstand the cold (its ideal temperature is between 13 and 18 degrees), we shall keep it indoors, in a placer protected from drafts. In Mediterranean climate we can keep it outdoor.
This bushy species comes from the Canary Islands. Although in its natural environment it is accustomed to warm temperatures, it is able to withstand up to -5 degrees.
In Mediterranean climates, it will bloom almost all year round. It is frequently used in flowerbeds.
Pansy is another one of these species that will cheer up our garden during the cold season. Its flowering begins at autumn and continues through the spring.
The good thing about pansies is that they are very resistant plants, which hardly require care. Its greatest enemy is overwatering, which can lead to the appearance of pests such as the red spider, the aphid or the mildew.
Depending on the weather, it can be placed at the sun or at semi-shade. In winter it will withstand light frosts.
This daisy species, coming from South Africa, is highly resistant, being able to survive in various conditions.
It is a plant that loves the sun, so the more hours of light we give it, the greater its flowering will be. In warm climates it will bloom all year round.
It can withstand temperatures up to minus -5 degrees. If it’s colder, we shall keep it indoors.
It is a plant that hardly needs maintenance, and that resists even long periods of drought. The soil must be very dry before watering.
It is commonly said that Cyclamen flowers are difficult to develop. But in reality, to get them we must only pay attention to two elements:
Temperature: This species blooms with the cold and goes dormant during the warm months. Therefore, with temperatures above 20 degrees the plant will not flower.
Irrigation: Cyclamen hates overwatering. Also, if we moisten the bulb, we will cause the plant to die. In order to avoid it, we shall irrigate it by capillary.
Regarding the light, we will place it in semi-shade so that the sun does not burn the leaves.
When choosing a shrub to decorate our garden in autumn, the best ones might be those which develop its flowers or berries during this season. Thus, we will get an extra splash of colour when the cold arrives.
Here are some ideas:
A very elegant oriental shrub, which can be grown as an isolated plant. During the autumn, its leaves turn to an eye-catching red colour.
This plant withstands the cold well, but with prolonged frosts it can happen badly. If we have grown it in a pot, during the winter we will keep it indoors.
Nandina needs to receive direct sun, except in warm climates such as the Mediterranean.
During the autumn it develops round red berries, very decorative but not suitable for consumption.
Like Nandina, during the autumn the Pycarantha is covered with berries. The colour of the fruits goes between orange, red and yellow, which gives the plant its characteristic name.
The branches have multiple spines, so you have to be careful when handling it.
It can be in sun or semi-shade. It is often grown as a wall hedge or screen plant, since it usually grows erect.
It is very resistant to pests and diseases.
The dogwood family is composed of a wide variety of shrubs and trees. All of them are characterized by their rusticity, so they are ideal as autumn plants in cold areas.
In spring, our dogwood will be filled with white flowers.
The heather is a shrubby plant of low size, very common in warm areas and Mediterranean climate. It does not usually exceed 70 centimetres in height, so it is perfect for borders and small garden.
As it adapts well to low temperatures, it is usually grown outdoors, where we will place it in semi-shade. It is very common in rocky gardens.
It flowers between autumn and winter, so during the cold seasons it will fill our garden with pink, purple, red, yellow or white flowers, depending on the species we have grown.
Deciduous trees triumph during this season. Its golden and red leaves will give a beautiful look to our garden.
Here are some examples:
Maples are one of the most demanded tree families. Its bearing, its rusticity and the elegant webbed form of the leaves make it a beautiful tree for any time of the year.
But in autumn, with the discoloration of the leaves, it is when this tree unfolds its full potential. Particularly species such as American or Japanese maple, which at this season turn to an eye-catching red colour.
The maple comes the northern hemisphere, so it is capable of withstanding heavy frosts. With proper care, it can grow up to 10 meters high.
Ginkgo biloba (Ginkgo)
This conifer, considered a sacred tree in China, is well-known for its fan-shaped leaves. In autumn, these leaves acquire a very attractive red colour, which will complement well with the Maple or the Nandina.
Ginkgo biloba is a slow-growing tree, capable of living for several centuries. If you plant it in your garden, it will accompany you throughout life.
Cockspur coral tree (Erythrina crista-galli)
This specimen comes from South America. It is a tree that grows little (maximum about 10 meters high), so it is ideal for small gardens. If we grow it in a pot, its size will be even smaller.
It has beautiful crest-shaped red flowers that arise in summer, and that can last until autumn. It is a plant that hardly needs irrigation.
In Mediterranean climates it will grow well, but it does not withstand well cold temperatures.
If you are thinking of growing vegetables in your garden (one of the trends for this season, as we explained in our last post), the pomegranate cannot be missing. During the autumn, this species will provide us its delicious fruits.
In order to grow, the pomegranate needs a sunny place, sheltered from wind and frost. If we live in a very cold area, we shall better grow it in a pot.
It supports drought, but we shall water it frequently.